HID’s – A Glaring Problem in Oregon

The hottest trend nowadays in headlights is installing HIDs, or High Intensity Discharge lights. Proponents of the new HID_35lights say the crystal blue color highlights the road and cuts through the fog better than the typical halogen lights.

However, HID opponents say those lights can be blinding in the darkness and make it dangerous when trying to share the road. Many of them are also illegal. Oregon State Troopers pull over drivers daily for the illegal lights, which are most often bought from the internet and installed incorrectly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, improperly installed headlights can throw out as much as three times the amount of glare legal headlight put out.

Here’s why – think of your headlight like a flashlight, and inside is the bulb. A halogen bulb is shorter than an HID bulb. BrightLightA longer HID bulb filament widens-out the beam. That sends more glare out of the side of the light, right into drivers’ eyes. Additionally, older drivers are more at risk for being blinded by the ultra-bright lights because the retina in the back of the eye takes longer to recover after getting hit with bright light as you age.

According to Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Douglas Brown, the illegally bright headlights can have tragic consequences.

“I’ve had cases where they’ve swerved across into the oncoming lanes and hit the car that was blinding them,” says Brown.

So what can you do to be safe? If you do purchase HID lights, make sure they say DOT approved and take them to a certified dealer service center like ours to get them properly installed. If you are blinded by illegally bright HID lights on the road, pull over and the let the vehicle pass if possible. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Recall of Vehicles Outfitted with Takata Airbags Expands

airbagIf your vehicle is equipped with an airbag we suggest you read this post immediately.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has upped to nearly 8-million the number of vehicles that may be affected by faulty airbags built by Takata.  Caranddriver.com says the airbags have the potential to inflate improperly, resulting in the shrapnel-like shooting of metal fragments.  The NHTSA is providing a list of potentially affected vehicles but says that list may change as more information becomes available.  We advise running your vehicle’s VIN through the NHTSA’s database to see whether it falls under the recall, and then signing up for alerts so as to stay informed.  You can also check your manufacturer’s website for more information.

Sources:  nhtsa.gov, www.caranddriver.com

Acura Customers Say, “We Love Butler!”

Rob and Maggie with their new Acura MDX

Rob and Maggie with their new Acura MDX

Want to know how safe the Acura MDX is?  Just ask Maggie and Rob M., who recently bought their second MDX from Butler Acura after the first one, a 2008 model, was crunched in an accident.  Maggie was lucky to escape uninjured.

Maggie says she “loved the old car” and knew she “wanted another MDX”.  We were thrilled to find this one for them, and they seemed equally appreciative of their time at Butler.  It was “awesome, as always,” Maggie said.  Rob chimed in, “Everybody’s so nice.  “It’s a more personal, more family-friendly buying experience.  They make sure we’re taken care of.  We love Butler!”  Maggie and Rob, we feel the same about you!

Two Butler Brands Make List of Safest Cars of 2013

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

Vehicles today are safer than they’ve ever been. Technological advances have given us collision-avoidance technology, alert systems, and a whole family of airbags. But, still, some vehicles are safer than others. Leave it to YahooAutos to analyze results from federal and IIHS crash-tests and assemble the safest of the safest of 2013. We are pleased to see that the list of ten includes three vehicles and two of the brands Butler sells: The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2014 Ford Focus Electric, and the 2014 Kia Optima. Click here to see the entire article. To see where your vehicle falls on the safety spectrum you can look it up by year, make, and model here.

NHTSA Reports Seatbelt Use Lower at Night

NHS1-25618 Parents of Teens.inddCan someone explain this to us?  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says seatbelt usage is at an all-time high but not at night.  What?  Why?  The government agency released the information as part of an announcement regarding its 2013 “Click It or Ticket” campaign designed to remind drivers to buckle up (scroll down to read the entire press release).  While the campaign highlights Memorial Day weekend travel, the fact is seatbelts save lives all year long.  According to the NHTSA, we’re doing pretty well in terms of using those belts:  IN 2012 86% of us did the right thing… during the day, at least.  That number dropped at night… At night, when visibility drops and the odds of being involved in a wreck are greater.  We at Butler Auto Group don’t understand it but we do know how to change it.  Buckle up.  It’s that easy.

NHTSA Press Release:

Seat Belt Use at Record High, But Not at Night

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today launched the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2013 “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization effort and reminded motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that while nationwide seat belt use was at a record high of 86 percent in 2012, seat belt use at night continues to be lower than during the day.

“We’ve made great strides in getting people to buckle up since the first seat belt campaign was launched in 1985, but we still have work to do,” said Secretary LaHood. “The ‘Click it or Ticket’ program builds on those earlier efforts – sharing the message that seat belts save lives.”

According to NHTSA, the risk of being involved in a serious crash is greater at night than during the day. In 2011, 62 percent of motorists who died in a crash that occurred at night were unrestrained; compared to 43 percent of those who died in a crash during the day. During the Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement will focus on both day and night time drivers for seat belt use.

“Law enforcement officers across the country will be out day and night handing out tickets to unbuckled motorists,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “We hope our ‘Click It or Ticket’ efforts will encourage more motorists to buckle up and make it a lifelong habit.”

According to a NHTSA 2011 telephone survey, most people buckle up when officers begin writing more tickets, and many drivers continue the habit after the enforcement period ends.

Read more about seat belt safety in NHTSA’s latest issue of SAFETY 1N NUM3ERS, a new online monthly newsletter on hot topics in auto safety – including problem identification, people at risk, and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on our nation’s roadways.

2013 Ford Fusion Energi Earns Highest Possible Overall NHTSA Safety Score

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

2013 Ford Fusion Energi

The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi is the latest Ford to earn a “five-star” Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The “Overall” score sums up vehicle performance in frontal, side-impact, and roll-over crashes. The 2013 Ford Fusion energi received highest possible 5-star rating in frontal and side-impact accidents, and 4-stars in roll-over safety. The plug-in hybrid follows the Ford Fusion and Ford Fusion Hybrid in earning the highest possible safety rating awarded by the US government. Steve Kenner, the Global Director of the Ford Automotive Safety Office says, “The Fusion Energi combines the highest possible safety ratings from NHTSA and great fuel economy, two things we know customers are looking for in their vehicles. Our strategy is to provide our customers with a range of powertrain options in our vehicles, while still leading in fuel economy in every segment that we compete.”

To view the NHTSA crash test results click here.

Source: http://dealer-communications.com

Hands-Free Does Not Mean Distraction-Free

Be sure you stop the car first.

Be sure you stop the car first.

A new study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A & M suggests that no form of texting while driving is safe.  The study, which focused specifically on programs that convert voice to text, involved 43 test subjects who were scored on their ability to navigate a test course without an electric device, and then while using voice-to-text. While it’s often assumed gadgets that employ voice recognition technology make communicating while driving safer the study showed not only that voice-to text programs were just as distracting as texting by hand, but also took up to twice as long to operate resulting in twice the amount of time drivers weren’t looking at the road.  You already know the moral of this story… You may even have hollered it at another driver at some point:  Put the phone away and drive.

Sources:  ww.ctvnews.ca, http://www.autoblog.com