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Posts Tagged ‘auto safety’

Small Car Driver Risks on the Rise, Study Shows

Drivers of compacts more likely to die than larger vehicles.

by on May.26, 2017

The Hyundai Accent is one of the more dangerous cars on the road today, if involved in a collision, a new study shows.

Drivers of small cars have long known that they are at greater risk when involved in collisions with larger vehicles. However, the risk is increasing, according to a new study.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report suggests that traffic fatality rates are on the rise overall, but noted that of the top 10 vehicles involved in fatal crashes, five are minicars and three are small cars. The vehicle at the top of the list if the Hyundai Accent.

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Despite the increase in the overall rate, the worst vehicles actually saw some improvement. The 2014 Hyundai Accent’s death rate of 104 compares with 120 for the 2011 Accent. The worst vehicle among the 2011 models was the Kia Rio with a rate of 149. The 2014 Rio’s death rate is 102. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Recalling Over 1.25 Mil Ram Pickups

Software glitch could cause airbag, seatbelt failure in rollovers.

by on May.12, 2017

The Ram 1500 is one of three versions of the full-size truck covered by the recall.

More than 1.25 million Ram pickup trucks are being recalled worldwide due to a software glitch that can cause some of the vehicles’ airbags and seatbelts to fail during rollover crashes.

The problem has been linked to at least one death and two injuries, according to a statement by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. The automaker also advised owners to watch for a warning light on the instrument panel for a possible failure.

Safety First!

The recall covers three different light and medium-duty versions of the full-size Ram pickup sold in North America, as well as other parts of the world between the 2013 through 2016 model-years, FCA said.

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Death Toll Rises as U.S. Drivers Keep Engaging in Distracted Driving

Drivers repeating the same mistakes, unrelenting in attitude about behaviors.

by on Apr.04, 2017

U.S. motorists are still exhibiting the same distracted driving behaviors they've been warned about for years.

Highway fatalities had been dropping for more than a decade until two years, when that trend began to reverse direction. A look by a safety organization revealed the behaviors drivers are engaging in behind the wheel ratcheting that number up.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council identified some of the top driver behaviors and beliefs that put all roadway users at risk and increase the likelihood of being involved in a crash.

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Yes. Most of them involve some already identified behaviors drivers know they shouldn’t do, but clearly do anyway. Compiled through NSC surveys conducted over the last 12 months, these habits and opinions could help partially explain why deaths are on the rise.  (more…)

Will the Tesla Model 3 Be the Safest Car Ever?

New battery-sedan could prevent 90% of accidents, says analyst.

by on Mar.24, 2017

Tesla promises to launch Model 3 production in July, with retail sales following later in 2017,

Tesla has promised that its upcoming Model 3 will be loaded with a variety of high-tech features, including the latest version of the maker’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system. And now, automotive analysts from Morgan Stanley are predicting the sedan will be the safest car ever made.

With “a supercomputer in every car,” they estimate in a new report that the new Model 3 will be 10 times safer than existing vehicles – or 90% less likely to be the cause of either vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian fatal crashes. But that actually could disrupt both the conventional new and used car markets, Morgan Stanley is forecasting.

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“Look for an acceleration of the market’s awareness of the obsolescence of used cars and an acceleration of insurance company awareness to reprice premiums,” the report suggests.

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Seat Latches Prone to Fail, Honda Recalling Nearly 650,000 Minivans

New Honda Ridgeline pickup also targeted for wire harness problem.

by on Dec.29, 2016

The 2016 Honda Odyssey.

Honda seems well positioned to end the year, yet again, as the leader in the U.S. minivan market – even as it gets ready to reveal an all-new version of the popular Odyssey people-mover at next month’s North American International Auto Show.

But the Japanese maker is facing a big recall of the outgoing Odyssey. Make that recalls, plural. All told, nearly 650,000 of the vehicles are being targeted for safety-related problems. Meanwhile, Honda also says it will recall nearly 10,000 of its new 2017 Ridgeline pickup to repair another defect.

Safety News!

The biggest problem involves Honda Odyssey minivans sold during the 2011 to 2016 model years because the outboard seat latches can fail. That could lead to serious injuries if the seats fail to lock in place during a crash.

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Feds Plan 5-Year Phase-in of V2V Technology

Regulators project up to 80% reduction – or mitigation – of crashes.

by on Dec.13, 2016

V2V technology provides "360 degree awareness"," said US Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx.

The nation’s top transportation officials want to see all new cars, trucks and crossovers equipped with Vehicle-to-Vehicle, or V2V, communications systems within five years, technology that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday could help “avoid or mitigate” as much as 80% of the crashes that occur on U.S. highways.

The proposed guidelines, FMVSS 150, now will be the subject of a 90-day public comment period. Foxx said he expects the rules to be formally locked in place a year later. That would mean that at least 50% of the passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. would be equipped with V2V transceivers by the middle of the 2020 model-year, with 100% compliance by 2022.

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“It has been estimated that up to 80% of non-impaired collisions could be avoided or mitigated to reduce injuries” with the widespread use of V2V technology, said Sec. Foxx, who also said the Department of Transportation will now consider the possibility of requiring V2V systems on commercial trucks, as well.

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Ford Launches New Safety Tech to Avoid Collisions, Ease Parking

New systems to phase in over coming two years.

by on Nov.04, 2016

Ford's Evasive Steering Alert will help a driver not just stop but steer around obstacles.

Ford plans to roll out an assortment of advanced systems over the next two years designed to make driving simpler and safer, among other things helping prevent the sort of deadly crashes that occur when motorists turn the wrong way on a limited-access highway.

The new tech features are also meant to take Ford’s current auto-park system and make it even easier and more flexible. Ford’s push puts it in line with what key competitors are doing as they move ever closer to launching the first fully autonomous vehicles. Ford has gone as far as promising to have its first completely driverless model in production by 2021.

The Last Word!

“Driver-assist technologies help us all be better drivers because they enhance our ability to see and sense the road around us,” said Scott Lindstrom, manager, driver-assist and active safety at Ford. “Ford’s investment in research and development is paying off by accelerating innovation to expand our portfolio of driver-assist technologies that deliver functionality and performance that customers will value.”

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Honda Takes a Tip from Superman

Patent application reveals system that could spot pedestrians around corners.

by on Sep.14, 2016

The Honda patent would allow a motorist to see beyond the normal line of sight.

You wouldn’t have to be Superman to have extra-human vision, at least not if Honda has its way.

The third-largest Japanese automaker has revealed a system it is developing that would allow a driver to see things – notably pedestrians – who might by hidden behind a truck or building but walking towards an intersection.

The concept uses a variety of sensors to look beyond a driver’s normal line of sight and then display a warning on the windshield using a Head-Up Display, or HUD. Considering pedestrians fatalities have been rising sharply in recent years, the technology could have a major impact on safety.

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A new patent application filed by Honda illustrates the way the concept works. It is designed to watch out for pedestrians as the vehicle approaches an intersection. Sensors – including some of the same ones that might eventually be used to allow a vehicle to drive autonomously – can look beyond the normal line of sight.

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GM Settles Final Two Bellwether Cases

Automaker still has more ignition-related problems to solve.

by on Sep.06, 2016

GM settled the final two of six bellwether cases designed to set the pattern for future settlements related to the maker's faulty ignition switches.

General Motors Co. agreed to settlements in the final two ignition-switch cases slated for trial in a New York federal court this year. Terms of the settlements were not disclosed.

The settlements move GM closer to putting to rest a significant portion the claims that followed the use of a defective ignition switch that GM installed in more than 2.6 million vehicles resulting in 84 separate recalls.

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The cases were the final two among a half dozen “bellwether” trials aimed at setting patterns for a larger group of personal injury and wrongful death suits. GM recalled the vehicles with faulty ignition switches in early 2014 after it was proven that jostling the switches could turn off engines and safety features including power steering, power brakes and airbags, creating a substantial hazard for drivers and passengers. (more…)

Are Your Car’s Airbags Ready for Retirement?

Growing signs that airbags can begin to fail -- to possibly deadly consequences -- as they age.

by on Aug.12, 2016

Airbags are intended to protect you in a crash, but as the Takata case shows, they can be deadly if they don't work right.

Following the recent death of a Canadian motorist, federal safety regulators in the U.S. have expanded a probe that could lead to the recall of 8 million or more vehicles to replace faulty airbags.

If that scenario sounds familiar, it echoes the situation touched off by more than a dozen deaths in vehicles using defective airbags provided by Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp. Ultimately, as many as 50 million vehicles using Takata airbags could face recall. But the latest probe involves a different supplier, American-based ARC Automotive.

The Last Word!

Both the Takata and ARC airbags may over-inflate during a crash, sending deadly shrapnel spewing into the passenger compartment. But a series pf separate recalls announced just since April of this year, targeted more than 4.5 million other vehicles whose airbags may not function at all during a crash. And that could be just hint of an even bigger issue that could eventually pose a safety risk for virtually every vehicle on the road.

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