2008 Traffic Deaths Hit Record Low

Friday February 13th, 2009 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

traffic safety

Here’s some good news from the auto world (a rare occurrence over the past few months), 2008 traffic fatalities are at record lows.

The National Safety Council annual report states that there were 39,800 deaths last year related to motor vehicles in 2008. That’s an 8% drop in the number of fatalities over the previous year. In case you’re wondering, it has nothing to do with people driving less due to increases in gas prices or some other, normal, outside factor. It turns out that the ratio of deaths per vehicle miles driven has also dropped.

According to the National Safety Council there are three factors that contributed to the record low levels. First off, cars and trucks are getting better and better in the safety department, as shown each year by the high safety numbers posted in NHTSA and IIHS crash testing. Also contributing to the record drop are public education and the visible enforcement of safety laws.

There are other upsides to this, in addition to a lower overall death toll. Fewer deaths mean fewer medical expenses and property damage as well as lower loss of wages.

So, good job everybody, and it’s not very frequently that I say that about my fellow drivers … because really, the stuff that I still see on the road makes me shake my head. Actually, I’m surprised the fatality rate hasn’t gone up.

Source: AutoBlog

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No Ceiling on Roof Safety

Thursday February 5th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: m35man

overturned car accidentYesterday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) told car manufacturers that they’re going to have to make vehicle roofs thicker and stronger if they want to attain top safety ratings.

It’s a smart decision and one that needed to be made. Too many injuries occur in accidents where cars flip over onto their roofs, which then collapse. This announcement will help save lives and make our cars safer. Many of us spend as much as 25% of our waking hours in our cars, so we obviously want then to be as safe as possible.

I was in an accident many years ago in which the vehicle I was in flipped. The driver fell asleep and so did I, and when I woke up, we were upside down, careening down the road.

There were four of us in the car and fortunately we all walked away unhurt. Luckily, the roof of the car (a Toyota Camry, as I recall) held up nicely and didn’t crumble one iota. Otherwise, I might not be here to write about it.

Carmakers are constantly trying to find new ways to make their vehicles safer. Many use safety as a main selling point, like Volvo, for instance. The smarter manufacturers will tap into this IIHS announcement and leverage it to make their cars safer and more attractive to consumers. As my driving instructor in high school used to say, “Safety is No Accident!”

Original article that appeared in The Detroit News after the jump:

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Crash Proof Cars that Talk to Each Other? Believe It!

Wednesday January 28th, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

NASCAR Michigan International SpeedwayImagine a world where cars never collide; where accidents just don’t happen; and where cars talk to each other and to the road. Yesterday, Michigan officials announced that they’ll be working with the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) to test two emerging technologies–vehicle connectivity and intelligent highways–that would make cars virtually crash-proof within the next five to seven years.

I predicted a long time ago that cars would drive themselves by the year 2020. Now it looks like it might happen sooner.

These technologies, when fully developed and taken all the way, will eventually permit drivers to jump in their cars and essentially tell them where to go. The car does all the work while the passenger is free to sleep, work, or eat. I’d probably use the time to answer e-mails and watch movies. Suddenly, commuting won’t be such a pain anymore. Sure, people who enjoy driving will not give it up easily, but eventually no one will be operating their own cars. With this new technology, car accidents could be reduced by 80%. Insurance rates will most certainly plummet.

Original article that appeared in The Detroit News after the jump.

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Volvo XC60 City Safety System Report

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Volvo XC60

The big safety news in the new Volvo XC60 is City Safety – a unique safety feature that can help the driver avoid or reduce the damage of low-speed impacts that are common in city traffic and bumper-to-bumper traffic. If the car is about to strike the vehicle in front and the driver does not react, the car automatically applies the brakes.

What! Why do a I need another electronic nanny and do I really want something that applies the brakes for me?

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Drunk Drivers Foiled Again!

Tuesday January 13th, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

It’s getting trickier for drunk drivers to do what they love to do, which is drive drunk. Why hasn’t anyone thought of this earlier (a time right before now)? Motorists convicted of driving drunk will have to install breath-monitoring gadgets in their cars under new laws taking effect in six states earlier this month. How does it work? The gadget, which resembles a walkie-talkie, fits on the dashboard. It’s wired to the car’s ignition system. The driver blows into it (the device) to start the vehicle. If alcohol is in their system, then it’s no-go and time to reach for that bus pass. Manufactured by a Texas-based company, and going by the name Smart Start Ignition Interlock, the device require periodic retesting while the car is running just so crafty alcoholics wont convene their drink driving time after the engine is started.

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New Volvo XC60 City Safety tour comes to a town near you

Friday January 9th, 2009 at 12:11 PM
Posted by: Derek

Volvo city safety demoVolvo is doing a big promotion across the country as it enters the luxury, performance-oriented, small SUV/crossover market with their new XC60. Two Parallel Tours will cross the country with more than 85 events, giving customers the opportunity to see the new XC60 before it goes on sale at dealerships and experience “City Safety” – Volvo’s most extensive safety package ever.

Using their strong reputation and association with car safety, Volvo has put together a live demonstration of their latest safety innovation – City Safety. According to surveys, 75% of accidents occur at speeds below 18 mph and in city traffic. Volvo’s new City Safety system helps the driver avoid or reduce low-speed collisions. CarReview attended one of the City Safety demonstrations. Follow the link to learn more about the City Safety feature and and how it operates.

Volvo XC60 City Safety System Report

For a hands on experience of Volvo’s latest safety feature, click the link below to find the place and date of the “From Sweden with Löv” tour stop nearest you.


Or read the press release on the next page to find out if “From Sweden with Löv” tour stops at a city near you. For more details about the “City Safety” system and other active Volvo safety features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), blind spot information system (BLIS), collision warning w/auto brake, driver alert control, and lane departure warning information system, visit their website, www.volvocars.us/XC60Tour.

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Ford MyKey System – Keeping teenage drivers safe when you can't be there

Thursday December 4th, 2008 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: m35man

car crashIn 2010 Ford will unveil a vehicle key that parents can give to their teenage drivers, which changes the settings on various safety features within the car. It’s called MyKey and it’s creating quite a controversy with parents and their kids who are of driving age.

Teenagers in cars can be a deadly combination. How many times have you been cruising down the highway when you encounter a kid in a tricked out car tailgating you at high speeds and making faces or gestures indicating that he or she feels you’re going too slow? And you’re driving 80-plus mph in the fast lane?

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Driving Safety Foundation Class: a fun way to improve safe driving skills

Wednesday December 3rd, 2008 at 7:1212 AM
Posted by: hollyrrr

Driving Safety Foundation
By Holly R.

Driver education and skill has a lot of room for improvement in this country. How many times in a day do we complain that driver’s licenses are as easy to get as pulling a prize out of a box of Cap’n Crunch Berries after watching some clown pull a Bozo move on the road? Even if we do consider ourselves above average drivers. How often do we practice ultra-safe driving skills and know how to react if a dangerous situation catches us while we sing-a-long happily to our favorite song on the radio? Or we get caught on a road slicker than Leisure Suit Larry picking up women at O’Leary’s Bar and the rear-end unexpectedly breaks loose and comes around. Do you know how to stay calm, instinctively countersteer and brake smoothly or do you snap into hyper-panic mode, scream like Fay Wray, and then drive your feet through the floor attempting to stop the car as you envision your life flashing in front of you?

Unless you spend a lot of time at the local raceway or kart track, your everyday driving skills could use some improvement. By the way, playing Gran Turismo 3 is a poor substitute for real seat time behind the steering wheel. Fortunately, Mary-Ellen and I had the opportunity to attend the driving school taught by Sia and Jeff at the Driving Safety Foundation (http://www.dsf-usa.com). Jeff was our instructor for the afternoon and introduced us to the Skid Monster.

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