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Sunday, May 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Autos Bill Love

MONDAY, DEC. 1, 2014

Pay-by-mile insurance

Metromile is trying to change the way low-annual-mile drivers pay for auto insurance. The 2014 San Francisco startup offers customers a free device that, when plugged into a vehicle’s OBD-II port, sends mileage data to the company via a smartphone app. Vehicle data, relayed to...

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MONDAY, NOV. 24, 2014

Driver etiquette lacking

I could easily relate to a reader’s recent note. Within it, P.Z. pointed out a couple of pet peeves that bother him, me, and many other drivers. The first gripe described a typical, annoying and unsafe driver habit: the inability to make an expeditious pass....

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MONDAY, NOV. 17, 2014

Adjust to winter driving

Soon, we are likely to experience additional driving challenges. With the advent of winter’s rain, fog, ice, snow and additional hours of darkness, we must adjust our driving behavior accordingly to be safe. First, never drive “over your head.” If weather and road conditions deteriorate...

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MONDAY, NOV. 10, 2014

Scrutinize those driving tips

I received a reader email with a couple of driving tips that especially apply as winter approaches. Sometimes, simple reminders like these may thwart an accident or save a life — just be certain that it’s good advice before you heed it. Reader R.L. actually...

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MONDAY, NOV. 3, 2014

Applying the B.R.A.K.E.S.

Tragically, an inordinate number of teenage drivers — some 5000 annually — lose their lives in automobile accidents. We all hear about those disasters in the news, but when one father, NHRA drag racer Doug Herbert, lost his own two sons in a 2008 highway...

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MONDAY, OCT. 27, 2014

Many are driving well

What if every driver had a sign affixed to the rear of their vehicle asking, “How am I driving?” Based on the driver mistakes discussed here and the countless peeves reported by readers, the toll-free number typically following that question would be very busy with...

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MONDAY, OCT. 20, 2014

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

At the risk of appearing ancient, I’ll admit that the 1971 hit song “Signs” came to mind the other day as I drove east on 29th Avenue. When I approached a green light at the intersection with Perry Street, a vehicle going north on Perry...

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MONDAY, OCT. 13, 2014

Open to interpretation

Each state has formed a lengthy list of road rules, attempting to govern every driving scenario with a required course of action. Within those laws, one can find a prescribed behavior to match nearly every traffic situation. At times, however, those specifics of required driver...

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MONDAY, OCT. 6, 2014

Exceptions to the rules

I previously recounted a reader’s episode experienced while passing a left-turning vehicle within the city limits of a small town north of Spokane. In that instance, the driver of the turning vehicle attempted to thwart the reader’s pass with a blocking move. My reaction was...

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MONDAY, SEPT. 29, 2014

Self-driving features go mainstream

We all know that machines can be assembled and electronically programmed to exceed certain human capabilities. A couple of those capabilities are surveillance and reaction time — two skills used over and over while driving. That reality creates the main impetus for research and development...

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MONDAY, SEPT. 22, 2014

Controlling others invites havoc

Trying to control the actions of other drivers is generally ill-advised. It’s especially wrong when the perceived correction or “enforcement” is based on faulty knowledge. Last year, I witnessed a driver who made the effort to move into the about-to-be-closed right-hand lane of a construction...

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2014

The science of window tint

A recent column about vehicle equipment standards prompted a message form reader R.C., who commented, “I am sure I could find the state code site (for Idaho, since I’m in Idaho) but an article covering the subject might be appropriate since it’s quite involved. I...

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MONDAY, SEPT. 8, 2014

V2V network needs funder

A long-proposed V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communications network needs someone to “take the reigns” for funding, building and running the proposed technology. A consortium of automakers, corporations and government agencies have envisioned and pondered the “Internet of cars” over the last several years. As currently conceived, new...

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 2, 2014

Vehicle equipment matters

On any given outing, your vehicle may run, its tires have air and be keeping up with the flow of traffic. But that doesn’t qualify your ride of being in accordance with a slew of state requirements. Non-compliance with equipment standards can render your ride...

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MONDAY, AUG. 25, 2014

Check engine light woes

Ignoring or sticking black electrical tape over your car’s lit check engine light is not an advisable course of action. Since computers began running and monitoring vehicle systems in the early 1980s, that yellow-orange check engine light has been a “catch-all” for warning drivers of...

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MONDAY, AUG. 11, 2014

Avoiding vehicle crashes

This summer, I’ve touted my perceptions of the positive aspects of road trips. While currently in the midst of another 5000-miler, there is ample time to ponder some more. Covering wide-open stretches by auto allows one more time for thought than typical day-to-day drives. While...

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MONDAY, AUG. 4, 2014

How to act when stopped

Most drivers get a bit nervous when a police vehicle is following them. That nervousness is not warranted if you are driving properly, but if the cruiser’s rooftop-mounted light bar is activated, nervousness may be an understatement. A traffic stop by an officer of the...

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TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2014

Your commute to work

The route to and from one’s workplace, commonly known as a “commute,” varies widely among drivers. The time it takes people to get to work depends not only upon the distance involved, but also on traffic, road conditions and weather. How long is your commute?...

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MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

Be tolerant of road work

I don’t think anyone is happy to see “Road Work Ahead” signs while driving. Those warnings typically foreshadow miles of detours, single lanes, and lowered speed limits. But even though we dislike the slowdowns that come with them, those signs also represent good things to...

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MONDAY, JULY 14, 2014

Some laws to bike by

I’ve had numerous written and personal discussions that involve the intermixing of bicycles and motor vehicles on our roadways. Usually, those discussions involve the rights and responsibilities of motorists and bicyclists. Recent reader inquiries on the subject run the gamut, so it’s a timely moment...

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MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

The lure of the road

After I recounted a recent road trip in this spot two weeks ago, emails from readers supported my enthusiasm. I’ve always touted a road trip as a freedom to cherish: something that could feasibly become restricted or prohibited in the future. From journeys with demanding...

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Blowing your horn

I reprinted a Washington law (RCW 46.61.245) in a recent column concerning the mix of motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists on our roadways. A segment of that code requires that drivers, “…shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and...

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MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014

Readers pass test

Two weeks ago, my column promoted the need for heightened seasonal driver awareness of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Therein, I included a hidden pop quiz to test reader awareness of traffic laws. A few of you wrote in, passing the test. Within the previous column,...

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MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Making their cases

I like giving readers the opportunity to express their opinions and ideas whenever possible. Recent topics have generated some feedback containing some of their questions, thoughts and theories. R.T. wonders why 5 mile per hour variances are so necessary for speed limits around his (or...

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MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014

Motorcycle awareness season

Motorcycle awareness month (May) is nearly over, but the sentiment is valid all year. In climates (like ours) with a winter that generally prohibits motorcycle riding, the pent-up demand creates a dense “motorcycle season” during spring, summer, and fall. Please keep in mind that motorcyclists...

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