To promote the growing importance of safety and road awareness, 27th January – 2nd February marks Car Safety Week in the UK. That’s not to say however, that the rest of the world shouldn’t be taking into consideration the valuable points raised on, and off the road at all times.
Each year as the roads worldwide get busier, the statistics of collisions and fatalities rise. Whether it’s the increasing number of cyclists fighting for space with fellow drivers, or prevented issues like drink driving and poor car maintenance, Car Safety Week works by exploring how you can not only make sure your car is the safest it can be on the road, but also how to minimise the risks of being behind the wheel.
Although it’s classified as one of the obvious points for car and road safety, it still remains one of the most common. How many of us can say we have driven tired before? It doesn’t necessarily mean you need the apparent warning signs of struggling to keep your eyes open – lack of sleep over one night is enough to affect your reaction time whilst driving.
A study conducted at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers who get less than five hours sleep at night where four to five times more likely to get in a car crash. Studies have found that driver alertness is related to the ‘time of day’ more than the ‘time-on-task’ which means drivers are less alert at night, especially after midnight. The body’s natural drowsiness may be enhanced if you have been on the road for an extended period of time.
To remain alert and avoid slow reaction time and impaired judgement it’s recommended you get sufficient amount of sleep before driving (at least six hours but eight hours is recommended). Watch out for medications that cause drowsiness and limit your time on the road between midnight and 6am if possible. If you are feeling sleeping, schedule a break every two hours, get someone else to drive or opt for public transport or a lift.
One of the most important ways of keeping a car safe is through effective car maintenance and auto services. Like the working parts of a human body, the insides of a car need to have regular checks to keep it ‘healthy’ and running both safely, and smoothly.
The engine is the heart of your car so should be looked over by professionals – if it doesn’t work then your car is useless. Regular engine checks will ensure it’s up to speed and in safe working order. Checking brakes should also be part of your basic car maintenance, this is crucial for safety reasons. Low brake fluid levels can cause soft brake pedals resulting in serious car crashes.
All drivers should be aware of how to carry out a simple tyre check. Tyres play an extremely important role in increasing driver safety, and keeping fuel costs down. A regular check of the tyre pressure and tread depth will improve fuel economy and encourage a safer vehicle. By law, tread depth of your tyres should be a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters for all cars and vans.
Child Seat Safety
It’s not just your own actions as a driver and the condition of your car though, it’s even more vital for drivers to take responsibility and consider other passengers in the vehicle too.
If you have children or driving children around in your car it’s up to you, as the driver, to know the car seat laws in your state. Four out of five child car seats are used incorrectly so having a certified technician to check its installation is highly recommended.
If you are a parent, the safety of your children is questioned from the moment an infant car seat is installed through to the day they graduate to no-car-seat. If you are purchasing or using a second-hand seat, make sure it still complies with the manufactures safety standards. Child car seats should not be used in the front seat and should be disposed of if they have been in a crash.
Common ‘killer’ distractions that can be avoided are becoming a leading cause of car crashes. It may seem like an innocent text, a quick phone call to let someone know you’re on your way, or a few beers with mates that can lead into your life – and someone else’s – changed forever.
These killer distractions are fast tracking to be the new ‘drink driving’. Whist the safe drivers may be mindful of the obvious – being on your mobile phone and drink driving – many of us forget that it’s small distraction habits we are all guilty of doing at least once, that are dragging our attention from the roads.
Your quick stop through drive through for a burger and a coke is labelled as a hazardous driving habit. Second to kids, pets have also clawed their way into the 10 most dangerous distracted driving habits whether it be transporting them to the vet or moving house. Innocently daydreaming when you’re on your autopilot routine drive is the second highest killer distraction, so how do we beat these common movements? It’s simply about being aware of them, how they’re distracting you and eliminating as many as we can.
Whilst we can’t control what other people do on the road, from the innocent child that runs out to grab their ball, to the reckless driver or simple the inexperienced, we can take matters into our own hands to avoid as many accidents as possible.
The basics, sticking to the speed limit and wearing a seatbelt are all there in place to avoid those nasty situations. It’s no grand news that you’re twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear your seatbelt, yet so many people ‘forget’ or don’t make it a priority. By law, you must wear a seatbelt in cars and goods vehicles where one is fitted. There are very few exceptions to this.
Photography for RM Auctions.
$4.5 Million USD. That’s how much this burgundy 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe by Walker LaGrande went for at the Amelia Island car auctions. The body was designed by J. Herbert Newport, and was revolutionary for its time with a semi-automatic convertible top, 17-inch wheels, and centrifugal supercharged, 320 horsepower engine that can reach 140 MPH.
See more beautiful cars on the RM Auctions website.
Two of my favorite companies have come together in a new feature that has me seeing music notes. Volvo’s new Sensus Connected Touch is available in May of this year, and it now features Spotify, the music playlist behemoth,
“Volvo’s integration with Spotify is both voice-activated and touch enabled. The new system allows drivers to be able to stream music with a 3G/4G dongle or via the driver’s mobile phone connection through their dashboard. Drivers will be able to play any Spotify track they want just by just saying its name, allowing car owners the ability to remain connected when driving. Sensus Connected Touch turns the 7-inch display into a state-of-the-art infrared, beam-scanned touch screen you can use even when wearing gloves – a world first in cars.
The new technology responds to demand from drivers for consumption of music on the road, combined with Volvo’s core safety value. It is easier and safer to use whilst driving, as drivers can access and operate the music system via the steering wheel and centre stack controls, without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. As well as Spotify, the technology also includes access to thousands of radio stations from all over the world.
The system is based on Android technology, which allows it to be regularly upgraded. Other apps accessible via Sensus Connected Touch include Google maps, TuneIn, iGO navigation and an app store for new functions and updates. Internet data can also be transferred via Wi-Fi between the mobile phone and Sensus Connected Touch and the Wi-Fi network can be shared with everyone in the car when using a dongle.” Volvo, 6 March 2013.
50. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
49. Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
48. California – Phantom Planet
47. Take It Easy – Eagles
46. Cruisin’ – Smokey Robinson
45. Hotel California – Eagles
44. Around the World – Daft Punk
43. Running On Empty – Jackson Browne
42. The Waiting – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
41. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
For more hits, here’s a few playlists we found on Spotify:
Photos via Auto Blog.
Meet the 2013 Volkswagon Cross Up, the European version of an off-roader, complete with rugged interiors and paneling, with a 75-horsepower 3-cylinder engine. The car goes on sale late this summer in Europe, but is unlikely to be adapted for US sales. For a complete gallery and more information, visit the Auto Blog website.
Our friends over at Cars.com posted this list of reasons you should stop your car, and we have to agree.
- Medical Emergency
- Lack of Visibility
- Any Loud or Sudden Noise
- Temperature or Oil Light Comes On
- Sudden Change in Handling
- Steam Coming From Engine
- Blue Lights
You’ll find the complete article, with a lot of valuable information, by clicking here.
What are your rules for stopping the car?
Critics may be universally panning the latest Die Hard flick, but that doesn’t mean the action isn’t worth a watch. That’s because over 130 cars were destroyed during production, in what some writers are calling the “John McLane treatment.” Take that Bond! Watch some of the action below in the film’s official movie trailer.
Photography via The Telegraph.
Bonjour! Have a cool £1.3 million in your pocket? Then head on over to Paris to bid on these classic beauties. Just part of the 16 car Charles H Brown collection going for sale at Bonhams.
Ah, the Super Bowl. The food, the game, the half-time show, but most importantly the commercials. Remember last year’s Darth Vader? Here’s a few of our favorites from Hyundai, Toyota, Audi, and Cars.com.
Hyundai inspires a boy to build his dream team.
Audi makes a teen’s prom night awesome.
Hyundai Turbo allows you to bypass the ugly.
Toyota’s Genie isn’t very understanding.
Cars.com removes the drama from the car purchase process.
You can watch all of the ads on the Huffington Post website.
Dream of miles of hairpin turns set in the valley of a mountain range? Then you need to plan a visit to Romania, ASAP. The road is known as the Transfăgărăşan, set among the Transylvanian Alps. To see a video of the drive done by the BBC Top Gear hosts, head on over to the Huckberry website.
Forbes has published its annual list of Best Cars for Commuters. I’m happy to see one of our cars, the Volkswagon Golf, is on the list. As well as a few cars owned by family members. Here’s five of our favorites.
Volkswagon Golf, starts at $18,095
Toyota Prius, starts at $24,200
Nissan Leaf, starts at $27,700
Lexus IS 250C, starts at $46,890
Audi A6 sedan, starts at $42,500
To see the full list, check out the article on Forbes: Best Cars for Commuters.