New research from AAA reveals that most vehicle escape tools, intended to quickly aid passengers trapped in a car following an accident, will break tempered side windows, but none were able to penetrate laminated glass. Motorists may not realize it, but an increasing number of new cars – in fact, 1 in 3 vehicle models – have laminated side windows, a nearly unbreakable glass meant to lessen the chance of occupant ejection during a collision. AAA urges drivers to know what type of side window glass is installed on their vehicle, keep a secure and easily accessible escape tool in their car and have a backup plan in case an escape tool cannot be used or doesn’t work.

In its latest study, AAA examined a selection of vehicle escape tools available to consumers to determine their effectiveness in breaking tempered and laminated vehicle side windows. Of the six tools selected (three spring-loaded and three hammer style), AAA researchers found that only four were able to shatter the tempered glass and none were able to break the laminated glass, which stayed intact even after being cracked. During multiple rounds of testing, it was also discovered that the spring-loaded tools were more effective in breaking tempered windows than the hammer-style.

“To improve safety, more vehicles are being equipped with laminated side windows – but a majority also have at least one window made of tempered glass,” said John Nielsen, managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair for AAA. “Our research found that generally vehicle escape tools can be effective in an emergency, but only if drivers know what type of side windows they have, otherwise they could waste precious seconds trying to break glass that will not shatter.”

Drivers can determine the type of glass installed on their vehicle by first checking for a label located in the bottom corner of the side window, which should clearly indicate whether the glass is tempered or laminated. If this information is not included or there is no label at all, AAA advises contacting the vehicle manufacturer. It is also important to note that some vehicles are outfitted with different glass at varying locations in the car (i.e. tempered glass on rear side windows versus laminated on front side windows).

The increased use of laminated glass is in response to federal safety standards aimed at reducing occupant ejections in high speed collisions. In 2017, there were an estimated 21,400 people who were partially or fully ejected during a crash, resulting in 11,200 injuries and 5,053 deaths. While these types of crashes are more prevalent, there are instances where vehicles may catch fire or become partially or fully submerged in water, forcing drivers and their passengers to exit the vehicle through a side window. In situations like this, vehicle escape tools can assist ahead of emergency responders arriving.

Vehicle escape tools come in many varieties, but AAA suggests avoiding tools with extra features such as lights or chargers since these functions do not improve the performance of the tool itself. Drivers should also remember that in the event their vehicle is submerged, a hammer-style escape tool (as opposed to a spring-loaded-style) will be ineffective underwater.

“Drivers should pick a tool they feel comfortable with and find easy to use, but most importantly they should store it somewhere that is secure and within reach following a collision,” added Nielsen.

Being prepared in an emergency can greatly improve the chances of survival, especially if drivers and their passengers have become trapped in the vehicle. AAA strongly recommends drivers do the following:

Prepare ahead of time:

  • Memorize the type of glass the vehicle windows are made of – tempered or laminated. If the car has at least one tempered window, this will be the best point of exit in an emergency. Also, remember – standard escape tools will not break laminated glass.
  • Keep an escape tool in the car that the driver is comfortable using, has previously tested and is easy to access following a collision. To make sure a vehicle escape tool is working properly, test it ahead of time on a softer surface such as a piece of soft wood. The tool works if the tip impacts the surface, leaving a small indent in the material.
  • Plan an exit strategy in advance and communicate it to everyone in the car. This will help avoid confusion in an emergency, which could increase the time it takes to exit the vehicle. Also, have a backup plan in case an escape tool cannot be used or doesn’t work.

If trapped in a vehicle, remember there is a S-U-R-E way out:

  • Stay calm. While time is of the essence – work cautiously to ensure everyone safely exits the vehicle.
  • Unbuckle seat belts and check to see that everyone is ready to leave the car when it’s time.
  • Roll down or break a window – remember if the car is sinking in water, once the window is open the water will rush into the car at a faster rate. If the window will not open and the car has tempered glass, use an escape tool to break a side window to escape. Drivers should also remember that:
    • Drivers and/or occupants should make every effort to roll down a window as soon as the vehicle enters the water. However, if a window will not open or cannot be broken because it is laminated, call 911 immediately.
    • If the vehicle is submerged, a hammer-style escape tool (as opposed to a spring-loaded-style) could be much harder to swing underwater.
  • Exit the vehicle quickly and move everyone to safety.
  • Call 911 – while this is typically the first step in an emergency, if a vehicle has hit the water or is on fire, it is best to try to escape first.


Source: AAA

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The number of crashes at two-lane roundabouts decreased on average 9% per year of their existence in the roadway, according to a new study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

In another finding, the odds that a collision at a two-lane roundabout involved an evident or incapacitating injury decreased by nearly one-third annually.

Failing to yield the right-of-way is a common problem at roundabouts in general. However, the study showed that the odds that a crash at a two-lane roundabout involved that type of error dropped 11% annually.

These latest findings indicate that as drivers get familiar with two-lane roundabouts, safety tends to increase.

Conducted in Washington state, which features more than 300 roundabouts, the study involved 98 single-lane and 29 two-lane roundabouts built between 2009 and 2015.

For each roundabout, IIHS looked at crashes beginning with the first full calendar year after completion and ending with 2016. Clearly, older roundabouts had more years of data. To account for the effects of the economy and traffic volumes on crashes, the analysis included the unemployment rate and annual vehicle miles traveled in the area where each roundabout was located.

The longest period analyzed for any of the roundabouts was seven years.

While the safety findings for two-lane roundabouts, which are often considered challenging to navigate, were encouraging. The single-lane roundabout findings were less significant.

The number of crashes increased an average of 7% at single-lane roundabouts, and the odds of an injury fell 19% annually, but those changes weren't statistically significant, according to IIHS. It is not clear how long the crash reductions would be expected to continue.


Source: Automotive Fleet

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We are delighted to announce that Carolyn Edwards, senior vice-president, client success, has been nominated for Automotive Fleet’s Hall of Fame 2019.

Edwards has spent her 28 years in fleet with LeasePlan USA. In that time, she has served as director of strategic accounts for client services; director of operations for vehicle acquisition; VP of manufacturer relations and business solutions for client relations; and now serves as SVP, client success. In 2012 she helped found the Women in Fleet Management (WIFM)Task Force, an avenue to provide women in fleet leadership with resources and opportunities for personal and career development.

Honorees inducted into the Hall of Fame will be announced at the 2019 AFLA conference which will be held at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa this year on September 16-18. Inductions into the Hall of Fame happen once a year. Entering the Hall of Fame recognizes industry leaders and pioneers who have contributed significantly to the commercial fleet management profession.

Inductees are selected by their peers through an online ballot. This ballot will be available on in July, check back here for a link to vote.




Source: Automotive Fleet

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There’s no such thing as a perfect driver. We all have driving habits that aren’t so great. While tailgating or forgetting to use a turn signal can be an annoyance (and even a danger) to other drivers on the road, some bad driving habits can affect your car’s condition, too. Follow along as we break down seven common driving habits that damage your car and how you can avoid them.

1. Slamming Into Potholes
Some cities may have worse pothole problems than others, but the reality is that potholes are everywhere. And these road gashes can make for more than a bumpy ride. When hit head on, potholes can also damage your car’s suspension, steering, and alignment.

Stay alert and drive defensively to help avoid potholes. If you can’t avoid hitting a pothole without crossing into another lane of traffic at the last minute, slow down instead. You’ll minimize the impact and the potential damage.

2. Speeding Over Speed Bumps
Similar to hitting potholes at high speed, going over a speed bump too quickly is another driving habit that can compromise your car’s alignment. Speed bumps are designed to keep both pedestrians and drivers safe. By slowing down when you approach a speed bump, you can help keep your neighbors and your car happy.

Tread with extra care if your vehicle rides low to the ground. Hitting a speed bump can put a dent in your bumpers or damage components in the undercarriage. If you think you might already have damage from speed bumps, head to your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for a quick Courtesy Check to identify issues before they worsen.

3. Ignoring Your Parking Brake
Did you know? You’re supposed to use your parking brake every time you parkno matter what kind of terrain you’re on!

“Whether your car is a manual or automatic, the terrain is hilly or flat, you should use your parking brake every time you park,” writes Driver’s Ed Guru.

While your transmission can stop your vehicle from rolling when it’s in “Park,” the parking brake is the only part truly designed to keep your car wheels locked in place. Failing to engage your parking brake can cause stress and premature wear on other parts of the car.

Engage the parking brake before shifting the car into “Park” to limit the stress that’s put on your transmission, help prevent parking failure, and even prevent transmission repairs down the road.

4. Not Stopping When You Shift from “Reverse” to “Drive”
We get it. Sometimes you’re in a hurry to get going, and you switch from “Reverse” to “Drive” while your car is still moving. But consider this every time your impatience gets the best of you, your car’s transmission system takes a hit.

The transmission isn’t built to stop your car and switch gears at the same time. It relies on the brakes to stop the car’s motion so it can make a smooth transition between gears. Shifting while your car is in motion, even a little bit, can damage an essential mechanism in the transmission.

Instead, come to a complete stop before shifting from “Reverse” to “Drive,” or vice versa. If you think your car may have damage stemming from this bad driving habit, don’t wait until your transmission is beyond repair! Schedule a transmission service appointment at your earliest convenience.

5. Ignoring Dashboard Lights
Is your dashboard display lit up like a Christmas tree? While a smattering of dashboard lights might have you daydreaming of sugar plum fairies and holiday feasts, your car isn’t. It’s asking for help in one of the best ways it knows howwith warning lights!
Leaving dashboard lights uninvestigated could leave you stranded or stuck with major repairs down the road. Pay special attention to the battery, brake, airbag, coolant, oil, and check engine light. When one of these lights pops on, it’s a sign that something needs to be investigated for your safety and your passengers’ safety. Stop by Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free vehicle diagnostic code scan.

6. Letting Your Gas Tank Sit Near Empty
Fuel gauges are notoriously inaccurate. You may think you have another 40 or 50 miles left in the tank after the low fuel light comes on, but you might not. It depends on the driving conditions!

Gasoline can act as a coolant in your fuel system, and keeping too little gas in your tank can cause parts to overheat and malfunction. Your catalytic converter, fuel pump, and fuel system could all be damaged, especially if you run out of gas completely.

Help prevent this type of damage by keeping your gas tank at least a quarter full and investing in regular engine tune-up and fuel system cleanings.

7. Riding the Brakes
“Riding the brakes” means you leave your foot on the pedal for prolonged periods, and it can lead to brakes overheating. When brakes overheat, they lose some of their stopping power, making it harder for you to stop quickly and safely.

There are a few things you can do to help prevent overheated brakes. Rather than keeping your foot on the brake pedal as you drive down a hill or navigate through stop-and-go traffic, try:

  • Switching to a lower engine gear (if you drive a manual).
  • Driving cautiously, with extra space between cars.
  • Letting up on the accelerator to slow down.

Source: Firestone Complete Auto Care

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Geotab ranked number one Commercial Telematics vendor worldwide by ABI Research
Company edges out Verizon and Trimble in innovation and implementation

Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, is pleased to announce it has been named the top commercial telematics provider worldwide by ABI Research. Providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, ABI, a market-foresight advisory firm, placed Geotab first in both innovation and implementation, with an overall score of 82.3.

Through its Competitive Assessment (CA), ABI conducted unbiased research, ranking commercial telematics providers in two key areas: innovation and implementation. The providers were analyzed based on a series of criteria including: open platforms, tech development, user interface and experience, market share, geographic coverage, vertical segments, partnerships, financial strength and solution options.

Receiving top recognition in both innovation and implementation, ABI Research identified Geotab's massive market share growth, extensive partnership model and Marketplace, open platform approach and focus on technological development as key contributors to the company's ranking.

"We are thrilled to be recognized as the global leader in telematics by ABI Research," said Geotab CEO Neil Cawse. "Considering our world-class competitors, it is truly an honor that demonstrates our commitment to providing fleets with the most advanced connected technologiesincluding for electric vehicles and our ability to contribute significantly to the transformation of the logistics industry."

ABI forecasts global commercial telematics system revenues to rise across trucking segments from US$13.3 billion in 2017 to over US$23 billion in 2022. According to ABI Research principal analyst, Susan Beardslee, the commercial telematics industry will continue to transform rapidly, addressing a marketplace transition from rising OEM factory installs to evolving technologies such as prognostics, video and blockchain. Recognizing Geotab's significant 44% growth of its subscriber base in 2018, ABI predicts that global telematics subscriptions are slated to top 45 million by the end of 2019.

Currently equipping more than 1.7 million vehicles with its telematics technology, Geotab provides data-driven insights to over 40,000 customers worldwide and enables users to customize their solution through a suite of over 150 hardware add-ons, software add-ins and applications available on the Geotab Marketplace. With active devices present in more than 119 countries, Geotab's solutions are sold through its global network of Authorized Geotab Resellers.

"Geotab's reputation and leadership continues to be reflected not only with this recognition from ABI, but in the caliber of recent contracts it has been awarded from both the GSA and the State of California," added Cawse. "It is through our dedicated staff and the commitment of our strong network of partners that Geotab continues to strengthen its presence around the globe and experience unprecedented success year over year."


Source: Geotab

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