James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::
We’ve all seen them during the winter season … white stripes running along the length of the roadway.
But what are they? Those stripes are dried lines of salt brine applied by PennDOT, or local municipalities, in advance of a frozen precipitation event. According to literature on the PennDOT website:
Lauren Latzko and Tessa Sulkes at NJAJ seminar in Atlantic City. Booth 407. Stop by and say hello!
Robert S. Kinder, JR, BSME, Mechanical Engineer ::::
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), about half of fatal traffic collisions occur either in a dark or near dark setting. A parameter such as headlight performance can have significant impact on these occurrences. The IIHS recently tested headlights from 21 small sport utility vehicles (SUV). Although there were 47 different headlight combinations available, more than two thirds resulted in subpar performance. Interestingly enough, Honda had one of the best performing headlights, CR-V, and also one of the worst, 2016 HR-V. The Mazda CX-3 was ranked the highest in the test group utilizing LED curve-adaptive technology.
Headlight technologies in vehicles are rapidly changing. LED lights are one of the newest promoted, followed by high intensity discharge (HID) and halogen. All of which seem to have glare issues when not properly aimed. High-beam assist has been implemented on some vehicles to combat the glare issue. This feature automatically turns high beams off when another vehicle is approaching of near, allowing the vehicle operator to have unobstructed vision. Regardless of the vehicle manufacturer or type of headlight technology, real-world testing can reveal different results compared to laboratory testing.
Distracted driving is rampant on our roadways, killing hundreds each year. Unfortunately, it is easier than ever to drive distracted. Auto makers are putting technology into our vehicles that allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social media while we are behind the wheel – all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. The National Safety Council observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic. NSC wants to empower you to put safety first and Take Back Your Drive.
Hopefully all of the occupants are fine, but what do you do about a car seat that has been involved in a crash?
Previously, the caveat has always been to replace a model that has been in a crash but now, due to the constantly improving quality of today’s children’s car seats, that has changed.
NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, states that recent studies have shown that child safety seats can withstand the impact of a minor crash without affecting their future performance however recommend that child safety seats and boosters be replaced following a moderate or severe crash to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Minor crashes are those that meet all of the following criteria: the vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site; the vehicle door nearest the safety seat was undamaged; there were no injuries to any of the vehicle occupants the air bags (if present) did not deploy; AND there is no visible damage to the safety seat.