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Playing It Safe: What You Should Know About Vehicle Safety

Car safety is much more than just airbags. Most people envision a safe vehicle as one that performs well in those ever-popular crash test dummy commercials. But in reality, it’s much more than that.
Consumer vehicle safety is based on two things: how well a vehicle fares in a crash and the features it possesses to help the driver of that vehicle avoid a crash to begin with. Both are equally important.

Avoiding a collision is ideal, but there will inevitably be collisions that are unavoidable due to weather conditions, other drivers, or unforeseen circumstances. When it comes right down to it, are you safe in your car or SUV?

Let’s start with crash protection. Should you get into a collision with another vehicle, how well will your vehicle fare? There are three types of crash tests: full-frontal (two vehicles hitting head on), side-impact (broad-sided accidents that most often happen when a driver runs a red light), and off-set frontal (the most common type – when one car turns into another car and the brunt of the impact is taken by either the front seat passenger or the driver). Airbags are probably the most important feature when considering the three types of crash tests. The vehicles that rate the best have both frontal airbags and side-impact airbags. Many models now offer head-curtain side impact airbags – like the popular Isuzu 5-Passenger Ascender SUV – which are airbags mounted above the side windows instead of below them and better protect the head as opposed to the torso in an accident.

Many other vehicles also offer a variety of crash safety features (sometimes referred to as ‘passive’ safety features) like steel cage or steel side bars built into the vehicle’s frame or collapsible steering columns that “give” by retracting into the dash to avoid causing torso injuries like broken ribs for the driver.

While it goes without saying, seatbelts are also important in surviving accidents. They may be the single most important feature of a vehicle in terms of safety. Shoulder harnesses as well as lap belts are now standard in almost every new car in both the front and back seats.

As we’ve already stated, features that help us avoid an accident are just as important. These are sometimes referred to as ‘active’ safety features because the driver can control the avoidance of an accident by using them. One such feature is an antilock braking system (also known as ABS) which frequently helps to avoid accidents.

Other features include responsive acceleration (a vehicle that has the ability to accelerate rapidly can merge into traffic more safely), internal visibility (a design that provides drivers with the ability to see the road and other cars clearly by minimizing blind spots), external visibility (a vehicle that can easily be seen by other drivers on the road), and emergency handling (the responsiveness of the steering wheel and how quickly and efficiently a vehicle responds to the driver’s control).

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell for Cars of the Future

Last March 6-16, 2008, a car convention was held in Geneva Switzerland. Car enthusiasts are mostly concerned in finding out the hottest news in the motor world. The auto show revealed different car concepts from popular car manufacturers all over the world including that of Pininfarina’s Sintesi. The car was designed to discover great ideas and possible solutions for future cars.

Man is free to take advantage of technology and this is one way to develop new ideas that can further benefit mankind. The car featured in the auto show was designed to disseminate intelligence. The sources are from various cross-media about security and traffic. The car can continuously dialog with the city, other vehicles, and the road without restraining the autonomy of motorists.

The outside appearance of the car is similar to that of today’s sports cars but the aerodynamic exterior makes it very much different. It has a unique concept called ‘liquid packaging’. What caught the attention of the audiences are the four fuel cells. The manufacturer called it Quaddrivium Fuel Cells.

The hydrogen cells were positioned near the car’s wheels and each wheel is then powered with 20kw. The car also has a distinctive electric motor, additional battery coming from regenerative breaking and solar panels. The complicated electronic architecture uses modular power which depends in the driving condition. The dashboard is translucent and it displays various pieces of information.

The dashboard lights up when an important matter requires the attention of the driver. The headlights of the future car are equipped with radar and tele-cameras to ease information processing.

The design of the car is too much for the audience and most of them still think that it was definitely a car for the future. They can’t imagine a sophisticated car like the Sintesi to roam the streets of today. But if you try to analyze it closely, the entire car concept was based on available technologies and so it is not impossible to use the Sintesi today. If ever the various automakers can produce cars of the future that makes use of hydrogen cells, people can expect safer streets and better traffic flow in the coming years.

A lot of motoring publications covered the Sintesi, whether on the internet or in local publications. If Pininfarina can create a future vehicle, then so can other automakers like General Motors and BMW. In fact, news has it that these two car manufacturers are already designing a car that makes use of hydrogen cells. BMW is currently testing hydrogen powered vehicles in Germany and General Motors is going to follow.

Perhaps, future cars will soon be roaming the streets of rich countries. Well of course, the sophisticated cars will definitely be very expensive and only the rich people can afford it. However, as the years pass and the production of such cars become stable, even the ordinary individuals can afford it.

Now, you can just dream that you own a future car. But who knows, perhaps in the near future such cars will be sold in the market already. So start saving money now so that once the future cars are launched for the public, you can afford to buy one.

Many years ago, future cars like the Sintesi was simply a dream that is very hard to reach. But now, it is within arms reach.


The Yamaha V-Max – One of the Fastest Motorcycles Around

Are you looking for a very fast motorcycle that you can use for racing or even for leisure riding? The Yamaha V-Max, introduced in 1985, is one of the fastest motorcycles around. The term V-Max is short for Velocitus Maximus. This is a heavier bike that is not recommend for beginner riders. Instead, it is a solid machine built for the experiences rider who is looking for speed to add to the excitement of riding a motorcycle. Since its introduction, this model has continued to be a top seller. Many people consider V-Max to be synonymous with top speed.

The most amazing feature on the V-Max is the V-Boost, raising the power to 800 RMP. There are four downshaft carburetors that feed the cylinders. Each one is separated by butterfly valves. The amount of horsepower the V-Boost adds to the motorcycle is something other hot rod models just can’t offer. This feature also allows the V-Max to accelerate quickly and smoothly.

The first V-Max in 1985 offered a 145 HP and V-Boost. It came with a V4 1200 CC engine. This model was only introduced in the United States. Yamaha releases a slower version in 1986 to Europe and France, offering a 104 HP. The Europe models did not feature the V-Boost. The design was slightly changed for 1990 including a digital electronic ignition. This was the first year the V-Max was offered in Japan. Changes had to be made to the European model as they were enforcing stricter noise restrictions.

In 1996 Yamaha decided to switch to a black exhaust system. It wasn’t as well received at they had hoped, so the design was switched back to chrome for the 1998 model.

While some motorcycle enthusiasts find the V-Max to be much too powerful for their likings, those who own them are very proud of their bikes. The V-Max Owners Association features thousands of members from around the world. They also schedule racing and motorcycle rallies for their members.

The Yamaha V-Max has found its way into the heart of drag racing as well. Many competitors find this bike offers them a great chance for winning as it is fast and reliable. It isn’t uncommon to see modified V-Max bikes in major competitions, clocking more than 200 miles per hour in the quarter mile.

The Yamaha V-Max has been a hot selling motorcycle since it was introduced in 1985. Just looking at the bike, you can see the power behind the design. The black and chrome color gives it a very muscular look. For some V-Max owners that has been the only drawback. There is no originality when it comes to the color of the motorcycle. However, many owners of the V-Max have enhanced theirs to make it unique.

This has been done by adding a different exhaust system as well as pegs. Some have even added small decals to areas including cross bones or another graphic. Others choose to replace the factory mirrors with shorter, stockier versions. Other consumers complain that the seat isn’t comfortable for long rides, choosing to exchange it for a softer and wider customize seat that is.

If you are looking for a hot rod motorcycle that is durable as well as fast, then check out the Yamaha V-Max. The 2007 models appear as hot as ever, and the speed is still above what you will find from many motorcycle competitors. The biggest change for 2007 is the model will move away from its trademark black and chrome look. Instead, it will feature red with white.

Yamaha has made history with the V-Max, as for more than 20 years this bike has been viewed as the hottest muscle bike on the market. It has proven to deliver from looks to performance along the way. Perhaps the biggest surprise of all is the moderate price of this high performance motorcycle, starting around ,500. Yamaha also offers a full one year warranty.

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Buying A Used Car In Australia – Two Factors You Must Consider Carefully Before Buying A Used Car

If you are going to buy a used or second hand car, what will be your main concerns? What are the most important factors to consider if you wish to buy a used car?

I find myself asking these same type of questions when I was faced with a limited budget and a need to change to a newer, but used or second hand car to cut down on initial investment costs.

I have read from one car club for motoring enthusiasists that it should be the age of the car. Briefly, this car club recommended that I spend the most time to look out for a car that was about 3 years old to get the best value out of a used car which still looks good and has depreciation factored into it.

But essentially was that the main factor I should be concerned about when hunting for a good used second hand car?

Are there more important factors I should rightly spend more time to look at if I am looking for a used or second hand car?

Indeed, I was not too surprised when I read a report from the Monash University Traffic Research Centre and supported by the RACV, Traffic Accident Centre and several other motoring clubs that for anyone looking for a used car, the most important criteria in determining the selection of a used car is not its age, but is the safety the used car provides the driver and the people on the road!

In the world’s largest crash study conducted in 2006 (and updated recently in mid July 2007), results assessed the performance of 305 vehicle models in more than 1.7 million crashes in Australia and New Zealand from 1987 to 2004.

From the study, it is now possible to have a good understanding of how each car model correlated to its age would perform with regards to its crashworthiness (how much protection the vehicle provides the driver in a crash) and aggressivity (how badly the vehicle is likely to harm other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, in a crash).

By means of this study, if you are looking for a used car in Australia and New Zealand, it will be possible for you to have a general assessment of the protection the used car model will provide you as well as the potential harm it can cause to other road users in a crash.

Dr Newman who led the study reported that of the 305 vehicle models assessed, 87 provided an above average level of driver protection and 72 provided a below average level of driver protection in a crash.

With this report, it is now possible for you to check the make of your car and the model against the report to have a quick understanding of its car crashworthiness and aggressivity.

Further if you are in Australia and if you agree that the aspect of car safety is or paramount importance to you, then before you make a decision to buy any used car, check the make of your car and the model against this Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR) report.

From this report there are clear indications of some superior makes and models that are standout cars, and where safety is your consideration, it will be wise to give a lot more consideration to these cars when you purchase your next used car.


Hybrid Engineering: A New Chance for Less Contaminating Cars

For a long time, there is a agitating demand for fuel-efficient automobiles that are gentle on the wallet and kind on our fast, harmful surroundings. The automobile industry answered to this need by setting in motion hybrid cars and these cars were soon proposed as cars of the future. There has been a lot of growth in hybrid car engineering but the dream of Hybrid Cars converting the automobile industry has not been accomplished yet. The big car mass-producing companies like Toyota, GM, Ford, and Honda are all reacting to the process and putting their best foot forth for better technology and market economy in hybrid cars.

Sales Run Comparable To Progress in Hybrid Automotive Engineering

Many cars are now equipped with electric power steering that brings .05% – 2% better gas mileage in cars like the Honda S2000 and Saturn Vue. As a consequence, there has been a boost in sales of these cars. In 2002, approximately 30,000 hybrid cars were sold in US. In 2003, there was a big jump with Toyota alone selling almost 100,000 Hybrid cars. Year 2004 saw a new energy from the customers for new generation hybrid cars. They were sold off nearly right away and got outstanding adoration.

Hybrid Cars and the Related Industries

The greater approval and operation of hybrid cars, and for that matter, any new technological creation is not conditional on the manufacturer by itself. The entire industry has to back the move and allow essential support for its success. The automobile industry is finally gearing up for a must support to the hybrid cars.

Fuel cells are not very familiar these days, as they are very costly and replenishing them is a big job. By 2010, GM anticipates a lot to advance on the fuel cell aspect, which will be a positive movement for the hybrid cars.

The oil change industry need not worry with the current trend of Hybrid cars. All hybrids have a DC motor and require oil to lube the motor and keep it cool. These motors become heated up fast.

Basic Structure to Move Hybrid cars

Because we will have many hybrid cars on the roads, we will be required to make completing plannings for them. GM is going over the setting and planning to construct Hydrogen fuel stations with Shell. The version of each gas station would cost about 0,000. There will be a bunch of opportunities, as these modifications will take place. The auto repair industry will have to prepare anew for the hybrid cars.

We still believe Hybrid cars to be a field test product and believe them to have high operating costs. Even today, Hybrid cars are not considered to be in as big numbers as they were anticipated when they were inaugurated. The rewards of hybrid cars far outnumber and outweigh the troubles and should not let us neglect its eco-friendly nature, its fuel-efficient and oil-conserving qualities and an anticipation for an uncontaminated Earth.


Car Insurance Tips For Rental Car Users

Let’s face it: accidents happen. Car accidents happen more frequently than we want to talk about. Protect yourself by purchasing auto insurance before something bad has a chance of happening. Don’t risk driving if you don’t have auto insurance! The tips below will help you pick the auto insurance that is right for you.

One way you can save on car insurance is to keep a clean driving record so you can take advantage of the discounts offered to safe drivers. Minor infractions won’t amount to much but being involved in traffic accidents can drive up your insurance costs tremendously. So, drive consciously, maintain a good driving record and enjoy the reward of lower premiums.

Get a car insurance quote before you purchase a new vehicle. One of the major factors in how much your policy will cost you is the kind of car that you own. The same brand of car with a different model can change your yearly rates by a thousand dollars. Make sure you know that you can afford the insurance before you leave with the car.

Install a car alarm. Your automobile insurance company factors theft into your insurance rate; if you are able to put in an alarm, immobilizer or a tracker, you can reduce the total cost of your plan. Your insurance company will reward you for adding in features that can protect your car.

To save money on your car insurance, choose a car make and model that does not require a high insurance cost. For example, safe cars like a Honda Accord are much cheaper to insure than sports cars such as a Mustang convertible. While owning a convertible may seem more desirable at first, a Honda will cost you less.

If you are purchasing car insurance on a new vehicle on which there will be a lien, you should be aware that you must, by law, have full coverage. In this case, you may even want to reconsider your new car purchase because full coverage is significantly more expensive than liability alone.

You may be able to get some very nice discounts on the premium of your auto insurance policy via your employer. Sometimes they will cut a deal with insurance companies to offer some special group rates to their employees. Make sure to check with HR to see if this kind of deal is available at your workplace.

Many people pay more than they have to for accident coverage on their auto insurance. It is important to have coverage for accidents, but it is highly unnecessary to pay more than what you have to pay. Make sure you are not just accepting coverage levels that you do not need.

Accidents are, unfortunately, inevitable. Don’t let yourself or your teen driver use a car unless auto insurance is obtained. Having auto insurance can protect your family from a bad financial situation, should an accident occur. Use the tips above to find the right auto insurance for you and your family!

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