Monthly Archives: July 2015

What Safety Features Come With Your Car

When buying a car what are the things you look for, mileage, and horsepower? More often than not safety is a main concern car buyer’s look into, but how many features in the car are there really?

Earlier this month the National Safety Council and the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Research Program at the University of Iowa Public Policy Center launched a website, that aims to help educate drivers about new vehicle safety technologies and how to use them correctly.

“The fact is that safety technologies save lives, yet many drivers don’t know what they are or how to use them,” Deborah Hersman, president and chief executive officer of the National Safety Council, a nonprofit advocacy group, said in a statement. “Knowledge is power. puts motorists in the driver’s seat to make our roads safer.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), safety technologies – things like seat belts, air bags and electronic stability control – have saved more than 600,000 lives since 1960.

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Average car on U.S. roads is older than you think

If you’re embarrassed to be driving a car that has a tape deck, this news may make you feel better.

The average vehicle in the U.S. is now a record 11.5 years old, according to consulting firm IHS Automotive, a sign of the increased reliability of today’s vehicles and the lingering impact of the sharp drop in new car sales during the recession.

Drivers behind the wheel of older cars aren’t enjoying some of the latest advanced safety features or infotainment systems that effectively turn cars into cellphones on wheels. Then again, they don’t have to worry about hackers finding their way in to the car’s computer network through the cassette or CD player.

IHS said U.S. registrations grew to a record 257.9 million cars and trucks, up 2 percent from a year earlier.

The average age of vehicles has been climbing steadily since IHS began tracking the number in 2002. As quality and reliability have improved, people have been holding on to their cars and trucks for longer. The average length of ownership for a new vehicle is now almost 6.5 years, IHS said. For a used vehicle, it’s five years.

Cars and trucks now have the same average age, says Mark Seng, IHS Automotive’s global aftermarket practice leader. For many years, cars had shorter lifespans than trucks, but their quality has now caught up.

Experts say there’s no rule for how long to hold on to an old car or truck. A car with good reliability can go for 200,000 miles or more, which can easily last a decade for some motorists, says Doug Love, a spokesman for Consumer Reports.

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Help Your Phone Beat The Heat With Chevy

Each year Chevrolet works on fixing popular concerns of the population and this year is Chevy is no different.
Chevrolet is beating the heat this summer by rolling out a phone-cooling system in select 2016 models.
The new feature, which Chevrolet has dubbed Active Phone Cooling, uses an air vent connected to the vehicle’s air conditioning and ventilation system to cool the wireless phone-charging bin in the center console. It is a standard feature of the optional wireless charging dock.
“Innovation doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel,” Impala engineer Dan Lascu said in a statement. “Sometimes simplicity offers the most elegant solution to a problem.”
Most smartphones avoid overheating by shutting off or pausing charging, which could render Chevrolet’s wireless charging bin useless when cabin temperatures are higher than normal.
Chevrolet engineers developed the phone-cooling system after noticing temperature-related issues during wireless charging testing.
Some smartphones would suspend charging or turn off after a few minutes in high temperatures inside the car’s cabin.
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How Bad Is Gridlock Traffic

Spending hours everyday in traffic becomes a headache; especially once the traffic slows to become gridlock.

After 20 years of driving in Los Angeles, about half of which involved a 100-mile round-trip daily commute, I know far more about traffic patterns, commuting times and the impact these factors have on one’s quality of life than I ever wanted to know. The drudgery of a long commute is an unavoidable reality for far too many people living in large U.S. cities. The primary reasons people put up with a painful commute are either economic or logistic. Simply put, their professional and personal lives are not conveniently close to each other, and they don’t have a realistic option to alter the situation. Maybe more convenient housing is too expensive or doesn’t offer other features they require, such as a high quality school system or close proximity to an elderly relative.

As someone who spent nearly a decade operating a car for 2-3 hours a day for 4-5 days a week (on top of an 8+ hour workday), I understand the driving (ha!) forces behind a long commute. But I’m also someone who recently decided to address the issue, even if it meant short-term pain in the form of uprooting my family and leaving a neighborhood I genuinely loved. Approximately 2 years ago I got a new job that would have doubled my commute, from 100 miles round trip to 100 miles each way. This commute also would have required me to drive right through the heart of the beast — the “beast” in this case being the Los Angeles metro-mess. Instead, I found an affordable house 5 miles from my new place of work and relocated my family. It wasn’t easy, but I knew the alternative (getting up at 4:30, getting on the road by 5:30, and still spending 3-4 hours a day commuting) simply wasn’t realistic.

Since the move my commute ranges from a record 7 minutes (the one time every light I hit was green) to 20 minutes (damn road construction!). My average commute time is consistently between 10 and 12 minutes, which feels like nirvana after years of driving for 75 minutes or more. How has my life changed as a result? The biggest change I’ve noticed is not feeling increasingly depressed on Sunday afternoons and evenings, but an additional benefit I never saw coming relates to my close proximity to Orange County Airport. In my previous life, the process of flying required leaving for LAX at least 3 hours before departure. In my current situation I consistently get from driveway to departure gate (yes, that includes security) in less than 25 minutes. To describe it as magical might sound melodramatic, but that’s my word and I’m sticking to it.

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