Halloween Safe Driving Tips

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As hard as it is to believe, the end of another year is fast approaching and with it are plenty of driving challenges for motorists to be aware of starting with Halloween night.  State Farm commissioned a study on Halloween pedestrian injuries and fatalities from Bert Sperling of Sperling’s BestPlaces.  What they discovered was an alarming pattern that all parents and drivers need to be aware of before leaving the house on Halloween night.

Researching over four million records from the year 1990 to 2010, Sperling’s BestPlaces concluded there was an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31st.  While that number may sound small, it should be noted that single stat was more than double the 2.6 fatalities for any other day.  According to their research, the deadliest hour on Halloween night occurs between 6:00 and 7 :00 p.m. and over 60% of Halloween accidents happened between 5:00 and 9:oo p.m.

Needless to say, careless driving can transform Halloween night into a very real horror for all the wrong reasons.  With this in mind, your friends at Finnegan Chevrolet, Buick GMC offer the following driving safety tips for Halloween.

PUMP THE BRAKES

Most residential neighborhoods require drivers to keep it under 30 mph in an attempt to keep the number of pedestrian accidents to a minimum.  Of course if you ask anyone who lives in a suburban neighborhood or subdivision you know far too many drivers believe residential speed limits are optional.  It’s important to monitor our speeds through subdivisions at all times and especially on Halloween night.  When trick-or-treaters are out and about, it’s a very good idea to observe School Zone speeds (10 mph lower than the regular posted speeds).  Slow and easy is the only way to roll through the ‘hood on Halloween.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

Your speedometer isn’t the only thing to keep your eyes on.  There are plenty of distractions for the modern motorist from cell phones to colorful touch screen instrumentation displays.  While most of us believe we’re the exception to the rules, the truth of the matter is no one is exempt from the laws of physics.  Distracted drivers have a much slower response time than drivers who are paying attention to their surroundings.  It should come as no surprise that many auto/pedestrian accidents are the result of distracted driving.  When you consider how quickly a small costumed child can (and will) dart into traffic in search for their next treat, the importance of keeping your eyes off of your phone and onto the road cannot be overstated.

 LIGHT IT UP

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you would probably be surprised how many drivers either neglect to turn on their lights or intentionally keep them off to “scare the children”.  The obvious problem with this is darkness = zero visibility.  We feel foolish mentioning this “tip” but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.  Turning off your lights when driving through a neighborhood filled with trick-or-treaters of every age and size is a recipe for disaster.  So, keep those headlights burning, even in the daylight.

Headlights aren’t the only lights you need to use.  Signal lights are a vital part of communicating your intentions.  Assuming everyone around you can read your mind usually doesn’t end well.  When turning into driveways or onto streets, be sure to use your signal lights so everyone around you knows what you’re doing.

These are just a few common sense tips we hope you’ll put to good use when travelling around your neighborhood on Halloween night.  If we all work together, we can make sure everyone has a happy Halloween…

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End The Fear Factor With Teen Driver Technology From Chevrolet

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Over 360,000 teens received their driver’s license in the month of August this year across the United States. Yeah, you read that right. In any given month, our nation’s roads and highways are flooded with brand new, inexperienced drivers. Couple that statistic with the growing number of distracted driving-related traffic accidents thanks to the digital devices that our kids can’t seem to live without and you can understand why the number one worry most parents have about their kids is unsupervised driving, according to a Chevrolet commissioned survey from Harris Poll.

Teen Driving Worries Parents Most According to Latest Poll

The reason Chevrolet asked for this particular survey is because the company is made up of people with kids of their own.  So, Chevrolet took the survey’s findings to heart and created a technology suite designed with your teenaged driver in mind.

Don’t let the name fool you. The Teen Driver package is filled with active and passive safety features designed to promote responsible driving habits for drivers of all ages. That said, these features are custom made for habitual driving issues that are statistically associated with teenaged drivers. Teen Driver supports driving safety habits like:

  • Automatic Audio Mute – No front seat belts fastened? No radio or audio from connected devices.
  • Preset Speed Violation Warnings – Got a teen with a lead foot? Set your child’s max speed and the car will audibly and visibly inform them every time they exceed it
  • Radio Volume Preset – Does your teenager think they’re the neighborhood DJ? Limit the maximum volume of your vehicle’s radio
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Forward Collision Alert
  • Forward Automatic Braking
  • Rear Automatic Braking
  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Stability Control
  • Traction Control

Not only does the Teen Driver package have these safety features, but it also has an in-vehicle report card feature that parents are sure to love:

  • Distance Driven
  • Maximum Speed Reached
  • Overspeed Warnings Issued
  • Stability Control Events
  • Anti-lock Braking Events
  • Traction Control Activations
  • Wide-open Throttle Events
  • Forward Collision Alerts, if equipped
  • Forward Collision Braking Events, if equipped
  • Tailgating Alerts, if equipped

Keep in mind, Teen Driver has variable features that will not be available in all vehicles but it will be available in 10 of its vehicles for the 2017 model year. Here is the current list of 2017 models that are eligible for the Teen Driver package:

So, if you’re in the market for a new 2017 Chevrolet AND you have a teenaged driver, the Teen Driver Technology Package is definitely something that will benefit you and your family. For more information on this or any of Chevrolet’s incredible safety features, contact us online or stop by our showroom and trade in your worries and stress for a safer driving experience for everyone in your family courtesy of Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC and Chevrolet.

Self Motorvated: The Advent of Self-Driving Car Technology

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You may not be aware of this but just this month President Obama signed a $305 billion transportation bill that contains grant money for research and development of self driving vehicles.  With a stroke of a pen, the United States federal government became the largest investor in a discipline of mechanical science that has the potential to permanently transform the transportation landscape as we have known it for the last century.

Self-driving technology is not a new concept. Companies like Google and Tesla have spent countless hours and dollars in researching and developing robotic counterparts to human drivers. Many automakers have incorporated a simplified version of this technology into a growing number of modern safety features like self-braking, self-corrective steering, and even self-parking features. As helpful and even life saving as these safety features may be, a car that can stop itself when it senses a potential accident is a far cry from a car that safely take you from point “A” to point “B” completely autonomously.

You may read this and wonder why the push for self-driving automobile technology. Well the answer to that question can be summed up into one word: safety.  With an estimated 32,000 lives claimed by traffic accidents across our nation every year, the demand for creating safer vehicles has become a predominant one in the automotive industry and one that automakers, state governments,  and now the federal government have/has made a priority.

While modern safety features in today’s vehicles have provided an entire generation of drivers and passengers unprecedented safety, automakers are constantly in search for the next innovation that will provide their customers with the safest product on the market. Those in favor of autonomous automobiles can easily make the case for this fledgling robotic technology. This is especially true when you factor in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s statistics that found over 90% of the reported automobile accidents in the nation involved human error.

Of course the idea of relinquishing the wheel to a robot is not an universally attractive prospect. Despite the overwhelming statistical data, many people prefer to remain in control of their vehicles. As understandable as that concept is to relate to, it doesn’t take much imagination to envision the improvements in traffic flow (as well as safety) with computerized navigation at the helm.

Regardless of individual feelings on the matter, you can expect advancements in self-driving vehicles to become a reality in the not-to-distant future.  As always, Finnegan Chevrolet Buick GMC will be here to keep you informed of this and any other news that may impact the most important commodity we have; our customers.

(c) 2013 Finnegan Auto Blog