NHTSA intends to upgrade 5-Star Ratings to new era of safety

NHTSA has set the standard for safety, helping consumers find safer cars with its 5-Star Safety Ratings for more than 30 years. Now, buying a safer car just got easier with the new Overall Rating that makes comparing vehicles simple: More Stars mean Safer Cars. 5-Star Safety Ratings measure the crashworthiness and rollover safety of vehicles. Five stars is the highest rating, one is the lowest.

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline has increased for seven consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.18 per gallon. Today’s average price represents an increase of five cents per gallon compared to one week ago, four cents less than one month ago and 14 cents more than the same date last year.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) elected to cut its collective production when the group met last Wednesday in Vienna, Austria, in an effort to rebalance the global oil supply and raise prices. Markets reacted quickly to the production agreement with crude oil gaining 12% and leading to increased retail prices. The deal is set to take effect in January 2017.
Traditionally this time of year gives way to lower gas prices as a result of cheaper to produce winter-blend fuel and less demand. However, due to the agreement from OPEC it is still unclear if prices will retreat considerably ahead of the upcoming holidays.

AAA Foundation study reveals the dangers of getting less than seven hours of sleep

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 6, 2016)- Drivers who miss between one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period nearly double their risk for a crash, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 35 percent of U.S. drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily. And with drowsy driving involved in more than one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year, AAA warns drivers that getting less than seven hours of sleep may have deadly consequences.

“You cannot miss sleep and still expect to be able to safely function behind the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Our new research shows that a driver who has slept for less than five hours has a crash risk comparable to someone driving drunk.”

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released proposed guidelines today to help address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles. Today’s announcement covers the second phase of voluntary guidelines to address driver distraction on U.S. roads. The first phase focused on devices or systems built into the vehicle at the time of manufacture.

"As millions of Americans take to the roads for Thanksgiving gatherings, far too many are put at risk by drivers who are distracted by their cellphones," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx."These commonsense guidelines, grounded in the best research available, will help designers of mobile devices build products that cut down on distraction on the road."

Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® explains how this very kind car thief accidentally stole someone else's Subaru. How did the same Subaru key work in both cars? Lauren Fix explains.

Lives saved estimated at nearly 345,000 since 1975
 
WASHINGTON – Seat belt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the Federal government began regular national surveys in 1994, according to a study released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"The best way folks can protect themselves in their cars is by wearing a seat belt," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Whether you're a driver or passenger, in the front seat or back, the simple act of wearing a seat belt significantly reduces the risk of fatality and major injury in a crash."

The new data – drawn from a large-scale observational study conducted by NHTSA in June 2016, shows daytime belt use (drivers and right-front passengers of passenger vehicles from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) reached 90.1 percent, a statistically significant increase from 88.5 percent in 2015. The study, known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), is the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States. The NOPUS also provides data on other types of restraints, such as child restraints and motorcycle helmets, and driver electronic device use.

AAA projects that 43.5 million Americans are expected to take a road trip this Thanksgiving and drivers will pay the second-cheapest Thanksgiving gas prices since 2008, when the national average was $1.85. Today’s national average price of $2.14 per gallon represents a savings of three cents per gallon versus one week ago and nine cents per gallon on the month. Significant yearly savings persist and pump prices are only five cents higher than compared to last year.

Retail averages have fallen steadily since November 6 for a total savings of eight cents per gallon, and drivers in 45 states and the District of Columbia are paying less at the pump week-over-week. The national average is expected to near $2.00 a gallon by the end of the year.

1 million more travelers than last year will take to the highways, skies and seas

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2016) – AAA projects that 48.7 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, an increase of one million travelers compared with last year. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 23, to Sunday, Nov. 27.

This year’s increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. And despite recent incremental increases in the national average price of gasoline, AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $28 billion so far at the pumps this year compared to the same period last year.

More than 48 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year and the vast majority of them will be traveling by car. Join Lauren Fix, The Car Coach® to find out what drivers need to remember when driving in a colder climate.

New effort will help drivers find alternative fuels and vehicle charging stations nationwide

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced 55 routes that will serve as the basis for a national network of “alternative fuel” corridors spanning 35 states. Though the network is nearly 85,000 miles long, more miles will be added in the future to accommodate electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles as additional fueling and charging stations are built.

“Alternative fuels and electric vehicles will play an integral part in the future of America’s transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “We have a duty to help drivers identify routes that will help them refuel and recharge those vehicles and designating these corridors on our highways is a first step.”