Posts from ‘Safety’
For years, American car owners have had the 3000-mile oil-change interval rule drilled into their psyches. Two powerful forces are at work keeping the 3000-mile edict so prominent in the public’s mind: inertia and marketing.
If you’ve gotten the sense that automotive technology—and specifically auto safety technology—is advancing more quickly than drivers are learning about it, you’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by the team at MyCarDoesWhat.org finds that a number of recently introduced automotive safety features and systems are not well understood by the general driving public.
“We encourage you to go over the limit.”
That opening (and potentially career-ending) comment was delivered by Mazda product specialist Ramana Lagemann, and–trust me–it was a phrase none of the assembled auto journalists had ever before heard at a press preview. In fact, most manufacturers spend a great deal of (entirely justified) time imploring us NOT to go over the limit, as things quickly get expensive when we do. Just ask any prematurely grey PR rep.
Forty or so years ago, ensuring vehicle safety and reliability in cold-weather driving usually meant performing a series of annual maintenance rituals.
Common preparations including swapping out the thermostat, flushing the cooling system, switching to lighter-weight motor oil, and having the battery tested. Additionally, slapping on snow tires was not uncommon in locales known for heavy doses of the white stuff.
With a 15-year-old daughter having just completed driver’s education, I find myself in the unenviable position of shopping for a second car. That car, by the way, will spend most of its time in the service of the aforementioned daughter.
The evidence is anecdotal, but compelling. More than ever, ambivalent drivers are flocking to the far left lane of the nation’s highways, only to travel at some speed comfortably below the organic flow of traffic.
Those were once magical words.
As kids, after peering out our bedroom windows to see that Mother Nature had blessed us with a fresh, thick blanket of white overnight, my sister and I would sit at the breakfast table eagerly waiting for the phone to ring. And on those all-too-rare occasions when it did, there would be a moment of anticipation followed by a rousing cheer: “Snow day!”
In the past few years, the number of vehicles offered with 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) or All-Wheel Drive (AWD) has increased dramatically. Previously the domain of pickup trucks and SUVs, today there are few segments where multiple vehicles aren’t offered with one system or the other.
With spring upon us, we’re reposting Tom’s cathartic recollection of his encounter with a bobtailed Michigan resident. The original story appeared in September of 2010.
The formula is pretty simple: Stationary deer corpse + Mazda 3 doing 70 mph = totaled Mazda 3. That’s the formula. Similar equations are tested and retested by thousands of drivers each year. The crazy part here is that the deer was already dead. I didn’t even get to kill it; only spread it, like Jif, over about 1000 feet of Michigan State Route 14.
Hitting the road is more than just the opening salvo of your daily commute.
Most of us understand that when you take the wheel, you enter into a social contract obliging you to make driving as easy and uncomplicated as you can for every other driver on the road.