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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.
 |  Jan 02 2014, 11:02 AM

distracted-driving1

Distracted driving is risky at best and fatal at worst, yet drivers regularly ignore warnings by chowing down on a cheese burger or chatting on their cell phones.  

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 |  Jun 14 2012, 10:32 AM

Cars are now safer to drive than they were a decade ago, according to a new NHTSA study — try to hide your surprise. What might come as news, on the other hand, is how safe cars were according to the study’s findings before recent idiot-proofing.

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 |  Dec 13 2011, 10:30 PM

Kids come in all different shapes and sizes – so does one type of car safety seat fit all? An important question that seems to be popping up more frequently is if overweight children need a car seat that’s designed just for them – and according to a new study, the answer is no.

The study, which was conducted by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention, found no evidence of increased injury risk for children across a broad weight range. That means that an overweight child who is placed properly in a car seat that’s correctly installed is no more likely than a child of average weight.

“Given that nearly 32 percent of children in the United States are categorized as overweight or obese, and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for all children, we wanted to better understand how these two threats to children’s health interact,” said Dr. Mark Zonfrillo, the lead author of the study and an attending emergency physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This research should reassure parents that their only concern when it comes to car seat safety should be to follow the most recent guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

Zonfriollo offers a great tip for re-evaluating you child’s safety seat needs – during your child’s scheduled doctor’s appointments. You’ll be able to get accurate weight and height measurements, which you can then use to gauge acceptable ranges on the seat’s labels or instructions.

 |  Nov 25 2011, 12:45 PM

In recent years, the number of cars in Latin America homes has grown exponentially. To take advantage of this growing market, car companies are offering cheap models to attract more customers into their showrooms.

Some of Latin America’s best selling cars pose high risks of life-threatening injuries and are considered to be two decades behind on safety when compared to cars sold in Europe and North America.

The Uruguay based Latin New Car Assessment Program said in a report released in Sao Paolo, that cars from four manufacturers pose the most risk to its occupants. The manufacturers and their models are the Chevrolet Celta, Corsa Classic and Cruz, the Nissan March and Tiida hatchback,  the Fiat Novo Uno (pictured) and the Ford Focus and Ka. These cars provide a one-star safety rating rather than five-star provided by cars sold in Europe and North America. Poor safety standards and ever growing traffic in these markets are resulting in many traffic fatalities.

Max Mosley, who is the chairman of the British based Global New Car Assessment Program says; “We are witnessing an unprecedented growth in automobile use in emerging markets like Brazil, China and India. Yet it is precisely in these countries where we face a growing death toll on the roads.”

The car companies mentioned in this report have not made any comment on these finding yet.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Dec 06 2010, 10:16 PM

More info out recently says that those most likely to be distracted behind the wheel are well-educated, well-off drivers, according to a poll commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com.

The poll, which was for InsuranceQuotes.com by GfK Roper, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, found that these drivers are the most distracted ones on the road. Their research found that 93 percent of the affluent drivers report they engage in texting, talking on a cell phone and even kissing.

And with all that stuff going on, you know there’s going to be consequences. InsuranceQuotes.com found that four in 10 American adults who are licensed motorists said that being distracted while driving caused them to swerve into another lane, slam on the brakes, get a ticket, almost get into an accident, or have a minor or major wreck.

The numbers went up for drivers who have a college degree (49 percent) and for drivers who earn at least $75,000 a year (43 percent). This section of polled drivers comes in with the highest numbers among drivers from all income and education levels covered in the poll.

“The InsuranceQuotes.com poll on distracted driving indicates that people who have brains and bucks are more likely to be the motorists you see who are eating, reading or even kissing behind the wheel,” said John Egan, managing editor of Bankrate Insurance, which owns InsuranceQuotes.com. “It appears that well-to-do, well-educated Americans are multitaskers at work, at home-and in the car.”

[Source: InsuranceQuotes.com]

 |  Sep 12 2010, 11:27 AM

When it comes to your most precious cargo, you want to make sure your kids are well protected in case of those worst-case scenarios. Research has stated that using child safety seats can help reduce injuries and deaths in a crash, and new findings support the use of mandated booster seats.

There’s a new study out that will be of particular interest to parents. Conducted by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, this new study is the first to look at injury rates before and after a state law on booster seats went into effect. Taking a look at New York State booster seat law (implemented in March 2005), the study found that injuries in children ages 4 to 6 years old dropped 18 percent. This improvement is due to the increase in use of boosters after the child restraint law was upgraded, from 29 percent to 50 percent.

More research that also supports the benefits of boosters was conducted by the Journal of Pediatrics in 2009. This study found that children aged 4-8 years old who used booster seats were 45 percent less likely to sustain injuries than children who were just using the vehicle’s seat belt.

Child seat laws vary from state to state. All states require a child restraint for children through age 3, while most require a restraint for children until at least 7 years old. Even if the state you live in doesn’t have a law regarding this issue, safety organizations and the government recommend that you keep children in an appropriate child restraint until they are able to fit the vehicles belts both comfortably and safely (usually when they are around 4ft. 9- inches tall). It’s also recommended that all children under age 13 should ride in the rear seat.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

 |  Aug 25 2010, 8:53 PM

Want to set the mood while you’re driving with some help ambient lighting? Hey, it’s not that kind of mood we’re thinking of (so get you’re mind out of the gutter). These days, more vehicles are adding ambient lighting as a standard or optional feature because it makes drivers feel safe.

A soft illumination around the center console, door handles and pulls, cupholders and sometimes across the dash and in the footwells, ambient lighting has, in the past, been seen as a cosmetic feature. But according to a study conducted by BMW and the Lighting Engineering Group at Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany, this type of lighting can increase a driver’s perceived safety and quality of the car.

Research from the study found that ambient lighting increases spatial perception. This makes the car interior feel more spacious and it may also decrease fatigue at night. Unfortunately, information regarding ambient lighting’s influence on helping the driver stay alert or ability regarding changing the driver’s mood or performance was inconclusive.

Other interesting facts from the study include that drivers thought this type of lighting made the vehicle’s interior design and finish more attractive and the controls easier to use.

A critical factor in the study was the brightness of the ambient lighting. When the lights got too bright, drivers complained that it became distracting. The lights had to be kept below 0.1 candelas per square meter in order to keep the glare from forming on the plastics of the interior. This helps reduce the possibility of distraction. If a vehicle does have this type of system installed, the study found that drivers want to be able to control the illumination levels.

Most automotive manufacturers already include an ambient lighting system in their vehicles, and Ford has taken it up a notch, offering consumers the choice of seven different colors to set the mood.

[Source: Kicking Tires]