Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2019

Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2019

Distracted driving up 10% compared to 2018, study says – CNET Roadshow

by Jake Holmes

Yet another study shows drivers can’t stop looking at their phones.

Does it seem like you’re seeing increasing numbers of drivers paying more attention to their phones than the road? The data agrees, with a new study released Tuesday by driving behavior analytics company Zendrive reporting that drivers are 10% more distracted now than in 2018 — in every city, in every state that Zendrive analyzed.

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Texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving: Study – Fox

Zendrive CEO Jonathan Matus says that distracted driving is on the rise in the U.S. and that phone addicts are more dangerous than drunk drivers.

Distracted driving is killing us. These cities are the worst offenders – FastCompany

by Melissa Locker

We’ve all done it: You’re driving along, a text comes in, and even though you know you shouldn’t do it, you take a quick peek. Distracted driving is common and, according to a new report from Zendrive, the distracted driving epidemic is getting worse all the time. Even if you don’t text while driving, smartphones offer plenty of other distractions, like following your GPS directions or choosing the perfect playlist for your drive.

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California’s New Exhaust Noise Law – Fact & Fiction

In February 2019, some California drivers experienced the unpleasant reality of receiving a traffic citation (fined) for having an exhaust system that was “too loud”.  Amidst the controversy and rumor mill on the new law that took effect… the Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has taken action to mitigate some of the public concerns.

By The original uploader was Steevven1 at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1806737

A SEMA news release, stated that  the law concerning exhaust noise louder than 95 decibels was actually enacted in May of 1998…20 years ago.

Beginning January 1, 2019, a motorist cited for violating the current California exhaust noise law can receive an immediate fine. Previously, motorists received what is known as a “fix-it” ticket, which allowed for 30 days to correct the violation. ~ SEMA

What changed recently was the passage of California Assembly Bill 1824. The bill, signed into law last year by then-Gov. Jerry Brown, requires police officers issue an immediate fine for a violation instead of a 30-day notice to correct the issue.  SEMA further clarified  that the base fine for a first-time conviction is much lower than commonly believed: $25 with a total fee of $193.

Christian Robinson, SEMA’s political action committee, said motorists have the right to fight the fine in court if they can prove the exhaust is under the 95-decibel mark.

“You still have due process under the law in California to demonstrate you’re in compliance with the law using an objective test,” Christian Robinson – SEMA

Motorists accused of violating the noise law can get a certificate of compliance from the SEMA-sponsored California Bureau of Automotive Repair that shows the exhaust is not louder than 95 decibels and use it to fight the fine in court. The exhaust test costs $108.

Bottom line…

“The sale and installation of an aftermarket exhaust system remains legal in California so long as it does not exceed a sound level of 95 decibels,” SEMA said in the release.

 

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Smart Airbags…Lifesaving?

Ever get fascinated by crash-test videos but wonder about the different ways airbags deploy in various cars…even when subjected to the exact same crash.  The brain of the airbag holds the answer key.

The Airbag Control Module is a hardened computer in your car with a single purpose: Decide when airbags need to be fired and get that signal to them.

The Airbag Control Module, or ACM, is the airbag’s brain…a hardened computer in each car that keeps communicating with airbags even when the car around them is disintegrating. It gets constant motion data from a series of accelerometers around the vehicle and must decide if and when airbags should be deployed. If the answer is yes, it must be done during the key 20 milliseconds of what is only about a 100 millisecond impact. Talk about threading the eye of a needle.

But why airbags don’t just deploy liberally in every impact comes down to three factors:

  1. Prevent injuries and save lives: This is the main goal, of course, and airbags are said to prevent some 2,800 auto fatalities per year. But doing so requires the ACM software consider the nature of an impact, its direction and rotation, the crumple characteristics of the car its installed in, and the distance between each airbag and occupants. Its a highly sophisticated decision making process that takes place in a fraction of a second. But the answer isn’t merely “deploy airbags” or “don’t deploy”… because two more factors must be considered:
  2. Minimize airbag injuries: They are not completely benevolent devices and often cause their own fractures, bruises, and burns as they do their job. ACM programming is carefully tuned to only use them when the alternative is even worse.
  3. Minimize airbag replacement costs: Airbags cost roughly $1,000 apiece and can only be used once. In some cases, airbag replacement can make up the lion’s share of collision repair costs, so deploying them is not taken lightly otherwise a lot more cars would be totaled by insurers.

Many people are surprised that there isn’t a standard airbag scheme used in every car, but that’s because airbags are as smart as seat belts are dumb.

 

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A #SmallThanks from All Pro Towing & Recovery to YOU!

A #SmallThanks from All Pro Towing & Recovery to YOU!

You made us feel really special for many months. Now we’re returning the favor. #SmallThanks

To support more small businesses you love, add photos and reviews on Google:

You can also write reviews from here:

Reviews – All Pro Towing & Recovery

 

Coming Soon to Google Maps…

…updates so it’s even easier for you to keep up with the places you care about and find out about places coming soon.

Those using Google Maps for Android can now follow places right from the app. Rolling out now, just search for that coffee shop you love or that clothing store you’ve been meaning to pop into and tap the “Follow” button. Once you’ve followed places, news from them—like events, offers and other updates—will appear in the For You tab.

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Acura RDX for 2019 – Reviews, News & Muse

2019 Acura RDX A-Spec is a sharp-dressed luxury crossover (4K) – CNET Roadshow

The 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec is the automaker’s third-generation crossover that is no longer just another face in the crowd.

THE GOOD: The new RDX is one of the more attractive vehicles in the small luxury SUV class, and it boasts one of the quietest, comfiest interiors, too.

THE BAD: The RDX’s dynamic quality isn’t as athletic as its German rivals.

THE BOTTOM LINE: While its European competitors might be a bit more buttoned-down on the road, Acura’s RDX is a compelling, competent package, and arguably the best value in the compact luxury SUV segment.

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2019 Acura RDX Crossover: Return of the Turbocharged Four and Torque Vectoring – CARandDRIVER

Andrew Wendler

2019-Acura-RDX-Placement

-The Honda/Acura empire routinely previews upcoming models with nearly-ready-for-prime-time concept cars, so there is little surprise to see that the street-ready 2019 Acura RDX is a doppelgänger for the RDX prototype that debuted at the 2018 Detroit auto show. Look closely and you’ll see the usual production-ready tells: The mirrors are larger, the front fascia bears a few additional elements and a slightly different mesh design on the lower grille, and the rear bumper panel is a bit more prominent. But it’s essentially the same as the concept car, right down to the spoiler and the descending character-line creases.    READ MORE ››

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2019 Acura RDX First Look – Edmunds

Acura Reinvigorates the RDX for 2019

Acura debuts its all-new 2019 RDX with fresh styling, new technology, a new powertrain and available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).

At the core of the 2019 Acura RDX is a new body and chassis architecture, with more than 50 percent of the body structure composed of high-strength steel. The wheelbase has grown by 2.6 inches, increasing passenger room as well as cargo room behind the rear seats — up 3.4 cubic feet from last year’s model — with more underfloor trunk storage.
2019 Acura RDX

Powering the 2019 RDX is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, not unlike the one found in the Honda Accord. The V6 is no longer offered, but that doesn’t mean a drop in power since the four-cylinder engine makes 272 horsepower (down only 7 horses from the V6) and a stout 280 pound-feet of torque (up 28 lb-ft from the V6’s 252 lb-ft).

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2019 Acura RDX compact crossover goes into production in Ohio – Autoblog

by Sven Gustafson

Acura has kicked off production of the all-new 2019 RDX, capping a $54 million investment in new technologies and processes at its plant in East Liberty, Ohio, where the compact crossover will be built. It goes on sale starting in June, though prices are yet to be announced.

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Students Promote Stop Texts – Stop Wrecks

The Project Yellow Light scholarship competition is a contest that encourages students to create a TV, radio or billboard PSA (Public Service Advertisement) that educates their peers about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving a vehicle.  Winners of this 7th year event were announced on

 

The 2018 contest received more than 1,600 submissions from 49 states and Washington, DC. Winners were selected from two age categories: high school juniors and seniors, and college students.

Project Yellow Light was established in 2007 by Julie Garner, who works at The Martin Agency, and her family in memory of her teenage son, Hunter, who was killed in a car crash.

Grand prize scholarships of $5,000 were awarded to high school student Lia Senser (Louisville, NE) and college student Victoria Williams (Bristol, VA) and producing partner Sarah Ropple for their video submissions. The second-place scholarships of $2,000 were awarded to high school student Noah Anderson (Phoenix, AZ) and college student Katie Wilkerson (Savannah, GA) and producing partner Parker Parillo. The third-place video scholarships of $1,000 were awarded to high school student Andie Rugg (Longmont, CO) and college student Addison Reyes-Toney (Atlanta, GA).

“We’re so proud of this year’s winners and all Project Yellow Light participants. The work they do to encourage their peers not to text and drive is so important – we are incredibly thankful for them raising their voices in this important conversation,” ~ Julie Garner, Project Yellow Light

Check out the unique & interactive Multichannel News Release here:

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U.S. Electric Car Market – 54 Choices Strong

While the U.S. is still the 2nd largest vehicle market (behind China)…Americans probably most known for their thirst for choice. Last year that thirst for choice produced a 25% increase in the number of EV models available to  North American consumers.

Here are the 3 broad categories:

  1. Battery-Powered
  2. Plug-in Hybrid
  3. Fuel Cell Vehicle

The chart below shows the growth and changes in vehicle model mix available in the US and Canada for the past nine years.  U.S. Consumers can now choose from 54 different electric car models, while in 2008, only four were available for purchase.

The number of car models with electric batteries, such as the Tesla Model S, continues to grow. But the biggest increase has been the availability of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which now account for the largest category of electric vehicles in North America.

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Infographic: Electric Vehicle Buyers Have the Agony of Choice | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

 

The Agony of Few Choices

At the end of 2010, a meager 6 electric vehicle models (incl. plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles) were available to consumers in North America.

Here’s the latest from Bloomberg New Energy Finance for 2017 year end: 54 electric vehicle models…

  1. 25 battery electric vehicles
  2. 26 plug-in hybrids
  3. 3 fuel cell vehicles

Tesla, one of the very early movers in the market, is still the best-selling EV brand in the United States. In 2017, the company sold roughly 50,000 electric cars in the U.S., beating traditional carmakers like Chevrolet (43,669), Toyota (20,936), BMW (20,733) and Ford (19,589) by a significant margin.

Still accounting for little more than 1 percent of total passenger car sales, electric vehicles still have a long way to go in terms of mass adoption. However, the growing number of consumer choices combined with the steadily improving charging infrastructure will certain help move electric mobility forward.

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St. Patrick’s Day Safe & Sober Driving

Video: Make Sober Driving Your Lucky Charm This St. Patrick’s Day – Cars.com

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, lasses and lads. For many, it’s a day to don some green garb, eat a Rueben sandwich — and maybe get a weeee bit tipsy drinking green beer.  Beyond turning your teeth weird colors, there are far more serious risks to consider.

St. Patrick’s Day DUI fatalities are nearly double the daily average, with more than 50 in the U.S. Moreover, the holiday falls on a Saturday this year, and instances of drunken driving are already higher on weekends.  Studies have shown that roughly three quarters of fatal St. Patrick’s Day car crashes involve a driver whose blood alcohol content is twice the legal limit of 0.08.

A man of average weight will reach the legal BAC limit after three drinks in an hour; for a woman, it’s two drinks.

Just because you’re under the legal limit doesn’t mean you should assume you’re “OK to drive.” Even one drink can impair a driver’s judgment and reaction times.

Here’s a plan to get through your St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

  • If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving. Designate a sober driver before the revelry kicks off.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive, even for a short distance. Seriously, you have options: Just call a taxi … or an Uber … or a Lyft … or take public transportation; many cities have ride programs available.
  • Look out for others. If you see someone about to drive while impaired, confiscate their keys and help them arrange a safe way home.
  • If you see a driver on the road who appears to be intoxicated, pull over to a safe location and notify police. You could be saving someone’s life.

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St. Patrick’s Day DUI Patrols Planned In Sonoma County – Patch

“Police, sheriff and the CHP will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment,” Santa Rosa police stated in a news release.

The California Highway Patrol, the Santa Rosa Police Department and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office are among law enforcement agencies planning to be on the lookout for drunk and/or drugged drivers this St. Patrick’s Day weekend in the county.

From 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, Santa Rosa police will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment.

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St. Patrick’s Day DUI Patrols Planned by La Mesa and Chula Vista Police – TimesOfSanDiego

The La Mesa and Chula Vista police departments plan DUI saturation patrols throughout the St. Patrick’s Day weekend beginning Friday evening.

Both departments announced extra patrols from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. the next morning on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“St. Patrick’s Day is one of the most popular holidays in the United States…heavily celebrated by most Americans with friendly pinches, bangers n’ mash, and green beer galore,” said La Mesa Police Chief Walt Vasquez. “Sadly, all this merry-making can lead to dangerous driving conditions as party-goers head
home.”

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Consumer Reports Most Reliable Car Brands of 2018 & Decade

Consumer Reports seems almost synonymous with trust.  Still, almost like a football team, everyone seems to have a favorite car brand…and their own idea of what makes a reliable vehicle. For some, a car that starts every morning and just needs basic repairs every year will do. Drivers expect more out of expensive vehicles known for rapid-fire acceleration or high-performance towing. Then there are those who say a vehicle’s not reliable unless it tops 200,000 miles.


For the nonprofit organization Consumer Reports, the most reliable vehicles must pass (or ace) 17 different tests. Even if an automobile runs like a dream, testers will knock it down a few pegs if the electronics system is hard to use or the interior scratches easily. Likewise, a vehicle’s owners report problems they experienced every year, which factors into the equation.

In other words, getting a top reliability rating from Consumer Reports takes some doing. Those that land the top scores a few consecutive years deserve the fans and buyers they get.

Uncanny, but some automobiles seem to manage to post near-perfect scores for many years in a row.  Here is the beginning of the top performing brands since 2010…starting with the 2018 Nissan Leaf.  You’ve gotta click through to see the entire list of 20 most reliable vehicles of the decade.

Nissan Leaf #20 – Among electric cars, Leaf’s 4 perfect reliability scores in 5 years stand above the pack.

elegant driveway view of white 2018 Nissan Leaf

While Tesla has mixed reviews for reliability, Nissan Leaf proved long ago that electric vehicles could stay on the road with the best of them. The first-generation Leaf landed the top Consumer Reports rating for four of its first five years on the market from 2011 to 2016. As the new-for-2018 model makes its way to the market, it also comes with above-average predicted reliability.

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Bollinger B1 Electric Truck to Beat Tesla?

So far, electric vehicles (EVs) have tended toward high-tech, high speed electronic capsules that almost substitute for your office or a day at the spa.  But what about the needs of people outside of urban areas or downright rural areas that have more utilitarian needs…something along the lines of a low-maintenance workhorse that doesn’t need a saddle or a hay and water trough.

Bollinger Motors recently announced “the world’s first fully electric sport utility truck”…the Bollinger B1…a highly practical pickup truck that traverses the roughest terrain…with zero carbon footprint.  A totally USA centric vehicle that’s designed, engineered and, one day soon, built right here in the United States.

Built on a…

… aluminum chassis that weighs just 295 pounds and incorporates the complete powertrain system as well as off-road suspension. It sports a wheelbase of 105 inches, front and rear tracks of 68 inches, an approach angle of 56 degrees, departure angle of 53 degrees, and break over angle of 33 degrees.

Want more specs?

The bad news:

  1. You can’t get one till “early 2018” says Bollinger
  2. Pricing is “to be determined” …and only then will..
  3. $1,000 deposits accepted in early 2018
  4. Once a production site is nailed down, deliveries could commence in 19 months.

The good news:

  1. 0-60 mph time is about 4.5 seconds and
  2. Top speed is 127 mph
  3. The B1 qualifies as a Class 3 commercial truck which considerably reduces regulatory requirements compared to vehicles intended purely for passenger use.
  4. Bollinger hopes to beat Tesla to market with an EV sport utility vehicle

 

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