For those that drive on a daily basis, we’re sure you all have your horror stories to tell, and we’re sure some are just too good to believe. That said, when the issue is pressed can you prove that what you say is true, or will it be our word against yours? We hate to give you a reality check, but the law may not always be on your side; even if you’re not at fault. Here in Washington, if you hit someone from behind, it’s automatically your fault. How could you prove that you were completely stopped and that the person in front of you rolled backwards into you? If you're like the dude in the video above, the answer is simple. Install a dash cam. Sure, it may seem nerdy, but at least it got him out of paying $500 for something that wasn't his fault. Check out the video above for the full story.
Mercedes-Benz has improved the seat belt again. If you haven’t been up to speed, the first improvement they made was placing motors on the B- and C-pillars of the car so that the seat belt can adjust tension. Now they’ve gone a step further to make buckling up easier. Future models will feature a buckle that lights up and out by about 3-inches extends when a passenger enters the vehicle. Once the belt is inserted, the buckle retracts back into position and the light fades.
Mercedes aims to put this into production as early as 2013.
Read More | Autoblog
Car and Driver has released a simple infographic that explains how we should all be setting up the rear-view and outside mirrors on our cars to get rid of that pesky blind spot. I must admit, when looking at their examples of how to set up your mirrors improperly, they're definitely talking about me. The recommended setup comes from the Society of Automotive Engineers:
The paper advocates adjusting the mirrors so far outward that the viewing angle of the side mirrors just overlaps that of the cabin's rearview mirror. This can be disorienting for drivers used to seeing the flanks of their own car in the side mirrors. But when correctly positioned, the mirrors negate a car's blind spots. This obviates the need to glance over your shoulder to safely change lanes as well as the need for an expensive blind-spot warning system.
Get a look at the full instructions in the graphic after the break.
As the NHTSA conducts its investigation, Chevrolet will provide any current owner with a loaner vehicle until the agency concludes its investigation, the automaker said. Those who want a loaner can contact their Volt advisor to arrange for a trade-in.
"A vehicle loan program of this nature is well beyond the norm for a preliminary investigation, and it underlines our commitment to the vehicle and its owners," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "These steps are the right ones to take regardless of any immediate impact on our operations."
The Chevrolet Volt has been perhaps the most highly publicized effort by an American carmaker to develop a hybrid vehicle. The Volt's appeal, in hands-on tests, is that the car can go a rated 35 miles on electricity alone before shifting to a gas-powered electric generator that can add hundreds of miles to its range. The Volt uses lithium-ion batteries to store a charge. It qualifies as a low-emissions vehicle that will be able to drive in California's HOV lanes, even with just the driver in the car.
In case you need and more proof that you shouldn't be texting while driving (or really, doing anything at all with your smartphone,) it's just been found that the practice is more dangerous than originally thought:
Drivers were asked to stop when they saw a flashing yellow light, and their reaction times were recorded, Yager said.
The typical time it took a driver who was not texting to respond to the flashing light was one to two seconds. But when the driver was texting, the reaction time extended to three to four seconds, and the texting motorist was 11 times more likely to miss the flashing light altogether.
Yager said the reaction time was the same whether the driver was typing a message or reading one.
One in five motorists admit to texting, emailing, and checking social networks while driving.
Ford brought a small fleet of intelligent vehicles to San Francisco to showcase a technology that the company expects will be mainstream in about five years, from most automakers.
Two Ford Focus cars and a Ford Expedition were equipped with a technology called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), which basically serves as a car-to-car wireless connection that currently serves as a crash avoidance system in Ford's implementation, and as a wireless toll collection mechanism overseas. Eventually, it could even be used for entertainment purposes.
Although Ford demonstrated the technology in a parking lot outside of AT&T Park, the company isn't alone in developing the technology. Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, Hyundai, and Kia are all working together, plus truck, bus, and motorcycle companies, said Mike Shulman, the technical leader in Ford's Active Safety Research and Innovation department.
"Next year, we're doing a model deployment in a city where there will be thousands of equipped vehicles and trucks and buses all sending out these messages, and then the goal in 2013 is to start a regulation that will require this on all vehicles. Then, maybe consumer electronics companies would start designing products that could be retrofitted onto existing cars, because everyone sees the potential," Shulman said.
"Maybe five years from now, cars will be equipped with this," Shulman added.
Those thinking about buying the upcoming Nintendo 3DS for your pre-schooler might want to wait a few years. In advance of its Nintendo World 2011 demo, Nintendo posted a warning that suggests children under the age of six should not use its 3D functions.
"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," according to a note posted to Nintendo's Japanese site. 3D content, including the 3DS, "delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."
Nintendo recommended the use of parental controls to only allow younger gamers to play in 2D. There is "enough for everyone to enjoy," Nintendo said.
Nintendo recommended that players of all ages take breaks from 3D content every 30 minutes - or if you feel sick.
Sony is warning consumers of knock-off controllers that look identical to the first party controllers, as they may be prone to exploding or igniting.
“SCEA advises consumers to be cautious when buying PlayStation 3 wireless controllers from uncertain sources as the quality, reliability and safety of counterfeit products is uncertain, and in some cases, may be dangerous. It is possible that some counterfeit product may ignite or explode, resulting in injury or damage to the user, your PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, or other property,” warned Sony.
Whoever is manufacturing these counterfeits has brought new meaning to controller vibration. Al Qaeda, is that you?
Read More | IGN
You may have been involved in a car accident at some point, and it may have been beneficial for you to have a recording of the incident. Fortunately, the Car Cam Voyager can make your next accident an open and shut case for your insurance claim.
The Car Cam Voyager is video camera that attaches easily to the visor to film as you drive. It is powered by your vehicle’s lighter, and includes a 720 x 480 resolution screen. With a 32 GB SD card, you can record up to 48 hours of footage, stored in 15-minute increments.. If you run out of memory, it will simply start recording over the oldest recording. You can even plug it into your television with RCA output cables.
The Car Cam Voyager can be purchased from Brick House Security site for $300.00.
Read More | Brick House Security
The Num8 from Lok8u (pronounced “locate-you”) is designed for parents who want to know where their children roam. This GPS locator device is concealed inside an ordinary child’s wristwatch, and a parent can follow their kid virtually via mobile phone or computer. Users also have the option of setting up a “virtual fence.” If a child with the Num8 steps outside this “safe zone,” the parents will be notified electronically. The Num8 will also notify the parents if the device is removed for any reason.
Of course, this security has a price. The device is about 149 Euros ($245,) and the location services range from about 4.99-19.99 Euros ($8-33,) depending on what type of service you want.
Read More | Num8 Press Release