Drive in anxious and cruise out confident with the best automotive information for your vehicle! Tune in to KTAR News 92.3 every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon as Matt Allen helps listeners with their car problems. The show call in number is 602-277-5827.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 27, 2021) — Gasoline prices fluctuated over the past few days as fears of an omicron-driven economic slowdown were countered by news of a severe fire at a major oil refinery. Last Thursday, four people were injured when a fire erupted at the Exxon Mobil Corp refinery in Baytown, Texas. The plant is one of the largest refining and petrochemical facilities in the United States. If the damage forces the plant offline for long, the disruption could negatively affect gasoline prices. As a result, the recent steady decline in pump prices has slowed, with the national average for a gallon of gas falling two cents on the week to $3.28.
CHICAGO, Dec. 21, 2021 -- Being stranded in the cold with a dead battery is the last thing any driver wants, but dead batteries are a leading cause of breakdowns in winter months, say the battery experts at CTEK.
Cold temperatures require a battery to use up to twice the normal current to start the engine, an extreme demand that shortens battery life.
"A battery loses as much as 35% in performance when temperatures hit freezing, and up to 50% if temperatures sink below that," said Bobbie DuMelle, Executive Vice President of CTEK North America, the leading global brand in vehicle charging and battery management solutions.
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 15, 2021 -- For many, this may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it is also one of the most dangerous times for those traveling on the road. With the Christmas holiday falling on a Saturday this year, Nationwide has reviewed years of claims data and has developed a holiday forecast for people planning to hit the roads to visit and celebrate with family and friends.
The data reveals that the most dangerous day to be on the road this holiday season will be Thursday, Dec. 23. Nationwide's claims data has shown a year-over-year trend that traffic accidents spike the week before Christmas.
"It's no secret that some motorists picked up bad driving habits during the pandemic. Combine that with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and we could see a lot of Scrooges on America's roadways," said Beth Riczko, Nationwide's president of personal lines. "The good news is drivers in our telematics program are willing to change their driving behaviors."
Telematics technology is one way to help keep drivers safe year-round and save money through lower insurance premiums. The latest Agency Forward surveyi from Nationwide shows that drivers are becoming more open to using the latest in telematics technology in their vehicles—making telematics an "out of the box" gift idea for your family this holiday season.
PLANO, Texas, Dec. 15, 2021 -- Toyota has long been committed to the sustainable development of society and addressing climate change. The company continues to aggressively pursue technologies and find additional ways to reduce its environmental footprint across its North American operations and products with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Here in North America, our regional strategy lays out a roadmap for the future, focusing on core areas that will have the greatest positive impact, today and tomorrow. These include:
• Expanding vehicle electrification
• Reducing carbon emissions
• Encouraging conservation through water stewardship
• Reusing materials
• Protecting biodiversity
We demonstrate respect for the planet by managing priority issues speciﬁc to the United States, Canada and Mexico. We also engage in outreach by promoting awareness, developing strategic partnerships and sharing know-how with business partners and other stakeholders to create positive change. These efforts are anchored to the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050*. To help us achieve the Challenge 2050, we develop five-year environmental action plans (EAP). Our 2021 report marks the end of the Sixth EAP and the beginning of the Seventh EAP.
Highlights from this year's report include:
The bipartisan infrastructure bill recently signed into law by President Joe Biden includes a requirement for automakers to install driver monitoring systems that detect intoxicated or impaired drivers. Current systems rely on cameras, which have limitations. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Electronic Materials have made heat-resistant, pressure-detecting sensors that, when attached to seats, can tell whether a driver is drowsy or has a sudden illness, signaling a future smart car to take action.
Most current drowsiness detection systems use an exterior, forward-looking camera to monitor lane position or sudden, exaggerated corrections. Others use an interior camera to check a driver's face or eyes for signs of nodding off. Camera-based systems, while useful, have drawbacks. For example, an exterior camera could be blocked by mud, and an interior camera could be less effective at night. Scientists have previously explored using piezoelectric sensors -- self-powered materials that accumulate an electrical charge in response to pressure -- for monitoring a driver's posture, which changes when a person falls asleep, has a sudden health emergency or is intoxicated.