Here we are in the midst of summer, the prime family vacation time. With hot dogs sizzling on the grill and the smell of Coppertone in the air, I couldn’t help but hark back to those summers three and four decades ago when my family and millions of families like ours took to the highways for a summer vacation. It was impossible to resist the temptation to measure up to those long ago days with the family vacations of today. Perhaps looking back can help make your upcoming summer vacation just a little better for your whole family. Read more . . .
Thirteen vehicles earn the Institute’s TOP SAFETY PICK award for 2007. The winners include four cars, seven SUVs, and two minivans. This award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, and rear crashes based on ratings in Institute tests.
Winners also have to be equipped with electronic stability control (ESC). Vehicles eligible to win are current small, midsize, and large car models plus minivans and small and midsize SUVs. Pickup trucks aren’t included in this round of awards because the Institute hasn’t Read more . . .
Bad statistics lead to misinformation. Sweep ’em out. That’s what ought to be done with research “findings” based on misguided analyses of inappropriate data. This is the stuff to which British statesman Benjamin Disraeli referred, famously citing “lies, damned lies, and statistics” to bemoan the willy-nilly use of numbers.
Numbers can, and often are, used to “prove” just about any program or policy that anybody with an agenda wants to praise or discredit. It’s an ongoing problem, and the field of highway safety is no exception. A new report by former Institute president Brian O’Neill and statistician Sergey Kyrychenko points to multiple examples of how motor vehicle death rates have been misinterpreted. These examples serve as powerful warnings of how not to use data.
When traffic engineers plan the roads that eventually will accommodate traffic in new developments like this, the plans usually involve intersections with stop signs or signal lights. But the barren site of a future intersection might be an opportunity to consider another option for traffic management, the modern roundabout. These have been built by the tens of thousands worldwide. The main benefits have been to improve traffic flow and reduce injury crashes by as much as 75 Read more . . .
For decades “black box” data recordershave been helping investigators sort out causes of deadly airplane crashes. Now that same kind of technology will be available in automobiles. The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body, has created the first universal standard for motor vehicle event data recorders (MVEDR) after more than a decade of research and development. Read more . . .