It would be glib to say that safety equipment has had a huge influence on automobiles in the past 20 years. The result of cars being massively more safe than they were not long ago has made them bigger, heavier, more expensive, more challenging to develop, harder to fix and harder for emergency responders to deal with. That's just what it takes to try and keep people safe when they're wielding two-ton battle tanks in close quarters.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is one of the entities in the greyhound-and-rabbit jockeying that keeps pushing the bounds of safety. It uses its testing to confer the Top Safety Pick designation that carmakers seek and it launched the small overlap frontal crash test that tripped up a number of vehicles.
It has begun a video series demonstrating what it tests at its facility in Virginia and how, with its crash test dummies, it assesses the results. There are two videos so far, one detailing the front offset test, the other examining the specifics of the crash test dummies who do all the 'work.' There will be eight videos in total, with another released every Tuesday. You can watch the first two below. They're a short and fascinating six minutes of viewing.Permalink | Email this | Comments
A potential issue with the lug nuts on 19,871 units of the 2013 Cadillac SRX in the US and Canada has lead to a recall of the luxury crossover. Those lug nuts that have a Teflon topcoat, identified by their bluish tint, could loosen and cause "creaking, rattling or grinding noises or steering vibrations." In the worst case scenario, a wheel could fall off, but there have been no reports of that happening, nor any reports of accidents or injuries due to the issue.
This is the second recall action on the SRX over the last few months. In March, Cadillac recalled 27,000 SRX models over a transmission programming issue. General Motors will begin notifying customers with the potentially faulty parts on June 3, at which time they can take their vehicles to dealers to have the tires rotated and new nuts installed. A further 7,397 SRXs exported from North America also face the recall action. Permalink | Email this | Comments
Twitter finally added two-factor authentication and you should enable it right now. We probably don't need to tell you why, but just in case you forgot about social engineering hacks
Before you head to the pharmacy to refill your Lipitor prescription, check this out. The American Heart Association's journal on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology has concluded that high levels of vehicle emissions can cause high cholesterol in mice, which could indicate that air pollution is a contributing factor in high cholesterol or vascular disease.
In the study, mice were exposed to diesel exhaust for two weeks "at a particulate mass concentration within the range of what mine workers usually are exposed to" (according to UCLA), which, not surprisingly, had a negative effect on the bloodstream. First, the air pollution altered the HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein, a.k.a. "good cholesterol") to the point that the positive properties of the protein were reduced and could lead to high levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, "bad cholesterol") and hardening of the arteries. While this seems like a study related to extreme pollution, it draws yet another linkage between our environments and our health.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Would you know what to do if your car crashed into the sea and began to sink? For every foot you descend towards Davey Jones' Locker, 850 pounds of pressure are being exerted on your car door, making the simple act of opening it and exiting an impossibility at the worst possible time.
For this episode of The List, we've brought our hosts, Jessi and Patrick, to the experts at Amphibious Medics to learn the various techniques for escaping a car underwater. That's right, there's more than one school of thought on the best course of action in these situations, and we're going to try them all. While our hosts express their preference for which technique worked best for them, we're no experts and encourage you to do your own research.
Of course, we set up a completely controlled situation wherein we could ensure the safety of Jessi and Patrick, so don't try this at home with your winter beater and a local pond. We found a location perfectly suited for dunking cars, hired some trained medics and divers to watch their backs, and enlisted the services of the show's trusty BMW 3 Series (see its other starring roles in Work as a Professional Stunt Driver and Buy a Used Car Online) to play the part of the hapless sinking auto.
Will this knowledge ever come in handy? About 400 people die from vehicle-related drownings in the United States each year, so the odds are ever in your favor on this one. But if you ever do find yourself slowly sinking underwater in your car, you'll be glad you scrolled down to watch.
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A 20-year-old woman was killed in Edmonton, Canada on Satuday, reports CTV News, in a freak accident resulting from a rollover during a Jeep demonstration. As part of a fundraising enthusiast event called "Jeeps Go Topless," the driver of one Jeep Wrangler drove up and onto the top of the tire of another.
CTV reports that the owner of the topmost Jeep then switched the vehicle off, posed for pictures and then dismounted from his vehicle. His movement off of the Jeep apparently caused it to tip over, crushing a woman who was on top of an adjacent vehicle. Edmonton police are currently investigating more fully what caused the parking lot accident to occur. Scroll below to watch the CTV News video report about this tragic incident.Permalink | Email this | Comments