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Posts Tagged ‘safe cars’

Insurance Industry Safety Group Toughens its Testing, Awards Process

Move follows announcement of stricter federal safety procedures.

by on Dec.10, 2015

The Chrysler 200 was the only domestic model to get a Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2016.

A day after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced major revisions to it its automotive safety testing program, an influential insurance industry group announced it would take similar steps.

It will now be more difficult for automakers to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. A total of 48 of all 2016 models qualify for that award using the more rigorous standards, with another 13 getting the lower, Top Safety Pick imprimatur.

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“We asked auto manufacturers to do more this year to qualify for our safety awards, and they delivered,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS have been trying to achieve two goals: (more…)

Will You Even Recognize Your Car in the Near Future?

Plenty of “disrupters” about to transform what we drive.

by on Sep.18, 2015

Poster courtesy United Artists.

In the 1973 film, “Sleeper,” Woody Allen is revived after being frozen following a botched operation. To escape the inept police state trying to terminate him, he steals a car that looks like a bubble, with frosted windows and no steering wheel. He simply tells it where to go.

The comedy was supposed to take place 200 years from now but, at least when it comes to the car, it could just as well happen in little more than a decade from now. A recent concept vehicle from Mercedes-Benz, the F 015, can black out its windows, use voice commands to safely drive automatically to a destination, and passengers can swivel their seats to turn the big sedan into a mobile living room.

Welcome to the Future!

At least, that’s the grand vision – but it’s creating nightmares for an auto industry facing tough new mileage, emissions and safety regulations and the need to invest tens of billions of dollars in new and largely untested technologies. And traditional automakers face the threat of new and well-funded challengers, such as Tesla, Google and Apple.


Forget Those 5-Star Ratings; Bigger is Safer

Study finds heavier, more expensive vehicles are the safest on the road.

by on Jul.13, 2015

Despite smaller vehicles having five-star crash ratings, a new study suggests that bigger vehicles are still the safest in a collision

While conventional wisdom has a way of being wrong, a new study by the University of Buffalo suggests that, when it comes to cars, one traditional belief is correct: bigger cars tend to be safer cars.

While even some of the smallest cars on the market today earn five-star crash ratings, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what happens in the real world – especially when that little car smashes into a big one or, worse, an 18-wheeler. The bottom line, according to a study presented during the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, is that bigger, more expensive vehicles tend to be the safest.

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“The most important point of our study is that vehicle weight and price have a positive relationship with vehicle safety,” said Dr. Dietrich Jehle, a professor of emergency medicine at University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who presented the research. (more…)

Recalls Aside, Automobiles Becoming Safer than Ever

An era of zero fatalities may be within reach.

by on Dec.03, 2014

Volvo's new AstaZero safety proving grounds. The maker wants to see zero deaths in its vehicles.

With a record 54 million vehicles facing recall — and nearly another month to go before the books are closed on 2014 — it’s no surprise American automakers and auto buyers alike have been focused on safety this year.

But despite all the lapses that have seen dozens of deaths from faulty airbags and flawed ignition switches, there’s another side to the story: cars are safer than ever. U.S. highway fatalities are now about 40 percent down from their 1970s peak, even though there are more cars on the road logging more mileage.

A Safe Bet!

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen vehicle safety reach this level before,” contends Raj Nair, global product development director for Ford Motor Co.

The latest vehicles are not only better-equipped to survive crashes but also to avoid them altogether. That’s led several automakers, including both Nissan and Volvo, to declare that they hope to see no deaths occur in the new vehicles they bring to market by the beginning of the next decade.


That New Car Smell Could Make You Sick

New study names least toxic automobiles.

by on Feb.15, 2012

The Honda Civic interior has been faulted by some critics - but won praise from the Ecology Center for its lack of potentially dangerous chemicals.

There’s something about that new car smell.  Unfortunately, while some folks love the scent of a vehicle that’s just rolled out of the showroom the volatile chemicals found in many automotive interiors can make others quite ill.

So, a new study is naming names and pointing fingers, identifying the 2012 Honda Civic as the safest automotive interior, while listing the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport as the vehicle most likely to make you sick.

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“Automobiles function as chemical reactors, creating one of the most hazardous environments we spend time in,” says Jeff Gearhart, research director at the Ecology Center.


City Safety Scores Again

Accident-prevention technology winning awards, possibly insurance discounts.

by on Feb.05, 2009

I See You: Volvo's City Safety system at work

I See You: Volvo's City Safety system at work

Have you ever been involved in a collision when driving in the city? If not, you undoubtedly know someone who was. The surveys suggest more than 75 percent of all accidents occur at speeds below 18 mph, usually on city streets.

No wonder Volvo got a lot of attention when it introduced City Safety, a driver assistance system that prevents, or at least reduces the severity of, lower speeds crashes. Here in the U.S., the technology will become standard on all versions of the new XC60 crossover, which we reviewed, earlier in the week.

City Safety is already piling up the awards. It netted the ‘Traffic Safety Achievement Award,’ presented during the World Traffic Safety Symposium, in New York, last month, and February sees the Swedes garnering the prestigious Paul-Pietsch award.