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Road trips. Boardwalks. Surf, sun, and sand. Ask Patty brings the beach to you - kind of! Join us for a Twitter Party where the topic is car care, but the atmosphere is purely coastal. Lounge on Tweet Beach with us and stick an umbrella in your coffee while we talk cars. Experts will be on hand to answer your car care questions, and you'll love playing our Endless Summer Beach Trivia game to test your knowledge of everything beach-related! Win great prizes, including a car care beach bucket full of great products.
Driving on Independence Day? Beware Red Light Runners
The Automobile Association of America estimates that over 30 million of us will be traveling by car this Independence Day. Many more of us will be going on the road to socialize with family and friends.
I don't need to remind AskPatty readers to steer clear of drivers who have enjoyed too many beers at their friends' backyard barbecues -- but was surprised to learn that people who drive under the influence are not the only increased driving hazard to watch out for this weekend.
According to a new study published by the National Coalition for Safer Roads, the Independence Day period is prime time for red light runners: There were over 25,000 red light violations nationwide on the fourth last year - more than on Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and even Super Bowl Sunday.
The NCSR report analyzed data from 1,240 red-light safety cameras in 18 states. While Memorial Day weekend was the highest-ranked period for red light violations last year, July 4th had a close second place finish. The organization also reports that violations spike daily in the late afternoon and peak on Fridays.
This makes a lot of sense to me, as I know I get antsy to get home in rush hour traffic, and I'm pretty sure the drivers I'm sharing the road with feel the same way.
"This new information reveals when we are most vulnerable on the road," said David Kelly, President and Executive Director, NCSR, and Former Acting Administrator of NHTSA. "We're arming drivers, cyclists and pedestrians with knowledge they can use to keep themselves and their families safer on the road. Drivers everywhere need to make a more conscious effort to be aware on the roadways - no matter the time or the place."
The report also compares data between states, and I was surprised to see that violations listed in California (where I live) were relatively low compared with neighboring Arizona. Kelly says the reasons have less to do with the law-abiding habits of California drivers than study methodology:
"We can't really compare localities and states in this report because of a number of factors. First, there may be differences in state law as to what constitutes a violation. Additionally, each locality has its own internal review process as to what constitutes a violation. What may be considered a violation in Mesa may be different than Cerritos. There may also be a difference in the design of the intersection."
As this was the first year of the red light survey, Kelly had no historical data on whether the incidence of red light running is higher now than in the past. It should also be noted that one of NCSR's sponsors is American Traffic Solutions, one of the companies that manufactures and installs red light cameras.
View the entire survey here.
Heels & Wheels - Flats not Heels for this Baby Boomer Test Driver
Women over 50 were described as a "Spark Plugs" at a recent all women Heels & Wheels vehicle test drive event I attended in San Diego. These "Spark Plug" women have the highest net worth of any group in the U.S., wears flats, glasses and feel generally that spending money on acquiring “Stuff” is less important than having new experiences. As a "Spark Plug" myself, I was asked to step into her shoes and test drive several new vehicles with her needs in mind.OUTRAGED: A Story by Tammy Darvish
We always like to let you know when one of the Ask Patty Certified Female Friendly retailers does something cool, and this is one of those times. Tamara Darvish is a vice president of DARCARS Automotive Group, a privately owned group of 34 franchises in the Washington Metro area, and she's written something pretty amazing. It's called OUTRAGED: How Detroit and the Wall Street Car Czars Killed the American Dream, and it's a story about how the auto industry's collapse in 2008 and the subsequent bailouts may have saved auto manufacturers, but ultimately spelled doom for many smaller dealerships across the country. Check it out:
Nearly 500,000 young adults each year are injured due to distracted driving. What are some ways that you stop yourself from answering a text while driving?