Here's the Thing

Record-breaking 49.8 million Americans to travel over July 4th

(June 26, 2019) ORLANDO, Fla. — More Americans than ever recorded by AAA, more than 49 million, are making plans to honor the red, white and blue with an Independence Day getaway this year. AAA began tracking holiday travel in 2000. Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday.

Survey finds car shoppers concerned over privacy of their data

(June 25, 2019) A new survey by found that 83 percent of consumers believe automakers and tech companies should not be allowed to sell the personal data collected by their vehicles. And 70 percent of respondents said it should be the vehicle owners — not the automakers or tech companies — that own and control the data collected in the vehicle.

Updated for 2019 — Nissan Maxima falls far short of a sports sedan

By Jim Prueter

(June 21, 2019) It’s been over three years since I last drove and reviewed the current eighth-generation Nissan Maxima. Back then, Nissan did a complete makeover and reprised the 4DSC (four-door sports car) logo it sported as far back as the days when Nissan was known as Datsun.

Korean brands Genesis, Kia and Hyundai again top J.D. Power quality ratings

(June 21, 2019) COSTA MESA, Calif. — Korean brands Genesis, Kia and Hyundai ranked highest for the second straight year in the J.D. Power 2019 Initial Quality Study released this week. The Hyundai Accent, Sonata, Elantra, Tucson, and Veloster all ranked tops in their respective segments. The Genesis G80, manufactured by Hyundai was named the top midsize premium car.

Americans don't think they will get arrested for driving 'high'

(June 21, 2019) WASHINGTON, D.C. —  Nearly 70% of Americans think it’s unlikely a driver will get caught by police for driving while high on marijuana, according to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey. An alarming finding shows that an estimated 14.8 million drivers report getting behind the wheel within one hour after using marijuana in the past 30 days.

The impairing effects of marijuana are usually experienced within the first one to four hours after using the drug. And marijuana users who drive high are up to twice as likely to be involved in a crash.

Nissan survey finds sedans top choice among younger buyers

(June 20, 2019) YOKOHAMA, Japan — Nissan is doubling down on sedans with a growing global lineup of all-new models as research shows the segment retains strong appeal — especially for younger buyers.

Among drivers who don't own a sedan, 75% would consider buying one now or in the future, according to a recent Nissan survey of car owners and would-be buyers around the world. For millennials, the number rises to eight in 10.

Traffic fatalities down in 2018 according to early estimate by NHTSA

(June 18, 2019) A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2018 shows that an estimated 36,750 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes representing a slight decrease of about 1.0 percent as compared to the 37,133 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2017, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Preliminary data shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2018 increased by about 12.2 billion miles, or about a 0.4-percent increase. The fatality rate for 2018 was 1.14 fatalities per 100 million VMT, down from 1.16 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2017.

Gas prices dropping fast as summer driving season heats up

(June 18, 2019) The national average of a gallon of gas dropped six cents on the week, following a consistent downward trend since Memorial Day. The decline is unusual for this time of year. Pump prices usually trickle higher during the summer months due to increased demand, according to AAA.

Tire expert explains why drivers shouldn't use winter tires in summer

(June 17, 2019) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — There’s nothing like driving a set of responsive winter tires when conditions turn cold and dangerous. Indeed, in many parts of North America it’s vital to rely on a set of winter or all-weather tires, whose softer compounds safeguard drivers in snow, ice and cold.

But once the snow and ice melt and summer heat sets in, those same tires can be major liabilities. The very compounds crafted to make tires safe in winter conditions aren’t built to withstand heat or consistently wet roads.

Buckling down on car seats for National Safety Month

(June 15, 2019) PLANO, Texas — What if there was a way to help prevent one of the leading causes of childhood death, but three out of four of us were doing it incorrectly? What if you found out we were talking about something as ordinary as a car seat? What would you do?

For Gloria Del Castillo, the answer has always been clear: help more families get it right. That’s why she is so passionate about Buckle Up for Life and her role as senior specialist of community engagement.