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A Press Democrat Blog

Road Warrior

Trying to make sense out of getting around

Your speedometer often exceeds reality

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press: By TOM KRISHER AP Auto Writer DETROIT — The speedometer on the Toyota Yaris says the tiny car can go 140 miles per hour. In reality, the bulbous subcompact’s 106-horsepower engine and automatic transmission can’t push it any faster than 109. So why do the Yaris — and most other cars sold in the U.S. — have speedometers that show top speeds they can’t possibly reach? The answer has deep roots in… Read More »

1 in 24 adults fell asleep while driving

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press: By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer NEW YORK  — This could give you nightmares: 1 in 24 U.S. adults say they recently fell asleep while driving. And health officials behind the study think the number is probably higher. That’s because some people don’t realize it when they nod off for a second or two behind the wheel. “If I’m on the road, I’d be a little worried about the other drivers,” said… Read More »

Feds: Get tougher with convicted drunken drivers

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press on one way the federal government wants states, including California, to deal with convicted drunken drivers.   By JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Every state should require all convicted drunken drivers, including first-time offenders, to use devices that prevent them from starting a car’s engine if their breath tests positive for alcohol, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday. The ignition interlock devices — already required for all convicted drunken… Read More »

Feds want ‘black boxes’ in most new cars, trucks

You may not know it, but your car probably has a “black box” that records at least 15 types of data. Now the federal government wants them in most new cars and trucks. Some say it’s an invasion of privacy; others say it’ll  improve safety. Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press that explains it all: By JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) —  Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the… Read More »

Gender gap switch: More women than men have driver’s licenses

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press reporting that now more women than men have driver’s licenses: By JOAN LOWY Associated Press WASHINGTON  — Women have passed men on the nation’s roads. More women than men now have driver’s licenses, a reversal of a longtime gender gap behind the wheel that transportation researchers say is likely to have safety and economic implications. If current trends continue, the gap will only widen. The share of teens and young adults of… Read More »

Texas to have highest speed limit in U.S.

Many Road Warrior readers complain about speeders on Highway 101. Here’s an interesting story by the Associated Press about going fast: By JIM VERTUNO Associated Press AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas will soon open a stretch of highway with the highest speed limit in the country. The Texas Transportation Commission has approved the 85 mph speed limit for a 41-mile-long toll road near the increasingly crowded Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. The road runs several miles east… Read More »

Motorcyclist helmets found to save lives

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press:   By Mike Stobbe Associated Press ATLANTA — Fewer motorcyclists die in states that require helmets, and the costs to society are lower too, according to a new federal study released Thursday. About five times as many no-helmet biker deaths occur in states with less restrictive laws, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. “These laws save lives,” said Rebecca Naumann, an epidemiologist and the study’s lead author. CDC researchers… Read More »

Soon you might be able to go 85 mph, in Texas

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press:   By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI Associated Press HOUSTON — Transportation officials in Texas are testing a new 41-mile segment of highway to see whether it would be safe to post the state’s first 85-mph speed limit, setting it on a path to have the highest posted speed limit in the U.S. The Texas Department of Transportation is considering the move on a portion of state Highway 130 that would run north-south between Austin… Read More »

Finally, a car that flies

  Ever get stuck in traffic and dream that if you car could fly, you could just soar over it all. Well, here’s an Associated Press story about the test flight of a flying car:   By DEE-ANN DURBIN Associated Press Flying cars aren’t just science fiction anymore. Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year.… Read More »

Fewer say they’re driving drunk

With the controversy over DUI checkpoints in Sonoma County, here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press on the number of people who say they drive drunk, sometimes daily: By MIKE STOBBE AP Medical Writer ATLANTA (AP) — Drunken driving incidents have fallen 30 percent in the last five years, and last year were at their lowest mark in nearly two decades, according to a new federal report. The decline may be due to the down economy: Other research suggests… Read More »