Teen Drivers, Children and Seniors Benefit From Toyota Tests at Collaborative Safety Research Center

Wednesday September 21st, 2011 at 7:99 AM
Posted by: ponycargirl

Toyota Technical Center - CSRC; Crash Test
By Megan Green

As part of a new era of openness mandated from CEO Akio Toyoda , Toyota opened their doors to the media at their Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at the York Township, Michigan Toyota Technical Center (TTC) for the first time in company history. Collaborative research partners including representatives from MIT, the Transportation Active Safety Institute, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VT), Wake Forest School of Medicine, Washtenaw Area Transportation Study, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute were on hand for the announcement of ten new safety initiatives. Toyota’s goal is to share technology and research results from the various studies with the automotive industry and public. To further support this effort, they launched a new website www.toyota.com/csrc in January where this collaborative research on automotive safety is available online.

A significant portion of the research is concentrating on the most vulnerable populations, which, in their eyes, are young children, new teen drivers, seniors, and pedestrians.

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Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy for Teens to Open in the U.S. Late 2011

Wednesday March 30th, 2011 at 2:33 PM
Posted by: aquadog

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy UKMercedes-Benz will launch their Driving Academy for teens, that will open in the U.S. late 2011. Joining the ranks of other car manufacturers that have their own specialized driving academies such as, Jaguar “R” Academy, Land Rover Driver Experience, BMW Teen Driving School, and the Audi Sportscar Experience to name a few, Mercedes-Benz also feels that the U.S. standard of 30 hours of in-class education and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training does not effectively give teenagers the skills and competencies for safe and enjoyable driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S. In fact, teens aged 16-19 are four times more likely to crash than adults”. The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy approach to this will prepare students by going beyond basic car control skills and traffic rules by using a unique combination of interactive classroom sessions, online learning and behind-the-wheel training in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) framework, that will be specifically tailored to the U.S.

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Be Merry With Five Safety Tips For Holiday Road Trips

Wednesday November 24th, 2010 at 1:1111 AM
Posted by: Derek

road_trip_21ROCKLEIGH, N.J. – Preparing to take a road trip this holiday season? While it’s a time to be thankful and merry, Irv Gordon – who as the first person to drive 2.8 million miles in the same car has taken more road trips than anyone – encourages people to also be keenly alert on the roadways.

Gordon is a 70-year old retired science teacher from Long Island who has gained worldwide notoriety for his shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800, which the Guinness Book of World Records honors as the highest mileage non-commercial vehicle driven by a single owner.

According to AAA, as many as 38 million people took to the roads last year for Thanksgiving weekend road trips.

“The holiday season means more people are driving to places to which they are not familiar and are in their cars for lengths of time to which they are not conditioned,” Gordon said. “Planning and diligence are key to ensuring a safe holiday road trip and that families reach the destination we all seek, a Happy New Year.”

Gordon offers five tips for safe holiday road trip driving:

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Texting, Talking, Drinking, Driving…Gerbils? – Stop distracted driving

Sunday April 4th, 2010 at 11:44 PM
Posted by: asgruben

driver-distraction-3aThe Dangers of Distracted Driving

By Adrienne Gruben

Ok, the last time I actually did it was last week, but after reading the latest, I’d have to be a complete idiot to continue texting while on the road. And while I like to think of myself as too punk to sign up for Oprah’s anti-texting, “No Phone Zone,” campaign (now boasting 167, 078 participants), I am committing to one person, frequent CarReview poster and master cyclist Derek, to knock it off.

Now, texting is not the only “distracted driving” issue facing drivers, however it is the more buttony of the “distracted driving” hot-button issues, so let’s go there first.  According to such-and-such study, in 2008, 500,000 people were injured and 6,000 were killed by distracted drivers, and some argue that texting is the most dangerous. Whether that is true or not, the “from bonehead to dead” factor is high here, and people are pissed: 20 states are now enacting some type of legislation banning drivers from texting, and there are rumblings that Congress might take the whole thing Federal.

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CarReview's Tire Shopping Guide – Don't ignore the most important thing between you and the road!

Thursday March 4th, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Posted by: ggaillard

flat tire -- calling for a tow truckBy Greg Gaillard

Tires are basically four patches of rubber between you and the road. Often ignored or neglected, those four contact points are ultra-critical to the safety and performance of your car. If you think about it, tires are crucial to keeping you ON the road and avoiding potential hazards. The condition and quality of your tires affect the ride quality, fuel economy efficiency, the amount of traction, and the braking distance. We might go so far as to say that a good tire choice can be the single best upgrade for improving the performance of your favorite ride, whether it be your daily commuter, family urban SUV, or your garage queen. Wouldn’t you want the best when thinking about safety, performance, and fuel economy for something you rely upon almost daily?

Over the past 20 years advances in tire technology have dramatically improved the modern driving experience. The latest tires enable vehicles to deliver a smoother ride, sharper handling and better mileage than their predecessors. As important, today’s tires deliver these improvements with extended service life and improved safety.

Since today’s tires are so refined and have effectively become an integral part of a car’s suspension, choosing the right replacement tire is more complex than it used to be. Add to this increased importance choices of style, specialized performance and cost and the process can feel overwhelming. Most people just want to quickly pick up new set of tires at a fair price. That is certainly possible, but a little extra homework can go a long way in making an efficient, informed choice.This overview offers some general guidelines to consider when shopping for new tires and will provide basic insight into reading the Rosetta Stone of tire sidewall markings.

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Volvo's Three-Point Safety Belts Celebrate 50 Years

Friday August 14th, 2009 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: m35man

Volvo 3 point safety belt

Yesterday was a major holiday in the history of automotive safety–it was the 50th anniversary of the most important automobile safety device ever invented: the three-point safety belt, Volvo says.

Invented by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin in 1958 and patented in 1959, the device has saved more than 1 million lives and is now standard equipment on every car. Volvo was also the first carmaker in the world to equip its cars with front seat three-point safety belts as standard.”
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New Mercedes Tells Drowsy Drivers to Wake Up!

Thursday July 16th, 2009 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: m35man


Mercedes-Benz has become the latest automaker to offer high-tech help to fight drowsiness while driving. If you get drowsy or dozy and start to show signs of nodding off, this car will show you a cup of coffee and warn you to wake up with a loud noise.

If you have ever fallen asleep at the wheel, you know just how dangerous it can be. It happened to me one time driving from San Francisco to L.A. on Hwy. 5 (also called the California Autobahn where if you’re driving 90 mph, you’re going too slow) I nodded off and when I woke up, I was in a lettuce field. I was lucky I didn’t total my car!

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Moms Speak Out About Safest Cars

Thursday May 7th, 2009 at 7:55 AM
Posted by: m35man

In honor of Mother’s Day (it’s this Sunday, so don’t forget people) I thought I’d do a mom-related car posting. In my search, I found a great Web site called motherproof.com. Let’s face it, mothers do a lot of driving. A group of women on motherproof.com take a look at the vehicles, road-test them for two weeks at a time, and then evaluate them based on performance and values. It’s a great idea. Who knows more about car safety than mothers do?

“We load the kids in, test out the latch connectors and the car seats, and the cargo space, and to really ensure that the car that we’re driving would really be a perfect vehicle for the people who visit our website,” said Sara Lacey, a mom-reviewer.

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Posted in Chevrolet, Chrysler, hybrid, Hyundai, Press and News, Toyota |Tags:, || No Comments »

Toyota Develops World's First Rear-Seat Center Airbag

Monday March 30th, 2009 at 8:33 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Here’s something that had never occurred to me: There is no airbag for the rear, center seat passenger. Turn out this fact DID occur to the bright sparks at Toyota, and they have decided to address the issue by making the world’s first rear seat center airbag. This is, by and large, a pretty good idea. Sure, very rarely are cars fully stuffed with people and in need of airbags, but sort of like a motorcycle helmet, when you need a rear seat center airbag you’re sure glad it’s there.

Airbags are one of the few, if not the only safety device currently on cars that were not first developed for racing se. This hindrance aside, they have proven in most cases to be a Godsend. Not only have they saved countless lives in frontal impacts, but the advent of side curtain airbags have done wonders in helping people survive side impact crashes. Recently several manufacturers have started including airbags for rear seat passengers mounted into the seatbacks of the front seats. So, the last man left alone, so to speak, was the person in the center rear seat.

Enter Toyota, whose new Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) airbag is fitted in a large, fixed, rear-seat center console in the roof, and will make its debut in an unnamed Toyota model to be launched in Japan later this year. OK then, everyone is now, er soon, covered.

Source: CarScoop

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Unsafe Driving Caused by Music? That's the Name of that Tune!

Tuesday March 17th, 2009 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: m35man


Have you ever driven past a car that was shaking so violently from loud music emanating from a pounding bass speaker (the size of a beach ball) that you thought your windows were going to shatter?

Well, now a study has found that certain types of loud music in your car can cause you to speed or drive in an unsafe manner.

My buddy’s 18-year-old son has a stereo system in his car that costs more than the car itself. When he cranks up the volume, people run for the hills.

I’m 50, and when I was his age, we played our Foreigner, Peter Frampton and Black Sabbath 8-track tapes loud, but not the way these kids do today. We didn’t have the technology they have now, for one. These new high-tech systems on the market today “go to 11″ as Nigel Tufnel (played by Christopher Guest) said in the cult film, “This is Spinal Tap”.

But, this study claims that it’s not just the volume of the music, but the beat as well. Particular tunes with a certain tempo can cause drivers to be highly distracted. Rock music and dance music are the real culprits, apparently.

So, the next time your teenage kid gets a ticket or is in a fender bender, ask him/her what he/she were listening to when it happened. Then, after you ground them for a decade, confiscate the offending CD.

Read portions of this article from the Detroit News after the jump:

Never mind cells and the dangers of texting or eating while driving. A team of scientists at a university in Israel found the tempo of your tunes in your vehicle can lead to speeding or other unsafe driving practices. If their research is correct, listening to Tracy Chapman’s ballad “Fast Car” does not promote a lead foot, but the drive classic, “Radar Love,” by Golden Earring, probably makes the miles go by faster.

The study found those revved up on riffs are more likely to disregard red lights and road crossings and to crash.

Technically speaking, it is because loud rock and dance music need more brain processing and thus competes with other functions like concentrating on driving.

For best driving, listen to teen sensation Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” that is, if you can handle American Idol-style songs.

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