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Truly safe?

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    They'll probably take it around to the elementary schools as a recruiting tool.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010

    Cozying up with the regulators?

    "Master lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who did time for stretching the influence peddling rules to the breaking point, distilled the practice to its essentials in his 2011 post-prison memoir, "Capitol Punishment." Once he dangled a lobbying job in front of a congressional staffer, he wrote, "I would own him and, consequently, that entire office. No ruled had been broken … but suddenly, every move that staffer made, he made with his future at my firm in mind."

    The revolving doors may be well-distributed around Washington, but NHTSA has long been viewed as a particular problem child. In 2001, at the request of Sens. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), the Department of Transportation's inspector general compiled a list of NHTSA officials who had moved directly between the agency and the auto industry over the previous 27 years.

    The list ran to 63 names. Those jumping directly to the industry included four administrators (the top job), two chief counsels and dozens of department heads, engineers and attorneys."

    Automakers stay cozy in U.S. capital (latimes.com)

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509

    Good point there, oldsters are healthier than ever, so maybe that will help their driving.
    We can hope so, as there will be proportionally more oldsters on the road in the near future than ever. It could be a disaster, but might also hasten the move to at least partially autonomous cars.

    @euphonium said: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/02/25/321433.htm#.UwzzJWablxo.email

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416

    I took the AARP safety course and as a consequence I've cut my freeway speed down to 80! (I'm so proud).

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010

    "A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel.

    ...variability in both steering wheel movements and lane position were the two best indicators of fatigue."

    Steering wheel system could detect driver fatigue on the cheap (gizmag.com)

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  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,320

    Those students should install their devices on their father's farm tractor so he can plow straight and get more wheat per acre.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    edited April 26

    Those GPS gizmos (pardon me, precision farming systems) have been on tractors since 2000 or so. Some of the fancier systems download sat images of the fields and do the calculation for the fertilizer application and then plug the info into the tractor's guidance system. That enables the tractor to auto steer and spray the right amount where it's needed. So nap away. B)

    I bet the autonomous car developers have been plowing through all the ag studies on this.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    edited April 28

    "The furor over General Motors Co.’s deadly ignition switch has the potential to doom the antiquated car key, a technology drivers have been using -- and complaining about -- for 65 years.

    Push-button start, which showed up in Mercedes models in the late 1990s, is now an option in 72 percent of 2014 cars and trucks in the U.S., according to Edmunds.com. In a survey conducted by auto researcher AutoPacific, consumers ranked the technology the fifth most coveted upgrade for $100 or less "

    Deadly GM Switch Spells Demise of Antiquated Ignition Key (Bloomberg)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    edited April 29

    you mean the "antiquated ignition key that didn't cost $400 to replace".

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,509

    I love keyless go in my car, very convenient. MB hasn't used a physical key in US market cars for a long time, since maybe 1996 or so, when they switched to an electronic fob that is inserted like a key.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010

    After we drove the Prius V last week, we were sitting in the car checking stuff out. I had the driver's door open and was chatting with the sales guy standing a few feet away. I put my foot on a pedal (the brake iirc) and the car started. The keys were still in the console, but the behavior wasn't expected, since I had pushed the button to turn the car off off. Must have been the Stop-Start system?

    Just think, I could have plowed right into the showroom and made the SUA news; getting to be the right age, right? B)

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849

    I read an article the other day, on what to do if you're in your car and get caught in a tornado. Almost since the dawn of time, they always told you that if you can't get out of its path, to get out of the car, get as far away from it as possible, and go lie face-down in a ditch or even low spot on the ground. Inside a car was about the very worst place you could get caught in a tornado.

    However, nowadays, the info is different. This article said to stay inside the car if you can't find good cover, duck down as low as possible, and keep the engine running so the airbags will activate as needed.

    So, while not 100% safe, I guess that's an indication that cars are getting safer.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010

    Huh, I was just thinking about that (lots of relatives live down in tornado country). I was assuming heading for the ditch was still the preference, even though I always wondered about all that flying debris.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849

    I would imagine a good, deep ditch is still best. But, they used to say get out of the car at all costs, where now they at least offer it as an option.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010
    edited April 29

    Guess I'll just try to find a nice ditch to drive the car into. Scary things (although I managed to nap through one that killed 4 people a few miles away when I was a teen). My niece's house got hit a couple of years ago in Chattanooga (mostly shingle damage) and my nephew came out unscathed up in Nashville about 6 or 8 years ago but half his block was flattened. At least you usually get some warning, unlike earthquakes.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849

    I actually skirted around a funnel cloud back in 1999, while delivering pizzas. Came over a hill during a serious downpour, and suddenly the rain cleared up, and I could see this cloud groping down in front of me. But I figured what the hey, kept going, and when I got to my destination, I was on the other side of it! Damn thing was closer than I had thought! The people I was making the delivery to were out on their back deck, videotaping it. Fortunately this one didn't touch down, and the tornadoes out here in Maryland are usually pretty mild, and not that common. Or, so we thought, until late 2002 when one hit at the University of Maryland, and killed a couple people. I think they were in their cars. You can still see some big trees that are down, in the forests, from that storm. Then there was the F5 that roared through LaPlata in early 2013. Less than 20 miles from my Mom and Stepdad's house. And heck, probably only a mile, or less, from where I attended 4th grade!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416

    You haven't lived until you're driving during an earthquake, feeling your car bounce up and down on its suspension while you watch the lamp posts around you dance in the streets to the tune of "Eve of Destruction". :'(

    @Stever@Edmunds said: Guess I'll just try to find a nice ditch to drive the car into. Scary things (although I managed to nap through one that killed 4 people a few miles away when I was a teen). My niece's house got hit a couple of years ago in Chattanooga (mostly shingle damage) and my nephew came out unscathed up in Nashville about 6 or 8 years ago but half his block was flattened. At least you usually get some warning, unlike earthquakes.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,010

    Had my share of those too, but never while driving. The nice thing about the UP is that there's really not much in the way of natural disasters up here.

    Of course, it is snowing outside my window as I type this. :p

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849

    I can still vividly remember here in the DC area, the Great Earthquake of 2011...

    All kidding aside, it was pretty intense where the epicenter was, Culpeper Va, I think. And the Washington Monument is STILL closed as a result of it. I remember sitting in my office when it happened. At first there was a rumble and vibration that I didn't pay much attention to...just thought it was some workers on the roof doing something. But then it stopped, and a few minutes later, hit harder, enough to make me look up and see that the whole ceiling was shaking, and out of phase with my cubicle walls. I didn't know what the heck it was...my first thought was that a small plane hit the building or something blew up, and I jumped up and ran out.

    When I got home, I inspected for damage, and it looked like the house had shifted just a bit. The exterior is old cedar shingles that date back at least to the 1930's, and the spacing on some of them suddenly seemed uneven. And I noticed gaps in the paneling, uneven doorjambs, etc, that I hadn't noticed before. But, they could have been there all along...the house has been settling probably from the day it was first built in 1916, and it was added onto over the years in a haphazard way, and often on the cheap. So a lot of that stuff could have already been there, but the earthquake just made me notice it more.

    The scary thing though, is that we had a hurricane come through the following week, and I was thinking crap...first the earthquake is going to weaken the house and now Irene is gonna take it down! But Irene, thankfully, was a dud. Although it did knock the power out at work, so I got a week's vacation out of it!

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