AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
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.
We probably all think that the city we live in is the worst city in the world for driving, but you may be surprised to hear that there’s no city in the United States on CNNGo‘s top 10 list of worst cities for driving.
The data was gathered through surveying IBM’s 2011 Commuter Pain survey, World Bank statistics, and other Internet sources for this non-scientific list.
Starting off the list at number-10 is Monaco, out on the French Riviera in Western Europe. With a total area of 0.76-sq mi and a population of around 36,000, Monaco is the second smallest country in the world and is the most densely populated country in the world. The combination of the two make it no surprise that it’s one of the top 10 worst cities in the world for driving, especially when rush hour looks like a Mercedes parade.
According to World Bank statistics, Monaco has more cars per capita than even the United States.
Ferrari‘s been making a big push to promote the winter driveability of their cars, even going as far as to set up a winter driving school in Colorado featuring their new, AWD Ferrari FF.
Now Ferrari has released a video of their rear-drive California tearing up the slopes in St. Moritz, Switzlerland. It’s actually a pretty uninspiring video as far as hooning and speed go, but seeing any Ferrari driving on a snowy course is a novelty.
Hit the jump to see the video
Following the lead of Atlanta and Washington D.C., New York City is due to get around 300 parking meters that will allow drivers to pay for parking via their smart phones.
Drivers will have to register for the service initially, but will be able to input the parking meter’s ID number via a text message or mobile app, and can buy parking time via their phone. Drivers will also receive a warning when their time is about to expire, and will be able to add additional time without having to return to their cars.
Pay by phone systems are in place in other locales (mainly Europe) and frankly, we think that their implementation on our shores is long overdue. With an increasing number of parking transactions paid via credit card rather than spare change, these systems only make sense when it comes to a broad implementation.
[Source: New York Post]
Ron Dennis, chairman of McLaren, was given a 6-month license suspension after running a red light near his home in Surrey, England. Having already racked up 9 demerit points on his license through previous speeding fines, Dennis was hit with another 3 for his exploits, resulting in an automatic ban.
Dennis claimed that he failed to stop due to fears that the car behind him would crash into him, since both cars were travelling at a high rate of speed. Dennis also asked the judge to give him his license back so that he could meet work and family commitments, but his request was denied.
[Source: Get Surrey]
Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Breakfast Show and said, “There’s a lot of technology out there now that can disable phones and we’re looking at that. That’s one way. But you have to have good laws, you have to have good enforcement, and you have to have people take personal responsibility. That’s the bottom line.”
LaHood went on to say that texting or talking on the phone while driving has claimed nearly 5,500 lives in the last year and that nearly 500,000 people have been injured.
To raise awareness, the DOT has launched a new online campaign called “Faces of Distracted Driving” in which victims speak out about how their lives have changed by making such a simple mistake.
Currently there is no federal law prohibiting people from using cell phones while driving, although some states do have anti-texting laws, while some states only allow handsfree phone usage.
The DOT is looking at software solutions which will detect when the phone is being used while driving, although there are still plenty of glitches to work out, after all a passenger could be using a cell phone so how will the phone know? Since this restricting technology is not mandated by the Government, it will boil down to individuals who want to have the technology for their own benefit, or companies can install such devices in their fleet vehicles.
Paul Atchley, a scientist at the University of Kansas believes these tech features won’t be enough and many people will be able to work around the issue. He believes the only thing that can work is to change people’s attitude.
Do the sensible thing, don’t text or talk while driving, and everybody wins.
A resident of Vancouver, British Columbia saw his Ferrari get auctioned off by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, after they seized the vehicle for excessive speed in September.
The Ferrari was racing a BMW M6 in the north end of Vancouver, and was clocked traveling 124 mph in a zone designated for speeds of around 40 mph. Reports state that the Ferrari narrowly missed a mother and her children.
Provincial laws allow the police to seize and take possession of vehicles involved in excessive speeding or reckless driving incidents. The Scuderia ended up selling for $306,000, with the money divided between the vehicle’s owner and the government in an 80/20 split. The BMW M6 will be auctioned sometime next week.
[Source: The Province]
Police in Australia are investigating a burnout performed by a hearse during a funeral service for a youth who died in a motorcycle accident.
Police say that the hearse was spotted smoking its tires along with 12 other vehicles immediately after the funeral Aaron Bryce, a 19 year old killed in a motorcycle crash.
“The driver of the hearse is to be interviewed in relation to hoon driving offences,” Acting Sergeant Dean Owen said to The Age. “[We understand] he was friends with some of the people and getting urged on to do it.”
The hoons in question were caught after police viewed camera phone footage of the burnouts, leading them to question the hearse’s driver, Michael O’Sullivan, a 44-year old funeral director and Justice of the Peace.
O’Sullivan’s father John denied the allegations and said that he was angry about his son and his business being accused of reckless behavior. “We are a reputable concern. We’ve been in business for 140-odd years. We don’t want this sort of bullshit.”
[Source: The Age]
We all love those impromptu drives on backroads where you can exceed the post limits just a little, without the action getting too dangerous. Once in a while, you’ll be following someone with a nice car that can actually drive well and set a good pace.
The driver of a Mazdaspeed 3 thought it was going to happen when a BMW 335i sedan pulled out in front of him and started driving quickly. Unfortunately, the BMW driver used all of his 5 brain cells to display an embarrassing spectacle of road rage that we can only attribute to misuse of anabolic steroids, or his dismay in seeing a Mazda hatchback keep pace with his (probably) leased 3-series.
It’s a good thing this took place in California. In a state with less restrictive concealed carry laws, someone could have been hurt very badly in this exchange.
A stunt driving demo went all wrong for Audi, as professional drivers ended up rolling one of their new A1 subcompact hatches during a demonstration in Brussels.
Drivers piloted the A1 up and down a specially-constructed half pipe in the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, as a means of promoting the new model. Rather than wowing the crowd with its driving prowess, the Audi rolled onto its roof, in a massive PR embarassment for Audi.
Both driver and passenger walked away unscathed, and the car was eventually push back onto the tires, but Audi PR staff were especially vigilant about no pictures being taken of the incident. If only it were Justin Timberlake in the car.
[Source: Auto Express]
We tend to think of America, Germany, Italy or Japan as the pre-eminent nations where the automobile is the national obsession. But a new study in Canada shows that Canadians would rather give up junk food, cigarettes or sex than give up driving.
In a study conducted by the World Wildlife Foundation, 36 percent said they would give up junk food before they gave up driving, 14 percent said coffee, 6 percent said television and 2 percent said sex. Those polled were generally frequent drivers and the most prolific motorists had children under 18, stable jobs and a “good or very good income.”
Despite the enthusiasm for driving, 79 percent of Canadians said they were concerned about the environmental impact of driving. The World Wildlife Foundation, which commissioned the study, was pragmatic about the results in an interview with the Toronto Star.
“We’re not saying people should give up the car entirely. That may not be feasible,” said Josh Laughren, director of communications for WWF. “But while it might seem easier to take my car to work, it may be better for me and my pocketbook and my stress levels and my quality of life to take transit.”
[Source: Toronto Star]