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MONDAY, MAY 29, 2017

Mon., May 29, 2017, 5:22 p.m.

Trucks for the memories

My column of May 13th explored America’s love affair with trucks, a condition made evident by the top sales spot held by pickups. I suggested the motivation for truck ownership goes beyond utility, including undetermined factors. Whatever intangible cues may be in play, their mix...

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TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2017

Tue., May 23, 2017, 11:02 a.m.

Seeing the light

Whether that yellow-orange light reads, “CHECK ENGINE,” or depicts a side-view image of an engine block, when it’s illuminated on your instrument panel, take note. The warning means your vehicle’s on-board computer has detected a fault in one of many engine control systems. That fault...

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SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017

MONDAY, MAY 15, 2017

Mon., May 15, 2017, 9:19 a.m.

Our love of trucks

Why drive a truck when you can drive a car? I’ve often pondered that query, especially since a pickup, the Ford F150, is America’s top selling vehicle. In fact, it’s been the best seller of all vehicles for over 30 years. Given the available vehicle...

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SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2017

MONDAY, MAY 8, 2017

Mon., May 8, 2017, 8:50 a.m.

Score your drives

Good drivers constantly look for ways to assess and improve their driving. Lack of citations and crashes are noteworthy standards to seek, but one entity has identified a few other behaviors to monitor. The entity is EverDrive, a company offering a smartphone app that evaluates...

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SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2017

MONDAY, MAY 1, 2017

Mon., May 1, 2017, 7:22 p.m.

Bad drivers: incompetent or indifferent?

Evidently, there are drivers operating motor vehicles who lack the understanding to properly do so. Based on behaviors I observe, if it’s not incompetence, then it’s simply indifference to afford due diligence to the task. The only explanations for seemingly unexplainable driver actions are that...

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SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2017

TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017

Tue., April 25, 2017, 11:43 a.m.

Driving while impaired

Humans make many mistakes as drivers even when they are alert and attentive. When they are impaired, however, mayhem regularly ensues. And there’s a wide array of impairment-induced influences. The commonly heard expression, “Driving while intoxicated,” is most associated with alcoholic beverages, but such intoxication...

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SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017

MONDAY, APRIL 17, 2017

Mon., April 17, 2017, 11:26 a.m.

Give left foot a rest

For decades, cars with manual transmissions were the norm. Whether it was with a three-on-the-tree, four-on-the floor, or a five-speed gearbox popularized in Japanese imports, mastering the friction point of a clutch and selecting an appropriate gear was every driver’s past quest. During the manual...

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SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2017

MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017

Mon., April 10, 2017, 11:48 a.m.

Risky reality for young drivers

For youthful drivers, especially teens, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death. Admittedly, part of that reality is that the older driving populace succumbs to an ever-growing list of maladies (heart disease and cancer among them) as they age. Those causes of death...

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SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017

MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2017

Mon., April 3, 2017, 10:41 a.m.

Spring's annual onslaught

Marking spring, every year, an onslaught of bicycles, motorcycles, children and other pedestrians begin mixing with traffic. An “onslaught” implies an event of overwhelming nature, so maybe it’s more of an emergence, since dealing with these entities should not be that daunting. The annual emergence...

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SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2017

MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017

Mon., March 27, 2017, 3:31 p.m.

Hacking back in news

I’ve previously reported of a “vehicle takeover” performed by a couple of expert computer hackers with a laptop and a Jeep. In 2015, Charlie Miller and Chris Valacek took partial control of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee (could have been any modern vehicle), messing with its...

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SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017

Mon., March 20, 2017, 4:04 p.m.

Unintended consequences

Sometimes, policies in placed do not achieve their intended goals. Instead of simply having no effect, a policy intended to make things better might make things even worse. For example, late Dutch traffic engineer, Hans Monderman, famously maintained that many of our road regulations, designs...

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SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2017

MONDAY, MARCH 13, 2017

Mon., March 13, 2017, 10:01 a.m.

Safety checks unpopular with locals

After my recent column exploring vehicle safety inspections, many readers “voiced” opinions on the topic via email. The tally of those comments revealed 70% of the responders saying “no” to mandatory checks, 20% thinking “maybe” and only 10% in favor of them. In support of...

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SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2017

MONDAY, MARCH 6, 2017

Mon., March 6, 2017, 11:33 a.m.

Worsening driver distraction

Other than individual reform, there is no way to substantially end driver distraction caused by behavior like roadside rubbernecking, fiddling with vehicle controls, or daydreaming. We’ve been doing those things for years, along with disciplining children, grooming, changing CDs, et cetera. Drivers may have even...

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