With three out of four drivers believing that hands-free technology is safe to use, Americans may be surprised to learn that these popular new vehicle features may actually increase mental distraction, according to new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This research can serve as guidance to manufacturers who increasingly market hands-free systems as safety features. The good news for consumers is that it is possible to design hands-free technologies that are less cognitively distracting, according to the research.

New fluid technologies and engine designs have combined to reduce the burden of properly maintaining today’s vehicles. Fewer trips to the repair facility, however, may put motorists at risk of missing clues that could head off safety issues or expensive repairs.

“Every vehicle has a unique maintenance schedule, but many automakers are extending service intervals for vehicle fluids,” says John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Less maintenance improves the cost of vehicle ownership, but fewer visits to the repair facility means the technician will have fewer opportunities to check your vehicle for signs of wear. It’s important for motorists to conduct monthly safety inspections to identify issues before they escalate.”

Examples of new fluid service intervals include:

Consumers have leveraged the changing of the clocks to remember important but infrequent tasks like replacing smoke alarm batteries. AAA suggests motorists also use this event as a reminder to check their vehicle for winter readiness.

Experience behind the wheel may matter more than age when it comes to the safety of young-adult drivers, according to two new studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. These results suggest that states could reduce road crashes, fatalities and injuries by extending graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws to novice drivers beyond age 17. AAA is promoting this research as part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which takes place from Oct. 19-25.

As gas prices continue to drop, motorists should take advantage of their savings at the pump and invest it back into their vehicles. By spending a little now to increase fuel efficiency, drivers can multiply fuel savings and save more money at the pump, says the Car Care Council.

GM CEO Mary Barra says the ignition switch scandal is now behind the company. Meanwhile General Motors is planning a new gizmo for hands-free driving. Automotive expert Lauren Fix, The Car Coach discusses the future of GM with Gerri Willis as well as the technology race toward autonomous cars.

Desert Car Care and ABC15 News discuss with Frank Leutz the importance of keeping your cars cabin air filters clean.

As a follow up with ABC News "20/20" going undercover at mechanic shops, Frank Leutz with Desert Car Care gives you a few pointers to enable you to be empowered before you go in and see your next mechanic and eliminate the fear.

During the month of October, we will be offering free brake pads at Desert Car Care! You pay labor and any additional parts and we contribute 10% to The Cleveland Clinic.

 

All new cars sold in the US now MUST have an EDR (Event Data Recorder), also known as a "black box." Who owns the information that it records every 20 seconds and how hard is it for insurance companies or the government to get their hands on your car's data?


Courtesy of FOX Business News
Aired: 9/02/2014