Given their size, commercial vehicles must meet rigorous standards in order to ensure safety along the highway. Even a minor mistake could have serious repercussions, and it’s thus vital that benchmarks be met so that the threat of a collision can be reduced and the damage that occurs during a crash can be mitigated.
In order to ensure that commercial tractor trailers meet such standards, police entities across the country are taking part in Roadcheck 2013 this week. At 2,500 different areas around the nation, state police officers have been deployed to inspection sites to give a once-over to commercial vehicles rolling through the area.
Such compliance checks are intended to make sure that commercial vehicles meet certain laws that are essential to safety. Many times, a truck is unable to proceed further down the line unless an issue is dealt with. More than a million trucks have been inspected by officials in the 26 years that Roadcheck has taken place.
The most typical reason for a truck to fail the test has to do with some type of issue with the trucks’ brakes. But mechanical problems aren’t all that inspectors are on the lookout for. The driver’s background will also be verified. Inspectors want to make sure that the truck operators have the appropriate license and that they’re qualified to handle the excessive load. If a problem is discovered, they might not be able to ride on.
Chrysler has announced the recall of 180,131 Jeep Wrangler automobiles of the 2012 and 2013 model years. At issue is the fact that the vehicles’ transmission oil cooler line may develop a hole as a result of continued wear by the power steering line. This can cause the vehicles to emanate transmission fluid, which can impede the capabilities of the transmission as a whole. Thus, the threat of a crash becomes more apparent. Free replacement of the power steering return tube assembly will be offered by dealers once the recall begins this July. At that point, owners should be on the lookout for a notification from Chrysler.
For more about the recall, follow this link.
Jeep Patriot and Compass automobiles of the 2010 through 2012 model years have been recalled by Chrysler because of a safety issue that might crop up during certain crashes. On an astounding 254,396 vehicles, the side airbags or the seatbelt pretensioners might not deploy properly because of a software malfunction. This condition would most likely take place during a rollover crash, and because of this, the persons inside the automobiles could find themselves facing a greater threat of injury. Although the recall won’t start until July, owners will be able to bring their vehicles in to obtain a software correction at no cost. Notification will be provided by Chrysler.
For more about the recall, click here.
A whopping 390,783 Lincoln MKT, MKZ, and MKS vehicles, Police Interceptor Utility and Sedan vehicles, and Flex, Fusion, Taurus, and Explorer vehicles, all of the 2013 model year, are being recalled by Ford because of an issue that could imperil driver safety. Cracks can apparently form in the fuel delivery module, a defect that might cause fuel to emanate from the unit. If some type of open flame is in the vicinity of the leaked fuel, the threat of a fire becomes greater. On July 15, the recall is set to start, at which point owners should be on the lookout for a notification from Ford. Replacement of the affected component will be carried out by a dealer at no cost.
For more about the recall, follow this link.
A series of vehicles are being recalled because of their potential to spark a fire, but what makes this recall somewhat unique is the fact that it only affects those vehicles which come with a fuel system that operates off of natural gas. Thus, if you own one of the vehicles, it’s imperative that you read on and heed the directives of the recall so that you and your fellow commuters are kept safe.
The recall was announced jointly by IMPCO Technologies’ Automotive Division, the company behind the natural gas system, and General Motors. It affects 1,791 GMC Savana cargo vans and Chevy Express vehicles of the 2011 through 2013 model years. Susceptible fuel systems would have been produced between February of 2011 and February of 2013.
The aforementioned fuel systems could experience corrosion in their fuel shut-off solenoid connector that attaches to the CNG tank. When this occurs, it could prompt a short that leads to overheating of the component. If the overheating becomes sufficient, a fire could then break out and put the vehicle (and all those in it) at risk.
There is no indication yet as to when the recall is going to take place, but owners should hear from GM once it does. When the vehicles are brought in to a dealer, the wiring will have to be rerouted and the fuel pump fuses and solenoid assemblies will need to be replaced.
A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration highlights the chances of sustaining a fatality in an automobile collision in men versus women. If a female is in her twenties, she has a nearly 26% higher chance of dying in a car crash when compared with a male of the same age. However, the risk goes up even further if she is a passenger, to almost a 30% greater chance of a fatality. What’s interesting, though, is that these numbers go in opposite directions over time. Once the two genders reach their 70s, the chance of a fatality is greater among males. It should also be noted, though, that strides in safety technology have cut the overall risk of dying in a crash between both genders in half.
Click here for more information.
A new study takes a look at overall traffic fatality rates from around the world, and the news is both good and bad. Although fatalities are lower than they’ve ever been across the globe since such research has been conducted, pedestrian safety continues to lag behind the safety of vehicle occupants.
The study, known as the 2013 Annual Road Safety Report, hails from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s International Transport Forum. By looking at data from 37 countries, researchers were able to deduce that fatalities among drivers and their passengers have been dramatically reduced over the past decade. The belief is that the myriad advances in automobile safety technology have led to this trend.
However, the developers of that same technology have just recently begun to turn their attention to protecting pedestrians with such systems as exterior airbags. That could explain why deaths among other demographics are trending upward. Countries with large numbers of cyclists, like the Netherlands, have seen bicyclists dying at greater rates, and pedestrian fatalities overall are also increasing.
In the United States, these trends hold true as well. Vehicle occupant fatalities dropped by 4.1% in 2011. But motorcyclist deaths increased by 2.1% and pedestrian fatalities rose by 3%. The biggest increase, though, was among cyclists, the death rate of which rose by 8.7%. The US ranks 29th among nations in terms of the lowest number of deaths.
Have you noticed an increase in the number of people with red eyes sneezing and constantly wiping their noses? As people who suffer from severe allergies can attest, allergy season is in full effect, and those who experience reactions to pet dander, pollen in the air, and anything else will reach for an antihistamine in order to reduce their symptoms. But as a new Food and Drug Administration report shows us, this can prove detrimental to driving ability and in turn safety.
Antihistamine medications aim to relieve symptoms associated with histamines, chemicals produced by your body which can cause swelling of nose tissue, hives, itchiness, and running eyes and nose. But although antihistamines can counteract these effects, they can also reduce reaction time and make one excessively tired.
The FDA wants consumers to take precautions when using such medications. They advise always checking the label to learn the correct dosing recommendations and to stick to those directives. Persons should also understand the impact of the drugs. Effects might take some time to kick in, and you should know what this timeframe is so you can avoid activities amid drowsiness.
If on drowsiness-inducing antihistamines, you should also refrain from operating a motor vehicle, an activity that can be particularly hazardous when you’re unable to react in time to avoid a crash. You should also refrain from alcohol consumption on such medications. And if you feel like the antihistamine isn’t doing its job properly, speak with a doctor rather than just increasing the dosage without guidance.
Impel, Dash CF, and Velocity emergency vehicles of the 2007 through 2013 model years have been recalled by Pierce Manufacturing because they might run afoul of the federal motor vehicle standards regarding door locks. 1,965 vehicles could be impacted by the issue, which would find the outer door handles’ springs failing to have the necessary stiffness to ensure the doors can’t be opened in the event of a crash. Thus, the door could be flung open when a crash occurs, thrusting persons and gear out the door. The threat of an injury thus becomes more apparent. There’s no indication when the recall will start, but Pierce will inform owners of the issue once it does. Affected springs will be replaced by dealers at no cost.
Click here for more about the recall.
Yet another study casts aspersions on the practice of driving while using a hands-free device to carry on a conversation. It provides even more evidence that even when our eyes are focused on the road, our minds might still be on the conversation at hand, a situation that could lead to danger.
This particular study comes from researchers at the University of Alberta. 26 males ranging from the ages 18 to 50 were tasked with stepping in to a simulator to complete a driving course at local Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. Two tests were set up: a course free of distraction and a course in which the drivers were asked to carry on a casual conversation with someone on the other end of a hands-free device.
The results are eye-opening. Every single person who participated in the test made an error while in the midst of the simulation. And these errors weren’t minor either. Not only were drivers unable to control their speed, but red light running and unsignaled lane changes were common. Two crashes even took place.
These errors coincided with an uptick in brain activity and an increase in heart rate. It would seem that the mere act of speaking with someone on the phone is enough to imperil driving ability. Even if you have a hands-free device in your vehicle, you still might think twice about using it when in transit.