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Mon, 6/29/2015 - 11:56 am by Jordan Perch

Due to their inexperience and susceptibility to distraction and peer pressure, teen drivers are more prone to accidents than older drivers, which is why they could use every tool that can help them stay safe while on the road. Lately, smartphone apps have become one of the best tools for ensuring teen driver safety, by helping them stay focused on the road and preventing them from engaging in risky driving behaviors. In this blog post, we take a look at the top smartphone apps keeping teens safe behind the wheel.

Canary

This is a free app for iPhone and Android, which helps parents monitor their teenage kids while driving, in order to prevent them from getting distracted or driving recklessly. It sends real-time notifications to parents whenever their kids do something that can increase the

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Fri, 6/26/2015 - 10:38 am by Jordan Perch

With the average fuel economy of new vehicles rising constantly over the past couple of years, many states around the country have been seeing a significant drop in gas tax revenue, contributing to the continuing declines in road quality. Oregon is one of the states that are having trouble financing road construction and maintenance due to decreased gas tax revenues, which has prompted lawmakers to think about an alternative way to generate funds for improving the state's crumbling infrastructure.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has decided to launch a novel road usage charge program, aimed at boosting transportation funding, by

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Wed, 6/24/2015 - 11:58 am by Jordan Perch

Composing, sending, or reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle has long been regarded as the most common driver distraction, causing over 1 million accidents on U.S. roadways per year. But nowadays, when smartphones offer seemingly endless possibilities for all kinds of activities that people can engage in, a lot of people do much more than texting while driving. A new survey that was recently released reveals that activities that people do while sitting behind the wheel go way beyond texting, and mainly include going on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or some other social media network.

AT&T has conducted a

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Mon, 6/22/2015 - 12:04 pm by Jordan Perch

In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of death, with 32,719 deaths occurring in 30,057 fatal crashes in 2013, according to statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which makes for a fatality rate of 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Although the number of traffic-related deaths has declined substantially over the last couple of decades, motor vehicle crashes are still a major threat to public safety, and the risk of getting into an accident remains high for all drivers. But, driving in the U.S. is not equally dangerous throughout the whole year, with some days being far deadlier than others. In general, the days around a major holiday,

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Thu, 6/18/2015 - 9:48 am by Jordan Perch

In recent years, automakers have managed to make immense strides in advancing fuel-cell technologies, but mass-produced affordable hydrogen-powered vehicles are still far from becoming a reality. The challenges faced by these alternative fuel vehicles and the progress made by the leaders in fuel-cell technology, like Toyota, Honda, Hyundai and GM, were among the main discussion topics at the 2015 SAE World Congress, with focus on the efforts for commercialization of hydrogen vehicles and supporting infrastructure.

The aforementioned car makers were joined by two of the world's leading natural gases and engineering companies, Linde and Air Liquide, which are helping to

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Tue, 6/9/2015 - 10:22 am by Jordan Perch

Higher purchase cost than regular cars is one of the reasons why electric vehicles are still struggling to break out of their niche, with auto industry observers expecting them to remain so until there is a significant improvement in battery technology. That's why auto industry analysts have always considered EV owners to be a niche group, who have been thought to be more affluent than regular-car buyers. Now, there is finally some hard data on the demographics of EV buyers, confirming what analysts have been claiming for years – buyers of green vehicles are wealthier than their conventional-car buying counterparts.

According to a study recently conducted by the automotive information website TrueCar.com, buyers of electric cars

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Thu, 6/4/2015 - 10:58 am by Jordan Perch

Over the past couple of years, a trend toward less driving has been pretty apparent in the United States, fueled by a variety of factors, including the increased use of public transport and rising fuel prices, which raised the question of whether the country has reached “peak car” - a theory that vehicle miles traveled per capita has peaked at a certain point and will only decline from that point on.

According to data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the number of total vehicle miles traveled hit an all-time high in August 2007, going through a rapid decline over the next few months, and keeping a state of no change in the following years. This is why the peak car hypothesis has gained a lot of traction in recent years, with plenty of evidence indicating

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Tue, 6/2/2015 - 9:41 am by Jordan Perch

A recent survey conducted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) unequivocally shows that the more vehicles a family owns, the more it tends to use them. The EIA has released a report that compiles data from the Department of Transportation's National Household Survey (NHTS), suggesting that households with more than one vehicle travel more than those that own just one. While this finding is not at all unexpected, the fact that households with more vehicles use one of them drastically more than the others, is a bit of a surprise.

According to the report, which analyzes data collected by the NHTS in 2009, households with one vehicle travel an average of 10,600 miles per year, which is substantially less than the average of 23,700 miles for households with a second vehicle. What's surprising is that

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Tue, 5/26/2015 - 10:21 am by Jordan Perch

Having higher repair costs than regular cars has always been one of the few negative aspects of hybrids, and one of the things that has prevented them from becoming more mainstream. But, this has started to change in recent years, with automakers managing to bring down the cost of hybrid drivetrains, which is the most expensive part in these alternative fuel vehicles. According to a recent study, hybrid car repair costs where significantly lower in 2014 than the year before, and they have been dropping for several years in a row, which is great news for potential hybrid-vehicle owners.

CarMD has released its annual Vehicle Health Index report, that takes a look at average auto repair

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Fri, 5/22/2015 - 9:58 am by Jordan Perch

A new report from the National Research Center (NRC) highlights the biggest factors that are necessary for a faster adoption of electric vehicles once again: reduced vehicle cost, more efficient batteries, and making consumers more familiar with the technology. The study that the NRC conducted was mandated by Congress, and its main goal is to determine the biggest obstacles faced by electric vehicles and suggest specific steps that the government can take to eliminate such obstacles.

The main takeaway from the study is that the government should get more involved in the promotion of electric vehicles, by funding more research programs aimed at improving battery technologies, as well as creating a well-defined set of standards that energy companies and other businesses investing in charging stations will have

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