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Posts Tagged ‘automotive safety’

IIHS Shines (Head)Light on 2017 Top Safety Picks

Improved headlights moved several vehicles up the list.

by on Dec.08, 2016

The 2017 Chevy Bolt during the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offset crash testing.

Driving at night shouldn’t be considered a shot in the dark especially now that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its 2017 Top Safety Pick + award winners that were largely set apart by meeting tougher headlight standards.

Toyota/Lexus leads manufacturers with nine 2017 Top Safety Pick + winners, including the updated Toyota Corolla, while Honda and its Acura division pick up five Top Safety Pick + awards.

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While 38 vehicles achieved the top spots, another 44 vehicles were named Top Safety Picks. However, to get the “plus” ranking, the new vehicles must offer state-of-the-art protection for people in crashes, along with features that help drivers avoid crashes in the first place. (more…)

Car Crashes No. 1 Killer of Teenagers in US

National Safety Council provides suggestions for new drivers.

by on May.03, 2016

The top cause of teenage deaths in the is U.S. is car crashes. A few tips and some rules can help mitigate some of the causes.

It’s a rite of passage for every teenager: getting a driver’s license, or at least for many teens these days.

Part of that ritual is the inevitable lecture from parents about how driving is a big responsibility and that is not to be taken lightly. That sermon comes from a good place, even if most parents don’t fully understand how very important it may be.

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According to a new National Safety Council poll, 76% of parents don’t know that the biggest threat to their child’s safety is that 2,500-pound behemoth sitting in the driveway: car crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the U.S. (more…)

Safety Watchdog Lobbies for New Warnings for Child Seats

Center for Auto Safety thinks safest spot is behind open seat.

by on Mar.10, 2016

Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, wants changes in where parents to instructed to put child safety seats in vehicles.

Officials at auto safety advocacy group the Center for Auto Safety are taking federal regulators to task for not providing parents with more detailed information about the safest spot in a vehicle for a child.

The group filed a petition this week imploring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to provide information about where specifically to put a child in a vehicle.

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Officials “encourage parents to place their children in the rear seats of passenger cars without providing parents any recommendation on where in the rear seat the child should be placed,” Clarence Ditlow, executive director, wrote in his petition. (more…)

Automakers, US Regulators Set to Announce Agreement on Improved Safety

“Safety will become embedded in the cost of manufacturing.”

by on Jan.12, 2016

The new Volvo S90 will add an assortment of new safety systems when it comes to market.

A consortium of 16 U.S. and foreign-owned carmakers will announce a new, voluntary agreement with the U.S. government meant to improve automotive safety.

The move, first reported by the Reuters news service, could lead to significant improvements in vehicle design and the use of more advanced active safety technology. Set to be announced at the North American International Auto Show on Friday, the pact comes at a time when consumers are demanding safer vehicles and regulators are cracking down on industry safety lapses.

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The agreement “reaffirms our shared commitment to safety, and signals to the public the areas in which government and industry intend to collaborate to further improve automotive safety,” the industry group wrote to U.S. regulators in a note seen by Reuters.


50 Years Later: Are Cars Still “Unsafe at Any Speed”?

Ralph Nader’s book showed that safety does matter.

by on Dec.01, 2015

Ralph Nader testifies before Congress in 1966. It was 50 years ago this week that his groundbreaking book, "Unsafe at Any Speed," was published.

For decades, conventional wisdom in the auto industry held that “safety doesn’t sell.” And that certainly appeared to be the case when an unknown Washington attorney began looking into reports of problems with the then-popular Chevrolet Corvair.

What Ralph Nader uncovered led to the publication of the groundbreaking book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” 50 years ago this week. And it resulted in a major shift in thinking by both the American public and the auto industry that has led to significant improvements in vehicle safety and a huge decline in highway fatalities.

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As many 3.5 million Americans would have been killed over the past half-century had Nader’s muckraking work not led to the passage of the first highway safety laws and the dramatic changes in vehicle design and technology that followed, according to a new study by the Center for Auto Safety. (more…)

Takata Airbag Recall Likely to Be Smaller Than Projected

More than 19 million vehicles still impacted, and figure could yet grow.

by on Sep.02, 2015

The number of vehicles recalled due to Takata's potentially deadly airbags is likely to get cut to 19 million: a 40% drop.

Federal regulators have sharply reduced the number of U.S. vehicles that will be covered by the recall of potentially deadly Takata airbags – but the total is still expected to be more than 19 million.

The Japanese supplier has been linked to a defect that can cause airbags in older vehicle to trigger with too much force, sending metal and plastic shrapnel spewing into the passenger compartment. At least eight deaths and more than 100 injuries have been linked to the problem.

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After expanding the scope of the recall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 11 different automakers would have to replace inflators used in 34 million driver and passenger airbags. The agency has now reduced that by about 40%, to 23.4 million airbags used in 19.2 million vehicles. (more…)

NHTSA Says Traffic Fatalities on the Rise in 2015

More miles logged offsetting improved safety equipment.

by on Sep.01, 2015

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said he won't let up on automakers in a push for safety.

New vehicles in the U.S. are the safest vehicles ever built, but the country’s highways are seeing the highest fatality rates in nearly a decade and that has safety officials scrambling to figure out what to do about it.

Despite more cars and trucks than ever being equipped with collision prevention equipment and vehicles designed to crash in ways to better protect vehicle occupants, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced U.S. traffic deaths jumped 9.5% to an estimated 7,500 during the first quarter of 2015.

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Part of the increase is being blamed on the fact that due to an improved economy spurred by low gas prices, Americans are driving more. Miles logged are up 3.9% during the same period, but that doesn’t account for everything, according to safety experts. (more…)

Drivers Want More High-Tech Safety Features in Vehicles

Despite limitations, buyers desire new driver-assistance technologies.

by on Dec.11, 2014

Collision avoidance systems improve safety for individual vehicles and buyers are looking to add that level of safety.

Driver assistance technology, which is found on more and more new vehicles, can help prevent accidents, but drivers should be aware that the new safety features have limitations, according to a new study by AAA.

The testing revealed that blind-spot monitoring systems had difficulty detecting fast-moving vehicles – such as when merging onto a busy highway. Alerts were often provided too late for evasive action, AAA said.

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Motorcycles, which are becoming a more popular form of transportation in some parts of the country such as Southern California, were detected by blind-spot monitoring systems 26% later than passenger vehicles, making them significantly less effective in spotting two-wheeled vehicles in heavy traffic. (more…)

“Champion of the Auto Industry” Rep John Dingell Retiring After Nearly Six Decades

A powerful, if sometimes controversial, legacy.

by on Feb.25, 2014

Cong. Dingell shown during his years as head of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee that often played a key role in automotive regulation.

He’s been called the “champion of the auto industry,” but also been derided as a roadblock in the push for safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles.  But one thing is clear, John Dingell spent nearly six decades in Congress as the rock-steady supporter of the U.S. auto industry, with his primary emphasis on the Detroit Big Three.

First taking a seat in Congress in 1955, the now 87-year-old Dingell succeeded his father who had held the safely Democrat district on the south side of Detroit for the 20 years before.  Dingell rose to become one of the most powerful members in the House of Representatives – even during those years when the often fractious body was controlled by the GOP.

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But he ultimately ran afoul of members of his own party who stripped him of a key committee chairmanship from which Dingell dominated any discussion on issues automotive.

“As a champion of the auto industry, John Dingell had no peer,” said GM spokesman Greg Martin.


Drivers Struggle to Recognize Dashboard Warning Lights

Number of warning signals fine, but meanings are often unclear.

by on Dec.10, 2013

A recent survey of drivers by shows that many have no idea what these symbols mean or what they should do when they see them.

Car designers and engineers often fight for space on the prime piece of real estate in a car or truck: the instrument cluster. However, a recent survey suggests that the space they’re getting isn’t used well.

The study suggests the design effort that goes into designing the lights and signals found on the instrument hasn’t helped motorists and most motorists find the signals confusing and unintelligible.

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The website surveyed 2,000 drivers asking them to identify 10 common dashboard lights. The icons for partially closed doors, air bag problems and child safety lock activation were correctly identified more often than warning lights for tire pressure, brakes, low fuel and engine overheating. (more…)