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Cars are expensive any way you take them: Broken ones need to be fixed and fixed ones don’t come cheap. But the costs to own a car actually dropped in 2013 according to the results of a new study.
You might be surprised to learn what it actually costs on average to own a car.
After a 13-year legal battle over access to manufacturer repair tools, 23 automakers and thousands of independent repair shops have signed a memorandum agreeing to a “Right to Repair.”
AAA is urging Illinois legislators not to raise the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on state roadways.
Roughly two thirds of motorists polled in a newly-released survey by AAA support increased federal spending on infrastructure.
How much is “too much” to pay for a gallon of gas? A new survey by AAA hopes to give an updated answer.
Driving is expensive, and it’s getting worse according to a new study released today by AAA suggesting annual cost of ownership increased two percent this year.
It isn’t clear what effect E15 will have on cars and in AAA president Robert Darbelnet’s mind, that’s enough to justify halting sales.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), New Year’s Day is the year’s deadliest day for alcohol-related fatalities.
With the holiday season kicking off, hitting the road and taking long trips could leave you stranded. AAA estimates that 1.2 million motorists will get stranded between December 19 through January 2, so it’s released a check list to help make sure you’re not one of those 1.2 million.
A comprehensive new study by AAA has revealed insight into exactly what teenagers are being distracted by behind the wheel, with teenage girls 50 percent more likely than their male counterparts to be on the phone, texting or using another electronic device.
The new study, Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers, is the first of its kind to document distracted driving by teenagers by using in-car video cameras and has revealed a slew of distractions among both males and feemales.
Results of the study show that teenage males were twice as likely to turn around in their seat while driving and more likely to talk with someone outside the vehicle. Females, on the other hand, were 50 percent more likely to reach for an object while driving and 25 percent more likely to be distracted by eating or drinking.
Overall, however, electronic devices were found to be the number one cause of distracted driving; something observed in 7 percent of the clips. A total of 15 percent of videos showed some type of distracted driving. The data also shows that older teenagers were more likely to be distracted, suggesting a complacence once they’re more comfortable behind the wheel.
Driving with multiple passengers was also found to be a major cause of concern. The study shows that loud conversations and “horseplay” were twice as likely when multiple passengers were present (rather than just one), and drivers were six times more likely to have a “serious incident” when there was loud conversation in the car. Conversely, distractions decreased significantly with an adult present.
“Cell phones, texting, personal grooming, and reaching for things in the car were among the most common distracting activities found when cameras were put in new teen drivers’ cars,” said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. “This new study provides the best view we’ve had about how and when teens engage in distracted driving behaviors believed to contribute to making car crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers.”
“The gender differences with regard to distraction observed in this study raise some points that we’ll want to investigate in future projects,” Kissinger said. “Every insight we gain into driver behavior has the potential to lead us to new risk management strategies.”
Data for the AAA study came from video clips from 50 North Caroline families with teenage drivers. First analysts studied how teens behave during the learner stage with a parent next to them, then for this most recent study a total of 7,858 clips were examined from the first six months of unsupervised driving.
Car crashes remain the number one cause of death among young Americans.
It’s easy to panic when you’re stranded by the side of the road after your car breaks down or you’re late for an early morning meeting and it just won’t start. Helping you keep your cool and stay safe, AAA has some advice for stranded motorists.
In a case where your car just won’t start, the problem may lie with the battery. It could be that it’s discharged or there’s a poor connection. Open the hood and check out the battery to see if it’s securely mounted in place and see if the cable clamps are connected to the battery. Cable clamps that are loose or corroded may be the problem. Clean the corrosion from the battery terminals and cable clamps and make sure the clamps are secured tight. If that doesn’t work, check to see if your car is fully in park and that there’s enough fuel in the vehicle. If all else fails, it’s time to call in a road service provider.
If you ever find yourself experiencing car problems while driving, your first priority is pulling off to a safe location. This should be away from the flow of traffic, and you should stay in your car while waiting for roadside assistance. Once you’re safe, you can call your road service provider. Take a look around and take note of your surroundings, landmarks and signs – anything that will help roadside assistance find your location. There are even certain smartphone apps (such as AAA TripTik Mobile and AAA Roadside) that will send your GPS location right to your roadside assistance provider.
Once roadside assistance has picked you up, you need to decide where to take it to get fixed. If you’re far from home and can’t get it to your regular mechanic, the easiest way to find a repair ship is with the help of a handy smartphone app (again the AAA TripTik Mobile and AAA Roadside apps can help you out here).
A full 25% of Americans couldn’t pay for a $2,000 repair bill should their vehicle break down, a new report by AAA confirms, hinting at the continued struggle most citizens are facing in the wake of the great recession.
When polled, a total of 38% of drivers said they could cover the cost of a $2,000 bill using money from savings, while 20% said they’d have to use a credit card. A total of 11% of respondents said they’d have to borrow money, or use retirement funds or a home equity loan.
One eighth of drivers said they couldn’t cover a $1,000 repair bill, with 46% answering that hey could. A total of 22 percent answered that they’d need to use a credit card and 14% would need to borrow the funds.
According to AAA, a $1,000 repair bill could be anything as small as a new set of tires of a major brake job, while major repairs to components like the transmission could cost from $2,000 to $4,000.
One quarter of drivers said they neglected repairs and maintenance in the past 12 months as a direct result of the economy. Unfortunately, ignoring smaller jobs can often lead to larger ones.
“Economic conditions have taken their toll on many Americans resulting in them neglecting their cars and leaving them at increased risk for very expensive repair bills,” said Marshall L. Doney, AAA Vice President, Automotive and Financial Services. “Many Americans rely on their cars for their livelihood and losing access to them could be financially devastating during an already troubling economic time.”
“It’s important for drivers to not only continue to maintain their vehicles, but also have a financial emergency plan in place should they be faced with a sudden unexpected auto repair bill,” continued Doney.
The survey also revealed that a total of one quarter of American drivers are continuing to drive their old model because they don’t feel they can handle the cost of a new one.
[Source: Automotive News]
The AAA is taking the first steps to diversify its offerings by providing a “range anxiety solution” for electric vehicles. The new trucks will roll out in a limited pilot program over the next year to offer a standard service for EV recharging. The trucks have a 4.5 kWh lithium-ion battery on board that can give a stranded EV anywhere between 3-15 miles of power.
The range is dependent on the type of charger the car has. If the EV can take a DC fast charge using CHAdeMo, it can get around 15 miles of power in a 15 minute charge. The AAA truck can recharge it’s pack from the grid or it’s gasoline-powered engine. The first six test trucks will see duty this August in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Knoxville and Tampa/St. Petersburg. AAA members will not be charged an added price for the EV recharge service
[Source: Autoblog Green]
How many times has the AAA saved your butt when your car needed a boost? Owners of electric vehicles will be happy to hear that someone’s got their back as well, as the AAA is set to launch mobile charging units in select locations throughout the U.S.
Following in the footsteps of the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF) and Nissan’s joint project to bring charges to electric cars, AAA is unveiling the details of its new full production level-two and level-three electric vehicle mobile charging units at the Plug-In 2011 Conference & Exposition in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the conference, they’ll be revealing where these units will be rolled out. And if all goes well, you can expect these mobile charging units to expand beyond the initial six regions.
This is a great idea and will certainly offer electric car drivers extra peace of mind while out on the roads. And the idea is catching on – in fact, Australia’s Club Assist and Switzerland’s Nation-E have already released similar services.
Would services like these make you more inclined to buy an electric vehicle? Let us know in the comments section below.
The American Automobile Association has compiled annual statistics for its “Your Driving Costs” study, and the numbers show that operating a car will hit your pocketbook harder than previous years.
The study focused on the cost of operating a sedan, and AAA estimated a total cost of $8588 per year, while an SUV would see costs of $11,239 per year. Among the reasons cited for the increased costs are rising prices for tires and gasoline, while costs for maintenance have gone down, partly due to the trend of car companies throwing in free oil changes and servicing for the first few years of the car’s life.
The big killer overall was actually depreciation, with a $3728 loss cited for a sedan that drives 15,000 miles per year. While most people don’t often consider how much this can affect the “cost-per-mile” statistic, the AAA cites that more than any other factor as the main driving force for the rise in vehicle ownership costs.
As if driving through the snow and slush weren’t enough, the tail end of winter has to throw potholes into the mix as we start to transition to spring driving conditions. As the snow begins to melt, potholes start springing up (just like flowers) and causing drivers a whole new set of concerns on the roads.
Spring always brings with it a new crop of wonders and potholes are out in full effect this season. They are prevalent due to moisture (like melting snow) that collects in small holes and cracks in the road surface. With temperatures all over the place, this moisture expands and contracts, thereby breaking up the pavement. Add heavy vehicles into the mix, and bam – you’ve got potholes.
“Major winter storms have affected much of the country this season. While many motorists’ cars have made it through the winter storm season unscathed, they could still fall victim to a pothole left in its aftermath,” said John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Repair and Buying Programs.
To help you though the pothole minefield, AAA has put together some helpful hints that will help you steer clear of pothole-related car repairs:
Inspect Tires – Think of your tires as the padding between a car and a pothole, so make sure tires have enough tread and are properly inflated. To ensure your tires are properly inflated, check the manufacturer’s recommended levels (found in the owner’s manual or on a sticker on the driver’s door jamb – don’t use the pressure levels stamped on the sidewall of the tire).
Inspect Suspension – It’s always a good idea to keep your struts and shock absorbers in good condition. Have your vehicle’s suspension inspected by a certified technician if you think there may be a problem.
Look Ahead – This is always good advice. Keep an eye out ahead and check the road in front of you for potholes. Stay focused on the road and not any distractions inside or outside the vehicle (again, this is just always good advice). If you see one coming at you, be sure to check for surrounding traffic so you don’t cause an accident.
Slow Down – If you notice a pothole too late or can’t avoid it due to traffic, try to reduce your speed safely (always check your rearview mirror before hitting the breaks).
Beware of Puddles – Those crafty puddles are in cahoots with potholes and hide them from the unsuspecting driver. When you see a puddle, drive through it carefully.
Check Alignment – If you do hit a pothole, it can knock your vehicle’s wheels out of alignment and affect the steering. If you suspect yours is off-kilter, have the wheel alignment checked by a qualified technician.
Recognize Noises/Vibrations – Don’t dismiss any strange noises coming from your car after hitting a pothole hard. You may have dislodged the wheel weights, damaged a tire or wheel, or broke the suspension components. Have these noises inspected immediately by a certified technician.
We all know that distracted driving causes nothing but trouble on the roads but we still multi-task while behind the wheel. As part of a bid to cut down on this behavior,specifically texting and driving the AAA is taking drivers to school.
AAA has made a video and posted it on YouTube to help spread awareness that cell phones and driving just don’t play well together. In this video, you can watch drivers text and drive while navigating their way through an obstacle course in a Nissan Altima.
As you can imagine, the drivers and their cell phones didn’t fare that well. See for yourself and watch the video after the jump.
Do you have room on your iPhone for more app? You’ll want to make room for the AAA TripTik Mobile, a free app that offers small-screen navigation.
You don’t have to be an AAA member to get it (but being a member gets you access to some extra features of the app), the AAA TripTik Mobile gets you where you need to go while letting you know what you’ll find along the route. There’s a scrolling list of Point of Interest (POI) icons for AAA approved hotels, restaurants, attractions, car garages and gas stations.
If you want to stop at one of these POI, just tap on pinpointed icon to get more information, such as address, phone number and AAA reviews and diamond ratings. If you need to stop for gas, the gas station icon shows the brand and price of unleaded and premium fuel.
Right below the POI icons are the Explore and Navigate buttons. The Explore function lets you type a destination in a search box, while the Navigate functions allows typing in a route after hitting a Directions icon. This app also remembers previous routes you’ve typed in.
After your course has been set, the TripTik gives you a turn list, and you can use the Edit icon to change your route. You can use the Co-pilot function to get spoken directions or shake the phone for the next set of directions. For turn-by-turn directions, just hit the arrow under the top border with the Edit, Co-Pilot and Directions button.
There are plenty of icons to play with on this app, including a target that zooms in on your current location and one that opens a screen for your AAA number and phone number, as well as call for roadside assistance, join AAA and give the organization feedback via email.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]