Electric vehicles are usually safer for their occupants – but not necessarily for everyone else
The Conversation » Car safety
by Jingwen Hu, Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan
1M ago
A Tesla crash test car after a side impact. Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images The future of automobiles is electric, but many people worry about the safety of today’s electric vehicles. Public opinion about EV crash safety often hinges on a few high-profile fire incidents. Those safety concerns are arguably misplaced, and the actual safety of EVs is more nuanced. I’ve researched vehicle safety for more than two decades, focusing on the biomechanics of impact injuries in motor vehicle crashes. Here’s my take on how well the current crop of EVs protects people: The burning question ..read more
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Even hands-free, phones and their apps cause dangerously distracted driving
The Conversation » Car safety
by Shannon Roberts, Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering, UMass Amherst
2M ago
Car infotainment systems are getting ever more sophisticated. AP Photo/Ryan Sun Do you ever use your cellphone while driving? Don’t feel too guilty about saying yes – nearly 60% of drivers admit to using their phone in hands-free mode while driving. But don’t become complacent either. Using your cellphone in hands-free mode while driving is not a perfectly safe activity, despite the impression you might be getting from laws, marketing messages and the behavior of people around you. Fatal crashes caused by driver distraction have not gone down significantly over time: Distraction caused 14% of ..read more
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The new technology that is making cars easier for criminals to steal, or crash
The Conversation » Car safety
by Rachael Medhurst, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security NCSA, University of South Wales
10M ago
Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock There is much talk in the automotive industry about the “internet of vehicles” (IoV). This describes a network of cars and other vehicles that could exchange data over the internet in an effort to make transportation more autonomous, safe and efficient. The IoV could help vehicles identify roadblocks, traffic jams and pedestrians. It could help with a car’s positioning on the road, potentially enable them to be driverless, and provide easier diagnoses of faults. It’s already happening to some extent with smart motorways, where technology is used with the intention of ..read more
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Four reasons SUVs are less safe and worse for the environment than a regular car
The Conversation » Car safety
by Tom Stacey, Senior Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, Anglia Ruskin University
2y ago
1000 Words / shutterstock The sport utility vehicle, or SUV, and its spin-off class known as the crossover or CUV, are now the most popular types of vehicles. In the UK, they account for more than half of all new cars sold, and the story is similar the world over. Yet SUVs are controversial and have recently been targeted by a sustained campaign by activists who have deflated their tyres overnight, citing their carbon emissions, air pollution and danger to pedestrians. The group, called Tyre Exinguishers, says: “We want to make it impossible to own a huge polluting 4x4 in the world’s urban ar ..read more
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Want to boost your memory and mood? Take a nap, but keep it short
The Conversation » Car safety
by Nicole Lovato, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Flinders University, Leon Lack, Professor of Psychology, Flinders University
3y ago
A few minutes of shut-eye considerably enhances short-term memory and mood. Image from shutterstock.com We’re told to have power naps to keep us safe on the road and improve our alertness if we’ve had insufficient sleep. They even help our surgeons stay awake during long shifts. But siestas and nana naps can also leave us feeling groggy and lethargic. So are they healthy or harmful? First, let’s look at the benefits. Many people experience overwhelming sleepiness during the mid-afternoon while reading or working on the computer. Taking the time for a brief nap will almost immediately relieve t ..read more
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Smartwatches are a bigger distraction to drivers than mobile phones
The Conversation » Car safety
by Pierre-Majorique Léger, NSERC-Prompt Industrial Research Chair in User Experience and Full Professor of IT, HEC Montréal, Sylvain Senecal, Professor of Marketing, HEC Montréal
3y ago
Wearable devices, like smartwatches, are becoming ubiquitous. (Shutterstock) An estimated 73.4 million people will be using wearable technologies in the United States by 2022. Wearables are smart electronics that can be worn on different parts of the body. The most popular smart device is the smartwatch. An important characteristic of wearable technology is that they are easy to acquire and thus they can be used almost anywhere. This convenience and adaptability means that smartwatches are used in a variety of circumstances, including while driving a car. Safety while using a smartwatch use is ..read more
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Will driving your own car become the socially unacceptable public health risk smoking is today?
The Conversation » Car safety
by Andrew Maynard, Director, Risk Innovation Lab, Arizona State University
4y ago
Public health double whammy? Julien, CC BY-NC-NDIn 2014, over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. In 2012, more than two million Americans visited the emergency room as a result of car crashes. And an estimated 94 percent of the crashes that cause these injuries and fatalities are attributable to human choice or error. These are sobering statistics. And because human behavior is at the heart of them, they raise an interesting question: Once we can take people out of the equation, could driving your own car become as socially frowned on as other risky habits, like smoking? It ..read more
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South Africa's first SDG report card: how to move beyond ticking boxes
The Conversation » Car safety
by Willem Fourie, Associate Professor at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership, Co-ordinator of the South African SDG Hub, University of Pretoria
4y ago
shutterstock South Africa will present its first progress report on the Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations on July 17. This report will provide a rather extensive snapshot of the country’s progress towards the 169 ambitious targets. The development goals were adopted in 2015 by 193 United Nations member states. They were hailed as the first set of truly global goals, keeping both the developed and the developing world accountable to the same standards. They cover a wide range of areas, from ending hunger and ensuring universal access to water and electricity; to promoting ..read more
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Five things to consider before speed limiters are added to cars
The Conversation » Car safety
by John McDermid, Professor of Software Engineering, University of York
4y ago
fujji/ShutterstockThe recent announcement that EU rules for fitting speed limiters to new cars from 2022 will be adopted by the UK was welcomed by many, including the European Transport Safety Council, as a move that will save lives. However, not everyone is convinced by this “guardian angel” technology. The AA pointed out that there are times, when overtaking for example, when temporarily exceeding the speed limit may be safer. Others have said that proposed “black boxes” that would record a vehicle’s speed, among other things, amount to big brother surveillance. So is this surveillance and ..read more
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Self-driving cars can't be perfectly safe – what's good enough? 3 questions answered
The Conversation » Car safety
by Nicholas G. Evans, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Lowell
4y ago
Is it going to stop? marat marihal/Shutterstock.comEditor’s note: On March 19, an Uber self-driving vehicle being tested in Arizona struck and killed Elaine Herzberg, who was walking her bike across the street. This is the first time a self-driving vehicle has killed a pedestrian, and it raises questions about the ethics of developing and testing emerging technologies. Some answers will need to wait until the full investigation is complete. Even so, Nicholas Evans, a philosophy professor at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell who studies the ethics of autonomous vehicles’ decision-making pr ..read more
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