Monday, February 27, 2012

Your Car's Color Can Keep You Safer

The color of your car might not seem like a safety feature, but a light color can reduce your chances of being in a crash, and a dark color can increase your risk. A study conducted in Sweden found that across all car body types, the lowest accident rates belonged to pink cars, and black cars had the highest accident rates.

If you just can't see yourself driving a pink car, consider silver. New Zealand researchers found that in crashes and collisions the rate of injury for drivers and passengers of silver cars was significantly lower than for any other color. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, also found that occupants of black, brown, and green cars suffered the highest rates of injury.

A follow-on study out of the Monash University Accident Research Centre in Australia looked at more than 800,000 serious motor vehicle accidents in which the vehicle had to be towed (i.e., it was so badly damaged that it could not be driven), and evaluated risk and damage from the perspective of visibility and available light. Using white cars as their comparison standard, researchers looked at accident rates for cars by color. They examined rates for cars in the colors red, yellow, green, blue, grey, brown, black, maroon, orange, pink, and purple, and compared the accident rates for cars of each color to that of white cars.

Not surprisingly, they found that in daylight, colors that ranked lower on the visibility index were at greater risk for accident involvement. Black and gray cars were at a particularly significant disadvantage compared to white cars. Black cars had a 12 percent greater risk, and grey cars an 11 percent greater risk than white cars did of being involved in an accident. Silver color did not offer much protection from accident involvement; silver cars were 10 percent more likely than white to get into accidents.

At dusk and dawn, when visibility is poorest, the risk for black cars shot up to a 47 percent greater chance than a white car for an accident. Silver cars' risk increased modestly, to 15 percent. In full darkness, the risk difference between colors and white was much less, with red cars being 10 percent more likely to have an accident, and silver 8 percent riskier.

Many factors besides color are involved in accident risk, such as vehicle speed, driver intoxication, driver fatigue and distraction, weather, road conditions and vehicle malfunction. Good drivers understand that they can't control all the factors, particularly those involving the other car and the other driver. They focus on the ones that are in their control. The color of your vehicle is one of those factors that is within your control, and it's worth thinking about choosing your vehicle's color to improve the odds of you and your passengers coming home whole.

Article Source:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Safe Driving Tip #3: Seating Position

A professional driver gives an important tip about seating position from Ford Motor Company's Driving Skills for Life. It is designed to help young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of teen vehicle crashes, hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Smarter, Safer Cars With Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, commonly called V2V or V2X, are designed to prevent crashes in a number of scenarios. Read our full report for more information:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Safe Driving Tip #2: Slow Down!

A professional driver gives some important tips on times when you should slow down, as part of Ford Motor Company's Driving Skills for Life. The program is designed to help young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of teen vehicle crashes, hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Safe Driving Tip #1: Look Ahead!

A professional driver gives an important tip from Ford Motor Company's Driving Skills for Life. It is designed to help young drivers improve their skills in four key areas that are critical factors in more than 60% of teen vehicle crashes, hazard recognition, vehicle handling, space management and speed management.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Four Common Automotive Collision Repair Insurance Questions

After an auto accident, it is important that you have your vehicle damage professionally repaired by a reputable collision repair shop. However, dealing with the insurance adjusters and finding the answers to your many questions can be overwhelming. This is why we have taken the time to answer some of the most common insurance questions that our clients ask during the collision repair process.
Does the insurance company choose where you should have your vehicle repaired? It is entirely your choice as to where you have your vehicle repaired after an accident. Your insurance company may try to steer you toward a preferred shop in their network, but the choice is up to you. In fact, state law prohibits these "steering" tactics. Don't feel pressure to work with a collision repair shop simply because your adjuster prefers them. Your vehicle is a big investment and you want to be sure that an experienced and reputable automotive collision repair shop expertly repairs any damage.
Once an insurance company makes an estimate, will I need to pay for any additional damage that is discovered during the repair process? An appraiser is only able to make an estimate for the damage that is visible. Once the vehicle is taken apart for repair, the technician will look for evidence of any further damage. He will inform the insurance company of any additional repairs that must be made. It is not unusual for there to be at least one supplement to the original estimate.
Should I choose the repair shop with the lowest price because insurance is paying? That old phrase, "You get what you pay for" is often the case when it comes to automotive collision repair. Just because a shop offers the lowest price, it does not necessarily mean that it is the best place to have your car repaired. The vehicles of today are quite complex so you want to be sure that you are working with repair technicians that can restore your vehicle to its pre-accident condition. This includes repairing the outside appearance as well as the safety equipment and special equipment found on modern vehicles. Your car is a big investment so you want to be sure that you receive the best quality automotive repairs available.
Will my car ever be the same? If you use a reputable collision repair shop, your vehicle should be returned to its pre-accident state. This includes returning the function, safety, performance and appearance of the vehicle to like-new condition. Be sure that your technicians use new, high-quality replacement parts. You should choose a shop that offers comprehensive warranties on all repairs. This is one way to guarantee that the customer is completely satisfied with their repaired vehicle.
Repairing your vehicle after a collision should not be a traumatic experience. Find an auto body shop in your area that is experienced in working with insurance companies. They can guide you through the process so you feel comfortable and secure every step of the way.
Article Source:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How Manual Transmissions Work

There's something about driving a stick-shift car that's both empowering and invigorating. Find out all about manual transmissions.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The History of Automotive Repairs - Why We Need Trained Technicians in the Collision Repair Industry

Vehicle History Overview

* They don't make them like they used to.

The First Cars

* The first motor cars were nothing more than a buggy and engine (Generally repaired by blacksmiths and carpenters. These cars were very expensive, which only the wealthy could afford)
* Model T was the first car mass production on an assembly line in 1908 (Ford's Vision was to produce an affordable car the average person could purchase)
* Model T's came in black only to keep the costs down. (The price came down once the assembly line was streamlined, but in 1908, the cost for a Model T started at $825. By 1913 the cost of the car reduced to $550)

Cars in the 1960s

Cars were made the same basic way up through the 60s

* Body Over Frame
* Rear Wheel Drive (Same concept, but the cars were very big, bulky, and heavy)

Except people in the 60s wanted SPEED! They achieved this with Big Block Motors, which created a lot of Horsepower. (The Birth of Hotrods, Rat Fink, Flames, and Pin Striping).

Cars in the 1970s

* The government place strict fuel economy and emissions control laws
* Customers demanded cars with increased fuel economy
* New laws and customer demands started the automotive explosion of engineering ideas and changes in the automotive industry

Changes to comply with Demands and Laws

* Smaller bodied cars and smaller engines
* Aerodynamics (Increase Fuel Mileage)
* Lighter cars by using different materials and designs
* More work-hardened areas created during formation of panel (Body Lines)
* Safety

Construction of Interstate Highways + Higher Speed Limits + More High Performance Cars = Accidents and More

Deaths from Auto Accidents

Federal Laws were passed to regulate safety. These laws included:

* Installation of seatbelts
* Safety glass windshields
* Head restraints
* In 1979, the first driver side airbag was introduced
* Airbags are mandatory in motor cars produced after 1990
* Unibody Torque Boxes: Allow controlled twisting and crushing
* Crush Zones: Made to collapse during collision (To act as an absorber, absorbing the impact)

Modern Day Cars

* Carbon Fiber Parts
* Aluminum Parts
* More Plastic Parts
* High Strength Steel
* Boron Steel
* Unibody Construction
* Space Frame Construction
* Computer
* Hybrid Cars

Now they even have cars that will tell you when you're lost, where to turn, Parallel Park for you.


While the modern day cars appear to be made cheap and unsafe, they are actually designed to crush or collapse, while transferring the energy around the stronger passenger compartment to protect the passengers from injury.

There is considerably more damage to modern day cars during a collision than the older vehicles, which gives the perception that "they don't make them like they used to". However, in reality the cars are taking the impact instead of the passengers.

The lesson was designed to give you a little history, but to also emphasize that just a hammer, dolly and a few wrenches are not going to repair today's cars. We need highly trained collision repair and automotive technicians to repair today's vehicles.

Article Source:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Road Train Approaching

The SARTRE project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) has successfully completed the first test demonstrations of a multiple vehicle platoon.

The test fleet included a lead truck followed by three cars driven entirely autonomously at speeds of up to 90 km/h -- with no more than 6 metres gap between the vehicles.

The SARTRE project is being driven by seven European partners and is the only one of its kind to focus on the development of technology that can be implemented on conventional highways in which platooned traffic operates in a mixed environment with other road users.