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Putting the brakes on road rage

Research project drives anger to the curb (NC)—Has the driver in front of you ever slammed on the breaks for no apparent reason? Why do slowpokes always land in the fast lane? Is signaling to change lanes a thing of the past? It is easy to predict what can make people angry behind the wheel. The real value is in figuring out what calms people back down. “Understanding the anger cycle is going to benefit those who plan public road safety campaigns and driver education programs,” says Wolfgang Linden, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. His research, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), looks at what makes people angry, how they respond to it and how they recover from it. Provoking anger in the real world in order to study it is dangerous and unethical, so Linden and his research team turn to virtual-reality driving simulators—the same as those used for head-injury patients who prepare to return to open-road driving. The simulated environment is not only safe, but also cost-effective and environmentally friendly. “People react to stressful situations in different ways,” Linden continues. “By provoking people in a controlled environment, we can watch how they react in response. Then we can start to make the links between anger, stress and disease.” You’ll find more information about projects supported by SSRHC on...

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The rules of the road

With road rage being so common these days, we should all take a step back and review a few rules of the road. While not taught in most driver education classes or state driver’s manuals, these rules will help you be a better driver. The left lane is for passing. If you are going to pass, do it quickly and safely. Some states have laws that prohibit “driving” in the left lane, leaving it open for passing only. If someone is trying to merge onto the highway and you have room, get into the left lane. This can help avoid an accident or at the least make someone’s day a little brighter. Be aware of large trucks and their driving styles. Tractor trailers, dump trucks, and other large vehicles can not stop as fast as you can. Keep that in mind the next time you squeeze in front of a truck at the stop light. Also, heavy trucks while on the highway will slow down while going up large hills but pick up speed on the downhill side. This can lead to a game of leap frog which will frustrate you and the truck driver. If possible get far enough ahead of the truck to avoid excessive passing! Use your turn signals. I swear they were an option in some cars, considering most people do not use them. They...

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Use simple solutions to save on gas

If you drive a car, you’ve probably noticed that in recent weeks, gas prices have risen to a national average of over $2.00 per gallon. In your city, gas prices may be a bit higher or lower than this, but they’ve been on the rise, and you’re more than likely feeling the pinch. As we’ve learned from decades of experience, when crude oil prices go up, gas prices invariably follow. Oil prices are skyrocketing with no real solution on the horizon, so as gas prices rise, how can we keep up? With the holiday season upon us and busy lives that must go on, driving less may not be an option for most people. Public transportation works for some, but we don’t all have super-fast subways or convenient stops that service our work and shopping areas. We could spend tens of thousands on new gas-electric hybrid cars, or we can find ways to make our current vehicles run more efficiently. Since we’re not made of money, the latter option seems the most practical. Experts say that slower acceleration, more careful route planning, freeway driving, lightening cargo loads, and keeping our cars tuned upall help us to get more bang for our fuel buck. If we were to use all of these methods, we might save a few dollars. But what can we do to make a real difference–a difference...

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How to achieve the best gas mileage with your car

There are many tips which people often give on how to achieve the best gas mileage with a car and it is important to consider them all in order to achieve a good result. Some of them might be more useful than others but together they might make an important difference. One of the most widely known tips on how to improve gas mileage tells that you should reduce speed. If you drive at a lower speed your car mileage will highly increase, while if you drive at a high speed the gas mileage will decrease. In order to do this without causing problems to other drivers, you should try to choose secondary routs which have less traffic. Besides this, another great way in which to improve the gas mileage is by being very organized and following a driving plan. If you have to drive to several places, you can achieve a better gas mileage by going to them following a plan and according to distances. Organization and efficiency on where to go and in which order might make an important difference on your car’s gas mileage. Another important thing to have in mind at the time of wishing to achieve a better gas mileage is to regularly check the car wheels. The wheels have an important incidence in the car gas mileage and they should always be aligned...

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What is the MAP all about?

MAP stands for Motorist Assurance Program and is a consumer oriented program created by the AMRA or Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association. If you are a vehicle manufacturer, a retailer, a supplier or an industry association you could be part of the MAP and enjoy its benefits. The MAP intends to work as a bond between the auto repair industry and the consumers. In order to achieve this, the Motorist Assurance Program constantly tries to maintain motorists informed regarding their vehicles and the maintenance necessary for their proper functioning. All MAP members must adhere to the program standards of service being this a warranty of quality for all those who approach to them and require their services. The MAP Standards of Service, which all members apply to their business, allow customers to know they are being helped by a serious person or business that follows high ethics and responsibility standards. The Motorist Assurance Program looks after solving the problem created by the fact that many people feel scared for taking their cars to a repairing service due to lack of warranties. If they belong to this program, customers can trust on their service since they know they follow the program’s quality standards. MAP Standard’s of Service also provide industry guidelines which must be followed while inspecting every vehicle. In the last years, many car systems which didn’t have inspection...

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