safety

safety

Posted on by Alexander + 6

According to the FBI, we’re coming up to a couple of the hottest months of the year, and we’re not talking about the weather. Turns out, July and August are the top two months for vehicle theft, and LoJack and the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI) are doing their part by holding their 6th annual National Vehicle Theft Protection Month. For this year, they have come up with an infographic that provides a few details and stats about car theft, as well as some helpful hints to ensure you are not a victim.

First, the facts. In 2010, there were 737,000 vehicle thefts and only 56% of those vehicles were ever recovered. The average loss per vehicle was $6,152. Not exactly a small number by anyone’s standards. What’s worse is that, if you own a Honda Accord , Honda Civic , and Toyota Camry , you are more likely to be a victim because these were the top three vehicles stolen in 2010. The Ford Mustang made up a total of 9,116 instances of car theft in 2010, so we can only imagine how many of the top three vehicles were stolen during that time.

Where you live is also a factor. Nine out of 10 areas in numbers of stolen cars are in California and Washington State, with seven of the areas belonging to The Golden State.

Being the trusting - or rushed - souls that we are, 68% of people have left their car running when they aren’t in it or have left their car unlocked, while 64% of people have their home address programmed into their GPS system and 32% have left an electronic device or personal documents in plain view.

So what can we do to protect ourselves and our vehicles from theft? The number one protection aid is to use COMMON SENSE. Hey, they said it, we only repeated it. The second and third are to use theft protection products and a tracking and recovery system.

Check out the rest of the infographic after the jump to get more helpful information and remember to check back with us for the next installment in our Car Infographics series.

Will.I.Am's IAMAUTO Car

For a while now, Black Eyed Peas member, Will.I.Am, has been prancing a DeLorean DMC-12 wrapped in a body kit and some rather odd looking headlights around calling it a (ahem) “Concept car ” for his new “car company” dubbed “IAMAUTO.” In reality, this is literally nothing but an uglier version of the original crap box that hit the market in 1981.

Saying that any rendition of the DMC-12 could be uglier than the original may seem rather impossible, but this monstrosity takes the cake. Its sheer ugliness is not the news though. The news is that the LAPD has recently impounded this “concept” car. Though we wish we could say it was impounded for lowering property value, we cannot, but it is for an equally boneheaded reason.

Will.I.Am was caught driving this thing around L.A. without a license plate, registration, or VIN plates. We venture to say that list can also include insurance, as you typically cannot insure a car without a VIN.

So why did Mr. I.Am decide to take his “concept” on an un-plated and extremely illegal spin? According to reports, the musician said he just wanted to feel what it was like to drive his concept car on the street. Um, a few problems… First, that is no more a concept car than a 1987 Fiero with a Ferrari kit is a concept car. Secondly, you are a multi-millionaire pop star, pay to have the thing registered before driving it or take it to a track to drive it!

We’re not here to pass judgment on the guy, but please use that 3-pound hunk of water, lipids, protein, carbs, soluble organics, and inorganic salts inside of your skull (A.K.A. your brain) next time you think about taking an un-plated and unregistered car for a spin.

A silver lining in the whole situation is that Will.I.Am was, according to reports, extremely cooperative with the police. So we have to give him credit for that, at least.

We absolutely love daredevil antics in cars and on motorcycles, given they are done safely and by professionals. The folks at Top Gear Live are just about to satisfy our craving by pulling off the first 720 on four wheels, which Top Gear has dubbed the “Deadly 720.” The term “720” refers to a pair of 360-degree loops in succession, so absolute perfection is required to succeed in tackling each loop.

To give you an idea of just how much precision is needed, the engineers heading up the stunt have estimated that the customized buggy that Top Gear Live is using for this stunt must enter each loop between 24 and 26 mph, 2 mph more could result in excessive G-force and result in the driver blacking out and 2 mph too low would cause the buggy to fall from the loop. To help avoid driver error, Top Gear has fitted the special stunt buggy with an accelerator lock that will hold the accelerator in a precise position to maintain the prescribed speed, so the driver can focus only on keeping the buggy on the 58-meter-long track.

Despite the accelerator lock, we all know that any given car can run drastically different from one day to the next, so even with the lock, there is still a great possibility that the car will have too much or too little speed and we will see a spectacular crash. We are pretty certain that there will be tons of test runs on the actual day to make sure the car is perfect, so a crash is very unlikely.

Crash or not, we are all set to see history take place at the Top Gear Festival in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa on June 16th – 17th, 2012. Ah, the things people will do to get in a record book.

UPDATE 06/19/2012: The group at Top Gear finally attempted the “Deadly 720” this weekend, and just as expected… It all went exactly to plan. This places the Top Gear Live clan in the Guinness Book of World Record for the most loops by an automobile. Congrats to our Top Gear daredevils. We have also attached a video of the stunt (above). Hit the one minute mark to skip the introductions.

Click past the jump to read Top Gear’s full press release.

If you live in the south especially, you are rather familiar with the various low-speed spectacles that occur on racetracks that typically involve a $500 Dodge Omni without windows and a glass-pack muffler. You know, the amateur circle track circuits, of course. Having owned and operated various mechanic shops in the southern United States, I have become accustomed to these races and the mechanics that show up on Saturday mornings with their “race cars” en tow for that afternoon’s race.

I personally have never frequented these races, but I can only imagine the hilarity that takes place when you get a bunch of race-fuel adrenaline junkies on a track that is too small and they are battling for position at speeds in excess of a sound-barrier-breaking 45 mph. Well, sometimes a little fun breaks out at these fine automobile competitions, as some get a little bit too excited and go way overboard.

The scene in the above video is a prime example of what happens when a non-professional racer gets a little too angry and goes on an exhaust fume-fueled rage. The driver of the red car, which looks to be a circa-1987 Nissan Pulsar, apparently has some sort of beef with the driver of the black car with green numbers and decides to turn his sub-compact “racecar” into a missile.

The driver veers through the infield and rather impressively aligns his car up with his moving target – clearly using advanced physics to make such a precise maneuver – and slams into the side of the enemy racer. The driver of the black car does what any self-respecting racer does; he proceeds to exit his cockpit and confront the red car’s driver. Well, that didn’t turn out well either, as the red car’s driver wasn’t done yet and proceeded to beat the hell out of the black car’s driver.

We never condone violence, but in the famed words of Larry the Cable Guy "I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right der…" We are willing to bet that the red car’s driver is suspended from the track for just about as long as he lives.

The 2012 FIA World Touring Car Championship season has received a surge in popularity in the past few years. Capitalizing on this new-found attention, the WTCC has enlisted the services of an American icon to serve as its official safety car: the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro.

Although the WTCC Camaro Safety Car will carry a serial engine, it still carries enough juice - 432 horsepower’s worth of it - to outpace all the touring cars in the series by as much as 40%.

The WTCC Camaro Safety Car will be piloted by Portuguese driver Bruno Correia, a veteran racer that has been involved in over 350 races. Needless to say, Correia is more than qualified to be behind the wheel of the car that is instrumental in restoring order in the often chaotic and action-packed races of the WTCC.

The WTCC even has a video explaining the need for a car of the Camaro’s stature to serve as its official safety car. You can check that out by clicking on the photo above.

The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.

In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley , and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.

As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!

Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.

We have pretty much all made the joke “Whoa, that [insert inanimate object] just jumped right out in front of me,” but on rare occasion it can actually be true. In the above video, you can see a car driving down a foreign highway with its strategically placed dashboard camera filming what appears to be just another day on the highway.

About 300 feet ahead of the car with the camera is a minivan cruising in the same direction. On the horizon, you can see a large semi-truck hauling something large and square, which ends up being a house. As of that time, this is a strange sight, but hauling houses on a truck is actually a fairly common occurrence.

What is not a common occurrence is when this house suddenly tips over and falls onto the highway, directly in the path of the minivan. You can imagine what happens from there… The minivan plows through the side of this shoddily built structure and goes straight through it, ending up on the shoulder of the highway.

We are pretty amazed at the perfect timing of the entire situation, but we are even more amazed with the ease that the van managed to rip through the house and come out on the other side. Makes you wonder what they built that house out of, papier-mâché maybe.

Anyways, at least in this case, the driver can say to his insurance company “The house just jumped right out in front of me” and actually say it with a straight face. Enjoy the video!

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

Some of you may already know this, but back in early 2007, the U.S. state of Texas banned all speed cameras and then the following year recorded the lowest ever vehicle causality rate since counting began 75 years ago. Reports are claiming that the biggest state in America is set to take another huge step to help slow the road toll even more.

Some controversial research has previously shown that driving consistently at higher speeds on highways is actually safer than slower speeds as it forces drivers to be more alert. Taking into consideration the fact that the Autobahn is extremely safe with many regions not having speed limits, it wouldn’t be out of the question to raise speed limits in Texas.

That’s exactly what the Texas Department of Transportation is planning to do. The highest speed you’re allowed to legally travel in Texas is currently 80 miles per hour on select roads, but the TDOT plans to increase that to 85 mph on State Highway 130 which travels from San Antonio all the way to Austin.

Understandably, many people are outraged by this proposal and before anything goes ahead, the TDOT will have to conduct extensive speed tests to make sure the road is actually safe to be driven on at 85 mph. However, speed management director for the TDOT, Darren McDaniel is confident the road is up for the job claiming it “was designed under extremely high design parameters.”

If the changes do go through and the results are positive, then expect other U.S. states to go down a similar route.

Source: Radio Woai

There comes a time in every person’s life where sacrifices must be made and the biggest moment of sacrifice is when you have a child. I know that my son comes first in everything. There is not a single thing in this world that I would put before his health, safety, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way.

Enter in a woman (we know her name, but we’ll spare her some privacy) from the Denver, Colorado area, and you have a woman that made the “mistake” (her words, not ours) of putting $7.00 worth of gasoline in a child safety seat, as the young child sits in the seat next to the car seat with a lap belt around him.

After picking up what appears to be a 2-gallon gas can of fuel, she apparently couldn’t find any other better place to sit it other than her child’s car seat. So she removed her son and placed him on the adult seat and securely strapped in the can of gas in the child seat.

Fortunately, she was stopped by the Aurora Police Department during a random seatbelt checking campaign and she received a slew of tickets. One of the officers snapped a picture of the terrible site and posted it on the Colorado DOT’s Facebook page, which now has 704 comments, most of which comment on the horrendous lack of safety, and 2,031 shares.

To make matters worse, on this undisclosed woman’s Facebook page she posted on May 30th “So I jus [sic] got pulled over! No license again....but I didn’t go to jail! Thank God! This time I learned! !!!” This leads us to believe that not only was she driving with her son in the worst possible position – in a regular seat with a can of gas within reach – but she was doing so without a valid license, which she has done before.

It’s not our job to judge, so we will just say that no matter what, the safety of you children always comes before a can of gas…

Subaru BRZ

Oh boy… It seems like the FR-S and BRZ just hit dealerships – oh wait they did – and already they are showing up on the recall list. So, does this spell disaster for the Sciobaru twins, or is this just a rocky start to something special, a la the Ford Escort? Well, actually the recall has absolutely nothing to deal with the overall build of the vehicle, but rather a strange safety requirement by the NHTSA.

This recall is still hot off of the press, as it just hit the NHTSA’s site on June 8 at 2:49 a.m. – ah, someone couldn’t sleep – but there is still enough info to pass along. It looks like there was just a small bit of information left out of the owner’s manual regarding how the airbag system works. You know, one of the many sections of the owner’s manual that the average owner just bypasses.

From the reports we are reading, the missing information is almost unnoticeable. As described by Subaru officials, the missing information in question is that the manual not making a distinguished difference between a child and a small female when it is describing the way the BRZ and FR-S weigh its passengers for airbag deployment.

Per the NHTSA, this recall only affects a small number of the first FR-S and BRZ models to leave the production line. It is estimated that roughly 1,156 Scion FR-S models are in need of replacement owner’s manuals, but the number of BRZs needing replacement manuals is undisclosed yet, though some outlets are reporting 1,600 BRZs.

Fortunately, this recall is just something small and not a safety issue, which could be catastrophic for a new car in the market.


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