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Posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018 at 2:37 pm    

In 2017, 46 people were killed on Lancaster County roads in traffic fatalities. Speeding was the primary factor in about 25% of all the fatal traffic accidents occurring in Lancaster County during 2017.

According to an article appearing in the LNP, records from the District Attorney’s office revealed that speeding was the cause of 12 of the 44 traffic incidents that lead to the deaths of 46 people in 2017. Other significant factors were driving under the influence and distracted driving. The District Attorney’s records show that DUI was a primary factor in 7 crashes and that distracted driving was the primary factor in 6 crashed in 2017.

Six of the people killed in traffic crashes in 2017 were pedestrians and 6 were motorcyclists.
The 46 deaths occurring in traffic deaths in 2017 were one more than the total killed in traffic related incidents in 2016.

PennDOT reports that the state spent more than $375 million in Federal Highway and Safety Improvement Program funds on safety projects from 2012 – 2016 to help make our highways safer.

Source: An AP article appearing at LNP on Monday, January 8, 2018 entitled, “46 Killed on County Roads in ‘17” by Lindsey Blest.


Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 at 3:48 pm    

According to an AP article, NHTSA is investigating Ford Motor Company’s F-150 pickups regarding a possible transmission defect that could allow the vehicle to unexpectedly shift into first gear, thereby causing drivers to lose control. In 2016, Ford recalled 153,000 vehicles including its popular F-150 pickups, Ford Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators SUVs and Ford Mustangs from model years 2011-2012 for such a transmission defect.

Federal Regulators state that they are continuing to receive complaints from owners, including some who say Ford’s recall repair work did not solve the problem. Thus, NHTSA is now investigating whether or not Ford’s recall should have included up to an additional 1.4 million F-150s, Navigators, and Expeditions from the 2011-2013 model years.

In April of 2017, Ford recalled 52,000 of its Ford F-250 pickup trucks over concerns that the vehicle could move while in park. Ford Motors says that this problem is apparently related to a damaged park rod actuating plate which may result in the vehicle not actually achieving a mechanical park within the automatic transmission when the driver has shifted the shift lever to park. Ford stated that they are not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this defect.

An AP article appearing at on December 31, 2017 entitled, “Federal Regulator Examining Ford Transmission Recall Involving F-150 Pickups”.


Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017 at 2:49 pm    

The Associated Press recently reported that federal regulators are investigating complaints that steering wheels on Ford Fusions can come lose or even fall off. According to the AP article NHTSA recently opened an investigation into the complaints related to the steering wheel on the Ford Fusions coming lose or falling off. One person from Georgia told the NHTSA that the steering wheel on her 2015 Ford Fusion fell off and into her lap while she was turning into a gas station.

According to the article, two other individuals reported that the bolt holding their steering wheel in place came lose while they were driving and had to be tightened up at a repair shop. Thus far, NHTSA does not have any reports of crashes or injuries related to this issue. It appears that the investigation covers about 841,000 Ford Fusions, model years 2014 through 2016. Ford stated that it is cooperating with NHTSA’s investigations and that any owners who have concerns should contact their local dealers.

Although NHTSA is investigating the complaints, no recall has been issued at this point.

Recently, Ford has seemed to experience a number of defects which have led to recalls, including recalls for defective door latches on Ford Mustangs and Ford F-150 pick-ups and issues related to carbon monoxide getting into the passenger compartment of Ford Explorers.

Source: An AP article appearing at on October 27, 2017 entitled “{Probe of Ford Fusion Steering Wheels That May Loosen, Detach”.


Posted on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 3:27 pm    

With snow’s arrival, it seems like a good time to consider these winter driving safety tips offered by Traveler’s Insurance.

First and for most, ask yourself if you really must travel during bad weather conditions. If so, preparing your car in advance, checking the forecast, and adjusting your driving based on road conditions are three key ways to help keep you safe on winter roads. Here are some tips from Travel’s Insurance:


Check your tires and determine whether or not it is time to replace them or consider purchasing snow tires. Make sure your car has a winter survival kit which should include an ice scraper, a snow shovel and sand or salt.


Also, it is a good idea to keep your gas tank at least half full so that you can run your engine to keep warm if you get stuck or stranded.


If you must travel when bad weather is approaching, be sure to check the weather conditions before leaving your home.


Before you head out, take the time to clear the snow and ice off of your vehicle. Be sure to clear the windows, mirrors, lights, reflectors, hood, roof and trunk of your vehicle. Drive with your headlights on to help improve visibility. Once you are on the road, keep in mind that the posted speed limits are meant for dry road conditions. You should be sure to reduce your speed, and increase your following distance in bad weather. Do not use cruise control as you want to have as much control of your vehicle as possible.


It is a good idea to inform a third party of your travel plans, including your route and when you expect to arrive. That way, if you are overdue, First Responders will know where to start looking for you,

Winter driving is challenging, even for experienced drivers. Allowing extra time for your trip, slowing down, wearing your seat belt, devoting your full attention to the road, and leaving extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you will help keep you safe in winter weather conditions.

Source: An article appearing at entitled “Winter Driving Safety Tips”.


Posted on Thursday, December 7th, 2017 at 2:58 pm    

As the holidays approach and we start putting out the Christmas lights and holiday decorations, it a good time to take stock in a few safety tips of the use of surge protectors, electrical extension cords and power strips.The consumer product safety commission estimates that each year about 4,000 injuries and 3,300 fires result from surge protectors, electrical extension cords and power strips.

Here are a few tips to help prevent fires or injuries from happening when using surge protectors, electric extension cords, or power strips:

– Power surge protectors or power strips need to be UL (Underwriters Laboratory) or ETL (Electrical Testing Laboratory) approved.

– Do not plug a surge protector or power strip into an existing surge protector or power strip.

– Never use a surge protector, electrical extension cord, or power strip that has frayed, exposed or damaged wires.

– There should be only one surge protector, extension cord, or power strip plugged into a single duplex electrical outlet.

– Never attempt to repair a damaged wire.

– Do not cover a surge protector, extension cord, or power strip with carpet, furniture, rugs, newspaper, clothing, or any other item that will limit or prevent air circulation.

– When not in use, the surge protector, extension cord, or power strip should be unplugged.

– Never use a 3 or 2 plug adapter to power a surge protector, extension cord, or power strip.

– When disconnecting the cord, pull the plug rather than the cord itself.

– Never use a surge protector, extension cord, or power strip while it is coiled or looped.

– Do not staple, tack or tape a surge protector, extension cord, or power strip to any surface.

– Buy medium or heavy-duty extension cords and avoid bargain brands.

– If at anytime the surge protector or power strip is hot to the touch, remove and replace it.

Sources: LG Safety Tips/ U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 at 3:02 pm    

The New York Times reported that at least 41 children have died from heat stroke so far this year after being locked in the back seat of a parked vehicle. And, since 1990, more than 800 children have died of heat stroke in hot parked cars.

Unfortunately, many times the death is the result of a parent that simply forgot they left their child in a hot car. While modern technology warns us of all sorts of things, only a few automobiles currently warn us when we forget a child in a hot car.

However, Federal Law makers are currently taking a serious look at requiring vehicles to include some sort of system to warn us when we have left a child in the vehicle. Thus far, only Hyundai, General Motors and Nissan have voluntarily developed some sort of warning system. And, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers has stated that it opposes a rule mandating such a system in all vehicles.

The Auto Alliance is advocating for education rather than a technological solution. Advocates for the adopting a technological solution note that in spite of efforts to educate the public over many years, the number of deaths each year had not declined. And, in almost every death, the death is simply the result of the driver being distracted or forgetting.

General Motors currently offers this safety feature on many of its 2017 models and Nissan offers it on its 2018 Path Finder. However, the Hyundai system is the only one that can actually detect someone in the back seat. The systems developed by General Motors and Nissan rely on analyzing door sequencing. Thus, if the rear door is open before the car is started, but not after it is turned off, a warning is sounded.

The proposed legislation will mandate that the technology be able to actually detect the presence of a child in the back seat.

Source: An article appearing at on October 26, 2017 entitled “Forgetting a Child in a Back Seat Can Kill. Cars May Soon Warn You” by Paul Stenquist.


Posted on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 at 2:52 pm    

Ford says it is taking action to give piece of mind to the more than 1.35 million owners of Ford Explorers SUVs concerned about exhaust fumes. According to a recent article in the Detroit free Press, Ford announced that it will inspect, and if needed, repair vehicles for free.

A spokesman for Ford said the company is taking the action voluntarily, although it has notified NHTSA. NHTSA has an ongoing investigation into the complaints which involve Ford Explorer SUVs from 2011 – 2017.

While Ford maintains that it’s vehicles are safe, Ford stated that it realizes customers are concerned about the issue and is taking this step to address the concerns of their customers. Ford also stated that its investigation did not find carbon monoxide levels in excess of what people experience in their everyday lives.

The problem first surfaced when Ford redesigned its Explorer SUVs with the 2011 model year. Many of the complaints involved Ford Explorer police Interceptors and several police departments pulled their vehicles off the road because of complaints from their officers about fumes and carbo monoxide inside the vehicle. In some cases, officers even had to be hospitalized.

Ford has stated that its investigation into the police vehicles, showed that the problems were the result of improperly installed aftermarket equipment. Ford explained that non-factory outfitters drilled holes into the police SUVs to install extra equipment which allowed the fumes to enter the interior passenger compartment of the vehicle.

The Detroit Free Press article notes that Ford is addressing this issue through a service campaign and not a recall. However, NHTSA is still investigating and the agency has said that “NHTSA will take appropriate action as warranted, and any future decisions will be based upon the findings of the investigation.” Thus, a recall still remains a possibility if NHTSA determines that a recall is warranted.

Source: A Detroit Free Press article appearing at on October 13, 2017 entitled “Ford Offers Free Repairs to Address Explorer Exhaust Gas Concerns” by Eric D. Lawrence.


Posted on Tuesday, November 14th, 2017 at 2:52 pm    

According to an article in the USA Today, Honolulu just passed a new law to ban looking at your cell phone while crossing the street.

The new law appears to be controversial with residents of Honolulu. Many question whether or not the law can really be enforced and whether or not it will have any impact on pedestrian behavior when the fines start at $15.00.

One tourist who was currently living in Australia, noted that in Australia it is illegal to text in the car and that “nobody even changes the music there. You just don’t do that in Australia, they’re very strict on it.” Others responded by stating that they were far more concerned about driving cruising through an intersection while checking their Facebook or texting.

The reporter of the USA Today article noted that while the law bans looking at your cell phone when crossing a street, it does not prohibit talking on your phone while engaged in the same activity.

On the other hand, perhaps we just need to think how often we bump in to people on busy streets who are looking at their phones rather than watching where they are walking. There is little doubt that walking while looking at your cell phone is a bad idea.

Source: An article appearing at on August 5, 2017 entitled “Would a Fine Stop You From Looking at Your Phone?” by Jefferson Graham.

Seven Things to Help Keep You Safe on Winter Roads

Posted on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at 3:07 pm    

With a chill in the air you can be sure that Winter is on its way. Here are seven things recommended by a recent article appearing in USA Today that will help keep you safe on winter roads:

1. Snow Tires
Even a car with all-wheel drive may struggle with snow if the tires can’t maintain their grip. Snow tires are designed with deeper tread and softer rubber to improve traction on wet and slippery surfaces.

2. Emergency Tools
USA Today recommends to always carry a flashlight, a hammer to break safety glass, and a pressure gauge to check your tire pressure.

3. Snow Brush/Scraper
It is important to keep your windows clear of snow and ice so that you will have good visibility while traveling in the winter.

4. Windshield Washer Fluid
It is important to keep your windshield washer reserve filler during the winter months so that you can keep your windows clean. Unlike water, windshield washer fluid is designed to keep from freezing in cold temperatures.

5. A Shovel
Keeping a good folding snow shovel in your car will come in handy if you get stuck on the side of the road or in a snow bank. It could even save a call to a roadside service.

6. A Blanket
If you are stranded in your automobile during a winter blizzard or snow storm, a blanket can keep you warm until you are rescued.

7. Emergency Recovery Traction Ramps
You should keep these ramps in your trunk in case you get stuck in the snow. These ramps will help you get out of the snow without the need of calling for roadside assistance.

Source: An article appearing at on November 15, 2016 entitled “7 Ways to Stay Safe on the Road This Winter” by Keith Barry.


Posted on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 at 3:30 pm    

According to the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car accidents killed 37,461 people in 2016. This was a 5.6% increase over the prior year and the second straight year traffic deaths have risen in the U.S. This marks a reversal of a trend where fatalities fell in 6 of the 7 years from 2007 to 2014, reaching an all-time low of 32,744 in 2014.

Although vehicle safety technology is better than ever, according USA Today, there are several other factors that have contributed to the deadly increase in traffic fatalities. The chief factors appear to be: speeding, not wearing seatbelts, and a rise in motorcycle deaths. While in previous years, distracted driving was a growing cause of traffic fatalities, according to NHTSA, distracted driving deaths actually fell by 2.2% in 2016.

The increase in traffic deaths in 2016 appears largely attributable to other mistakes by drivers and passengers including a 4% increase in speeding deaths and a 4.6% increase in fatalities as a result of unbelted passengers. NHTSA also reported 5.1% increase in motorcycle deaths. Other factors noted in the USA Today article included a 9% jump in pedestrian deaths and that drunk driving deaths rose by 1.7%.

NHTSA noted that 94% of serious crashes are the result of human error. Because human error is responsible for such a significant percent of serious crashes, the Federal government and automakers are continuing to push forward at a rapid pace to develope self-driving vehicles. In 2016, the Obama administration set a goal of eliminating highway deaths within 30 years with the expectation that self-driving vehicles would play a key role in reaching this goal.

While safety advances such as automatic brakes, lane departure warnings, rear view cameras, and advanced airbags have helped improve car safety, a recent report by AAA notes that other features such as touch screen systems which allow operation while the vehicle is in motion, have contributed to driver distraction.

Source: An article appearing at on October 6, 2017 entitled “Deadly Car Crashes Are on The Rise Again, Hitting a 9 Year High” by Nathan Bomey.