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.
Automobile crashes kill more teenagers than anything else according to a new study.
What type of drivers aggravates you the most while on the road?
The number of Michigan drivers who admitted to texting behind the wheel of a car has doubled since 2012 according to a survey conducted by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state will designate “texting zones” along New York’s highways in hopes to curb distracted driving.
Smokers have a small arsenal of gimmicks to keep deadly cravings at bay, but what about teens addicted to texting from behind the wheel? Now they have “thumb socks.”
According to a recent study, only 1 percent of parents believe their teenage drivers are texting and driving even though 26 percent of teens admit to doing so at least once every time they drive.
Fair warning, if you live in Ohio and text behind the wheel, you could face fines or worse: a suspended driver’s license.
Despite acknowledging that it’s a dangerous habit, a significant proportion of teens admit to texting and driving. A new survey by Consumer Reports shows that almost a third of the teens surveyed admitted having the practice themselves.
Just when an earlier study suggested that teenagers today prefer owning smartphones and electronic devices over owning a car, a local study by news channel Sacramento News10 revealed that there is a resurgence of manual transmission automobiles for young drivers.
Worried about teen drivers texting and driving, parents have started a trend of purchasing stick shift vehicles for their teens in hopes to keep them focused on the task at hand rather than diverting their attention away from the road. The DMV also provides useful stick shift tips for first time drivers including “don’t panic.” News10 started a discussion via Facebook on the resurgence of manual transmission vehicles and viewers have responded positively. One perk stick shift owners said they enjoyed was the better fuel efficiency their vehicle can achieve.
While manual transmission vehicles have remained popular in Europe and Asia, its market in North America has shrunk to approximately 5.5 percent, a number likely made up of mostly driving enthusiasts. If the appreciation of manual transmission vehicles are rekindled within younger drivers, then not only would more Americans pay attention when they are driving, but perhaps the joy of driving might be rediscovered as well. Show your support and join other drivers in the “hang up and drive” movement here at News10.net.
This distracted driving PSA isn’t meant to make you LOL, but it will have you saying OMG.
The Department of Transportation will be releasing its new public service announcement, titled OMG, in theaters and at gas stations nationwide, in the next month. This PSA is targeted to teens to remind them to put down the cell phone and stop texting while driving. Employing popular texting phrases like LOL and L8R, the ad shows the dangers that three little characters can potentially cause. And with the holiday season almost upon us – with all the vacation days, parties and high-tech gifts – this PSA is a sobering reminder of how little it takes to get into a car accident while texting and driving.
The PSA will be shown at Regal Cinema movie screens and PumpTop TV at gas stations. Or you can watch it after the jump.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
We all do things we know we shouldn’t. It’s our little secret, right? It turns out a lot of us do something we know is dangerous – using a mobile phone while driving – but we do it anyway.
The numbers are in – according to market research company Harris Interactive, 91 percent of motorists know it’s unsafe to use a handheld cellphone while driving, but nearly 60 percent of motorists still do it. Yep, this is one bad habit we just can’t seem to break.
There’s some good news to these numbers – according to the same survey, the number of drivers using mobile phones as dropped from 72 percent to 60 percent. Breaking down that number by age, almost 72 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds said they call and drive on occasion, while 32 percent of people older than 66 said they did. And some more good news – only a few people who were surveyed said they used their cellphones constantly while driving all the time.
Other interesting numbers – about nearly 77 percent of respondents believe it’s safer to use a hands-free device than a cellphone when driving. We guess that’s why 40 percent of them use hands-free phones now (that’s up from 28 percent in 2006).
In addition to talking on a cellphone and drive, another bad habit we can’t seem to break include texting and driving (27 percent of those asked said they do it).
If you needed proof that talking and texting while driving is hazardous to your health, the Governors Highway Safety Association claims that nearly 25 percent of all U.S. car crashes can be attributed to cellphone usage. That’s something to think about before you check your messages on your way into work.
We’ve said it before and we’re going to say it now: hand-held gadgets and driving just don’t mix. And there’s a new study to back us up on this – according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), texting, talking on a cell phone and other distractions caused by electronic gadgets cause up to 25 percent of car crashes.
The GHSA, a nonprofit group that works to improve traffic safety, reports that drivers are distracted about half the time they’re driving. And it’s no surprise that using a cellphone is the culprit behind many car accidents.
Although the information isn’t new to us, the report goes one step further to question the effectiveness of handheld cellphone and texting bans. And here’s where it starts to get juicy – it states that there’s no conclusive evidence that talking using a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free method is any safer than talking with a phone in your hand. Not only that, but the GHSA reports that the texting bans are difficult to enforce.
So what’s the solution? For starters, the GHSA thinks that the government should completely ban new drivers from using a cell phone while driving and that all drivers be banned from texting. It’s interesting to note that an earlier study by GHSA stated it did not support a total ban of in-car phone usage and texting bans.
What do you think of the report? Do you think that all drivers should be banned from texting and new drivers be banned from using a mobile phone? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
We’re all aware that texting and driving don’t mix, yet day in and day out, we hear of another accident caused by this distraction. In order to hit the point home about the dangers of this habit, BMW has taken up the cause by launching a national advertising campaign to fight the habit.
Expect to see “DON’T TXT & DRIVE” ads popping up on TV and magazines in the near future. The commercial, which you can watch after the jump, features how far parents will go to ensure their children’s safety, yet when a cell phone goes off, see what the mother does while driving.
In the magazine ad, a driver is paying attention a mobile phone in one hand, while the other hand is on the wheel. On the phone’s screen, you see a dot-matrix outline of a child chasing a ball into the street after a ball.
These ads will also make their way online, in print and on radio, and will start making the rounds this month.
It’s great to see BMW taking a stand to this potentially deadly problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,500 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2009 and nearly 87 percent of teens admit to texting while driving.
What are your thoughts on the ads? Let us know in the comments section below. And don’t forget to watch the TV ad after the jump.
Before you get too excited, the Taser app isn’t what you think it is. But what it will do is protect your family while they are driving.
A special app that’s only available for Blackberry and Android platforms (it needs Bluetooth to function properly), the Taser prevents cell-phone related driving distractions, promotes responsible driving behaviors, and offers important information you may need in emergency situations. Basically, it locks down your cell phone while you are behind the wheel, so you get that peace of mind for when your teen borrows the car.
Here’s how it works: the app uses Bluetooth to communicate via a small dongle that connects to the vehicle’s diagnostic port. When it makes a connection, it locks down the phone except for the Taser app which gives the user only basic functionality including voice dialing and 911 access. You also get GPS and cellular functionality (with its own SIM card). If you really want to keep an eye on what your teens are doing, it will keep track of a vehicle’s location and will report unsafe driving behavior and accidents – it’s the perfect snitch.
The Taser kit will cost you $249.95 plus a recurring fee starting at $14.95/month. If the price doesn’t shock you (sorry, couldn’t resist), the Taser may be a worthwhile investment, especially if you want to monitor your young drivers.
[Source: Oh Gizmo]
Sometimes, statistics don’t tell the whole story. That rings especially true when it comes to talking about distracted driving. And even though we all know the dangers associated with distracted driving, it takes the stories of people who have been impacted to really drive the point home.
And that’s the why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched the Faces of Distracted Driving series. Distracted driving can be cited for killing nearly 5,500 people last year and injuring 500,000 more. But to really get behind the numbers, parents and teens can watch the stories of the lives that were cut short and the sadness they left behind.
In one story, you learn about 21-year-old Casey Feldman who was struck and killed by a distracted driver as she crossed the street in Ocean City, New Jersey on July 17, 2009. In another, the family of 17-year-old Alex Brown recounts how on November 10, 2009, she was killed when she crashed her truck on a rural road while texting. There’s also the story of Judy Teater and her 12-year-old son Joe who were hit by a young woman in a Hummer hit them while she was talking on her cell phone and ran a red light.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
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.
It’s a sign of the times – texting while behind the wheel isn’t cool to do anymore. In fact, it’s pretty stupid, now that we know the dangers associated while trying to do the two acts simultaneously. But for all those drivers who still don’t get it, don’t worry – TxtStopper will stop you from being your own worst enemy.
If the laws, scary stats or social stigma won’t do it for you, TxtStopper will. This professionally installed and handy 12 volt device will make sure you never text and drive again, because it will shut down all communications on any U.S. cell phone when it’s in an operating vehicle. Unfortunately though doesn’t differentiate between a driver and a passenger and will switch on whenever the car is in gear and running.
Available for a mere $200, there is no hard evidence of the TxtStopper working as intended just yet, but give it time. Perhaps judges will make it mandatory for repeat offenders who just can’t put their cell phones down. And if you happen to have a built-in GPS navigation system in your cell, it would kind of defeat the purpose of having this feature. Oh well, you can always pull over and ask for directions at the nearest corner gas station.