WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 13, 2021) – People who use both alcohol and marijuana are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road – they are significantly more likely to speed, text, intentionally run red lights, and drive aggressively than those who don’t, according to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. They also are far more likely to report driving under the influence of alcohol than those who consume only alcohol and not marijuana.
“These data show the alarming impact of alcohol and marijuana use on the choices drivers make when they get behind the wheel,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “From choosing to drive while impaired, and speeding, to driving distracted or running red lights, using these two drugs leads to poor decision-making with potentially fatal consequences.”
AI recognizes potentially critical traffic situations seven seconds in advance
A team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a new early warning system for vehicles that uses artificial intelligence to learn from thousands of real traffic situations. A study of the system was carried out in cooperation with the BMW Group. The results show that, if used in today's self-driving vehicles, it can warn seven seconds in advance against potentially critical situations that the cars cannot handle alone -- with over 85% accuracy.
To make self-driving cars safe in the future, development efforts often rely on sophisticated models aimed at giving cars the ability to analyze the behavior of all traffic participants. But what happens if the models are not yet capable of handling some complex or unforeseen situations?
Buying a vehicle is one of the biggest monetary investments you’ll ever make. With so much at stake, you may wonder if a powertrain warranty, or any other type of warranty, is worth the extra money. Let’s answer some common questions about the topic and then you can decide for yourself.
What is a powertrain warranty and what does it cover?
Just like its name implies, a powertrain warranty applies to components that give your vehicle power – namely, the engine, transmission, and drivetrain. When any of these systems fail, you could be in for some seriously expensive auto repairs.
With a powertrain warranty, however, many of the more expensive components are covered. Things like internal engine and transmission parts, wheel bearings, transfer case, and more. Warranties vary, however, so be sure to read the fine print to find out what’s NOT included.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 5, 2021) —Gasoline demand measured 8.9 million b/d in the Energy Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report, up nearly 4% from the week prior. Because of the jump in demand, gasoline supplies tightened to 230.5 million bbl, the lowest level this year, and state gas prices averages saw major fluctuations. On the week, states saw pump price changes ranging from an increase of 15 cents to a decrease of 3 cents.
Today’s national average is $2.87, which is more expensive on the week (+1 cent), month (+12 cents) and year (+94 cents).
“We anticipate demand will continue to increase throughout the month as vaccinations become more widely available and weather turns warmer,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “This will lead to fluctuation at the pump throughout the spring season.”
Automotive Diagnostic Specialties recommends having your car's air conditioning serviced annually - especially if you experience lack of cold air or low air flow. Visit them today to have their experienced technicians help you get back on the road quickly!
New Research from Capital One Finds Consumers Value In-Person Dealership Experience Combined with Digital Tools
PLANO, Texas, March 29, 2021 - While car buyers are increasingly using digital tools to shop for a car, data shows U.S. consumers say they still value the in-person experience at dealerships. That's according to Capital One's inaugural Car Buying Outlook, the first-ever survey of both consumer and dealer preferences, attitudes, and behaviors around auto financing. 77% of respondents reported they will research financing options and pre-qualification online more than before as a result of COVID-19. At the same time, in-person dealer experiences like test driving and negotiations are still important, with 82% of respondents saying they will visit more than one dealership.
"For most Americans, buying a car is one of the biggest purchases they'll ever make, so it's not surprising that they want to see, feel and experience this investment for themselves in person, alongside a trusted dealer advisor," said Sanjiv Yajnik, President of Financial Services, Capital One. "The future of car buying requires embracing a model that marries digital tools with physical experience, empowering customers to have the car buying journey they want."
Additional survey findings include:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2021) - Fatal wrong-way driving crashes on our nation’s highways are a persistent and devastating threat that is only getting worse. According to the latest data analysis from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there were 2,008 deaths from wrong-way driving crashes on divided highways between 2015 and 2018, an average of approximately 500 deaths a year. That is up 34% from the 375 deaths annually from 2010 to 2014. Researchers found that the odds of being a wrong-way driver increased with alcohol-impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger.
“Wrong-way crashes on divided highways are often fatal as they are typically head-on collisions,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And unfortunately, as the data shows, fatalities from these crashes are on the rise.”
AAA works with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other traffic safety organizations to educate drivers on the deadly impact of wrong-way driving. In light of these latest research findings, AAA and the NTSB are urging state transportation agencies to adopt driver-based countermeasures that address these factors, such as alcohol ignition interlocks, strengthened deterrence strategies like sobriety checkpoints, driver refresher courses for older adults and the installation of more visible signs and signals.
Alcohol-impairment, older age, and driving without a passenger increase risks of wrong-way crashes
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 8, 2021) —Following last month’s winter storm in Texas, the national gas price average has jumped nearly 40 cents to $2.86. Prices will continue to increase this week, especially following the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly reports showing a second week of major decline in gasoline stocks and a substantial increase in U.S. demand.
“On average, Americans are paying 14% more to fill-up compared to February,” said Jeanette McGee, AAA spokesperson. “With increased demand and tighter gasoline supplies, we are looking at more expensive pump prices with little relief in the weeks ahead.”
For the week ending March 5, the EIA reports gas stocks decreased by nearly 12 million bbl to 231.6 million bbl, as demand increased from 8.15 million b/d to 8.73 million b/d last week. That demand measurement is the highest since the end of November 2020, which coincidentally was the same month we saw stocks as low as they are today.
ORLANDO, Fla. (March 11, 2021) – More than one year since the COVID-19 pandemic upended nearly all travel plans, many Americans are eagerly awaiting their next chance to get out once again and explore. Whether planning a trip for spring break or summer, or dreaming of a trip later on, AAA Travel experts advise would-be travelers that things will look very different than the last time many took a vacation.
“The entire travel experience has been transformed by COVID-19. If you’re considering travel sometime this year, it’s more important than ever to do your due diligence ahead of any trip to ensure it is safe and enjoyable,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president, AAA Travel. “As vaccines help boost consumer confidence to begin traveling again, we have to remember that wearing masks and social distancing are still a requirement.”
What Travelers Can Expect
Masks – Face coverings are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Outside of these transportation requirements, states—and some establishments—have mandates and/or restrictions on where and when masks must be worn.
Auto – Road trips to domestic destinations continue to be the preferred way for many to travel, but even these trips require additional planning and preparation. Those who make the decision to travel by car can refer to AAA’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions, and to identify which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along their route.
If renting a car, ask what has been done to clean the vehicle. Hertz, for example, has introduced Hertz Gold Standard Clean, an enhanced vehicle disinfectant and sanitization process. For extra peace of mind, use disinfecting wipes to wipe down door handles, steering wheels, shifters and control panels.
Effective heating and cooling systems are important for all vehicle owners, but especially here in Arizona. After all, who wants to suffer through our hot summers in a sweltering vehicle? Or, why shiver uncomfortably during the cooler winter months?
Plus, there are actually two systems in your car that are in charge of cooling … your A/C system, which keeps you cool, and the cooling system that keeps your vehicle from overheating.
Let’s take a look at some common problems that can occur with your vehicle’s heating and cooling systems. When you know what to watch for, you’ll better understand when it’s time to call your mechanic.
Common Air Conditioning Problems
If you’d rather not rely on the air coming in your open windows to keep you cool, watch out for these most common A/C system issues:
Low or contaminated refrigerant – Refrigerant is the gas that cools the air. When the quantity is too low (usually due to a leak), or it becomes contaminated with debris, your A/C system will run less efficiently. That means some components may get overworked and need repair or replacement long before that would normally be necessary.
Bumper to Bumper helps a listener having battery issues with his 2017 Hyundai Elantra.