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Miles and Miles of Smiles

Top 5 Ways To Get Pulled Over by the Cops

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It’s easier to get pulled over than you think. All you need to do is commit one of the five violations we’ve listed below. For even faster results, try combining two infractions at once. Many drivers find this very effective.

Actually, the real reason for this list is to stop you from being pulled over by the police. By seeing driving behavior from the traffic cop’s point of view, you can avoid encounters with the law. A little extra awareness could help you keep points off your driving record and keep down the cost of your car insurance.

Three police agencies and two independent traffic experts loaned their expertise for this list of the most common traffic stops. There were some minor variations in opinion, depending on the police agency. But this list shows you the things to watch out for if you want to avoid unwanted contact with the boys (and girls) in blue.

1. Speeding. This was on everyone’s list, and the reason is simple. The faster you go, the longer it takes to react to an unexpected situation, whether it’s a pedestrian stepping into the street or another car making an unexpected lane change, says Detective William Bustos, officer in charge of the Los Angeles Police Department’s traffic detectives. Braking distances also increase as speed builds, and it takes about 120 feet for a vehicle to stop when it’s traveling 60 mph. Speeding is common in Bustos’ jurisdiction, the San Fernando Valley, which has 230 square miles of mostly wide, straight streets. As recently as the early 2000s, the area attracted frequent street races that played like scenes out of The Fast and the Furious and its sequels.

People are driving faster than they did in the past, particularly on the freeways in the busy area of south Los Angeles, notes Edward McElroy, a California Highway Patrol officer. “People seem impatient; their commutes are longer than ever before,” McElroy says. CHP officers write tickets, particularly for speeding, in an attempt to control the “mileage death rate” — the number of people who die per freeway mile. That’s a sobering thought.

Alex Carroll, author of Beat the Cops, which has sold more than 250,000 copies, offers an opinion on how far over the speed limit a driver can go without being pulled over: 5-7 mph “easy,” he says. The officers interviewed for this story confirmed that there’s a “buffer,” but added that the decision to cut a speeder some slack is up to the officer’s discretion.

2. Illegal cell phone use. Distracted driving, usually because of texting or talking on a mobile phone, is high on the list of ticket bait developed by our experts. Although just a few states ban all cell phone use in cars, more than 30 have banned texting behind the wheel. “People think, ‘I’ll just make a quick call,’ or ‘This text will only take a second,'” Bustos says. “But you have to drive as if your life depended on it — because it does.”

Sgt. Jeff Wiles, who heads the Santa Monica Police Department’s traffic division and patrols the city on a BMW motorcycle, says illegal cell phone use is common — and responsible for a lot of trouble. “The really horrific stories about texting make the news,” he says, “But we see accidents and even just fender-benders from it every day.”

3. Hazardous driving. This is a catch-all category for common violations that each of our experts noted. Wiles ticks off his favorites without hesitation: stop sign and stoplight violations, improper lane changes, illegal U-turns, failures to yield and unsafe speeds. CHP officer McElroy says he sees people who apparently have forgotten they’re driving cars: They’re busy shaving, eating and even changing clothes. And what exactly is the violation you’re committing when you’re changing clothes in a car? “Unsafe speed,” he says. “There is no safe speed for pulling a shirt off over your head while driving.”

4. Equipment violations. Everyone knows the movie scene where a cop smashes a taillight to justify a traffic stop. But in real life, there’s little need for that, our experts say. People commit a multitude of code violations all on their own. Leading the list are heavily tinted windows, burned-out headlights, broken windshields, expired tags, the lack of a front license plate (in California and some other states) and loud exhaust modifications.

5. Following too closely and improper lane changes. This one was a tie. Both of these violations are forms of hazardous driving that our police sources specifically called out. McElroy says that on the freeways of Los Angeles, following too closely can easily cause accidents by shortening a driver’s reaction time. Combine that with cell phone use or texting and it is a recipe for disaster, he says.

An improper lane change means cutting someone off or changing lanes without looking first, Bustos says. Failure to signal can also be added to this ticket, he says, but it usually doesn’t initiate the traffic stop — partly because the failure to signal is so common.

A Traffic Cop Critic’s List
Police officers aren’t the only ones keeping track of what gets drivers in trouble. Gary Biller, executive director of the National Motorists Association, which is often critical of law enforcement’s handling of traffic stops, listed some attention-getting moves that the police experts didn’t mention, including:

  • Cruising in the left lane of a multilane highway instead of using it only to pass slower traffic on the right
  • Driving more slowly than the normal traffic flow
  • Peeling out from a stoplight or stop sign, and squealing tires in general
  • Drag racing
  • Racking up lots of unpaid parking or traffic violations

These are things that make your car stand out and catch an officer’s eye. Biller adds that plastering the back of your car with offensive bumper stickers and decals will definitely draw unwelcome attention. Carroll agrees that this will increase the chances of a traffic stop, and adds, “This is particularly so if your sticker conflicts with the cop’s views or is a rival of his favorite sports team.”

Watch Your Mouth
Traffic stops often have a tipping point. Because officers have legal discretion in what they can cite you for, saying or doing the wrong thing can compound your problems. Carroll says that a traffic cop might add extra violations if the motorist is belligerent. Act like a jerk and Carroll says, “They’ll write you up for everything else they can.”

Say that a police officer uses this time-honored opening line: “Do you know why I stopped you?” Take a minute before you answer, Carroll says. If you admit guilt or name a specific speed that you were driving, your fate is sealed. Instead, respond courteously but remain vague, he advises. However, “If you have clearly done something wrong, and you sit there and you’re evasive with the cops, it’s not necessarily in your best interest,” he says.

If you plan on contesting the ticket in court it’s really better to say very little. The officer is expected to have a clear recollection of the traffic stop.

A lot of traffic-ticket gotchas — and serious accidents — begin with a frustrated, impatient driver. If you really don’t want a ticket, try chilling out. Santa Monica officer Jeff Wiles offers this advice: “Put on a relaxing radio station or CD and be patient, because traffic is bad and there will be delays.”

 

Source: Edmunds

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Acura to Debut the All-New 2014 MDX Prototype at the 2013 North American International Auto Show

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Acura announced today that it will unveil a prototype of the next-generation MDX luxury sport utility vehicle during the press days of the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), held in Detroit over January 14-15. Utilizing “Aero Sculpture” design language affecting both form and function, the 2014 MDX Prototype will feature alluring proportions with smooth, arching body lines matched to an efficient architecture.

The press conference will be broadcast live at www.acurawebcast.com. Media information, high-resolution images and video of the 2014 MDX Prototype will be available at www.acuranews.com immediately following the press conference.

 

Source: Acura Media

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How to Share the Road with Truckers.

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Everybody has a horror story to tell about an encounter they’ve had with an 18-wheeler on the Interstate, and how they were nearly killed by the inattentiveness of the truck driver. News programs like Dateline NBC and 60 Minutes feed this fear with selectively edited stories regarding truck safety. But what nobody seems to consider is that they themselves may have caused the problem because of ignorance about what is involved in driving a truck, or by engaging in righteous driving behavior that did nothing but endanger their own lives and those of the people they care most about.

Personally, we’ve seen rude truckers hog the road, and we’ve seen dimwitted drivers set themselves up for what could be a very painful, if not deadly, lesson. Furthermore, not all trucks traveling the nation’s highways are properly maintained, due to a lack of finances or pure laziness. But for most truck drivers, who are paid by the mile and are held responsible for damaged goods, their lives and livelihoods depend on driving a well-maintained truck carefully, and getting freight to its destination on time.

Tractor trailer trucks are responsible for carrying nearly 30 percent of all the cargo shipped in the United States. Technology and improved roadways have allowed the use of trucks for shipping to increase steadily since the 1920s, resulting in larger vehicles and heavier loads. Yet, traffic fatalities involving trucks have steadily declined during the past 50 years, except for a small spike upward in the early 1980s right after the trucking industry was deregulated. Fatalities due to accidents involving semi trucks total 5,000 annually on average, with the vast majority of those fatalities suffered by occupants of passenger vehicles that collided with a truck. As motorists who must share the road with semi trucks, we can do our part to help reduce this number even further if we simply take the time to follow a few simple driving rules and try to understand how difficult it is to maneuver a tractor-trailer in traffic.

We asked Michael Taylor, transportation special programs developer for the Tractor Trailer Training Program at Triton College in River Grove, Ill., what the top five pet peeves truckers had with fellow motorists were. Here is his list:

1) Riding in a trucker’s blind spots. Trucks have large blind spots to the right and rear of the vehicle. Smaller blind spots exist on the right front corner and mid-left side of the truck. The worst thing a driver can do is chug along in the trucker’s blind spot, where he cannot be seen. If you’re going to pass a truck, do it and get it over with. Don’t sit alongside with the cruise control set 1 mph faster than the truck is traveling.

2) Cut-offs. Don’t try to sneak into a small gap in traffic ahead of a truck. Don’t get in front of a truck and then brake to make a turn. Trucks take as much as three times the distance to stop as the average passenger car, and you’re only risking your own life by cutting a truck off and then slowing down in front of it.

3) Impatience while reversing. Motorists need to understand that it takes time and concentration to back a 48-foot trailer up without hitting anything. Sometimes a truck driver needs to make several attempts to reverse into tight quarters. Keep your cool and let the trucker do her job.

4) Don’t play policeman. Don’t try to make a truck driver conform to a bureaucrat’s idea of what is right and wrong on the highway. As an example, Taylor cited the way truck drivers handle hilly terrain on the highway. A fully loaded truck slows way down going up a hill. On the way down the other side of the hill, a fully loaded truck gathers speed quickly. Truckers like to use that speed to help the truck up the next hill. Do not sit in the passing lane going the speed limit. Let the truck driver pass, and let the Highway Patrol worry about citing the trucker for breaking the law.

5) No assistance in lane changes or merges. It’s not easy to get a 22-foot tractor and 48-foot trailer into traffic easily. If a trucker has his turn signal blinking, leave room for the truck to merge or change lanes. Indicate your willingness to allow the truck in by flashing your lights.

According to “Sharing the Road,” a booklet distributed by John Deere Transportation Insurance, the three most common types of accidents involving heavy trucks involve the following:

1) Crashes caused by the truck’s inability to stop in time.2) Crashes caused by a motorist trying to pass a truck on the right while the truck is making a right-hand turn. Also known as the right turn squeeze.3) Crashes caused by a motorist riding in the trucker’s blind spots. Use the following rule of thumb: If you cannot see the truck driver in his mirrors, he probably cannot see you.

By taking simple common-sense steps to protect yourself and your family when driving near large trucks, traffic fatalities will continue to drop. Over the years, the trucking industry has improved the quality of truck drivers by making it more difficult to qualify for and keep a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Mandatory drug testing has also been instituted. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published the following data in 2008. The intoxication rate for drivers involved in fatal accidents was:

27% for motorcycle riders 23% for light truck drivers (pickups and SUVs, that is) 23% for passenger car drivers 1% for truck drivers

Still, more work must be done to combat tightly scheduled deliveries, overbearing stacks of paperwork and driver fatigue caused by federal regulations that work against the human body’s natural circadian rhythm.

After meeting with truck driving instructors at Triton College, with representatives from the Illinois Transportation Association and learning what it takes to pilot a tractor-trailer by taking the wheel myself, we joined Taylor for a ride in a brand-new empty tanker truck.

We covered suburban roads during a half-hour loop just to the southeastern side of O’Hare airport. During our 30-minute ride, two motorists turned left across traffic directly in front of the truck. One young woman in a Toyota Celica crossed no more than 50 feet in front of us as she zoomed onto a side street. An older couple in a Dodge Grand Caravan turned in front of our International tractor, and incredibly, slowed so they wouldn’t scrape the van on a steep driveway apron to a convenience store. A dude in a Camaro RS blasted by on the left, cut in front of the truck and stopped at a red light we were approaching. When the light turned green, he turned right.

These are the kinds of driving habits that we must break for truck-related accident rates to drop even lower. After a day at truck driving school, we left Chicago for Denver in a Subaru Outback. During that evening and the next day traveling I-80 and I-76, we were keenly aware of the needs of the truckers with whom we shared the road. We behaved more courteously toward truck drivers and fellow motorists than usual, and exercised more patience. We doubt very much that by driving more defensively and less aggressively we arrived in Denver any sooner than we would have had we not let that Kenworth into our lane back in Iowa or had we tried to beat that Freightliner to the construction zone near Lincoln, Neb. We do feel, however, that our trip was a safer one, that we had done our part to make highway travel better. Now it’s time to do yours.

Thank you Bob for this great 5 Star Review!

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Acura to Present the World Premiere of History of the Eagles: Part One at 2013 Sundance Film Festival

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Acura Launches Sweepstakes for an Exclusive Experience at the Sundance Film Festival and an Auction of Eagles Autographed Memorabilia
12/21/2012 – TORRANCE, Calif.

Third time presenting auto sponsor of the Sundance Film Festival, Acura, will be presenting multi-GRAMMY® award winning rock band, the Eagles, world premiere of their documentary, History of the Eagles: Part One at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the film’s premiere, the innovative “Acura Studio” in Park City will host a special appearance by the Eagles — Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit — and an exclusive preview clip from the film.

History of the Eagles: Part One will premiere on Saturday, January 19 at 9:30 p.m. at The Eccles Theater and will be followed by a Q&A with producer Alex Gibney and director Alison Ellwood.

“For the last 5 years, and intensely this past year, we have been putting together this documentary of our history with Alex and Alison, who have contributed their extraordinary talents to help us tell our story,” said Glenn Frey of the Eagles. “We’re all very pleased with the progress so far, and are excited to see the finished product at Sundance.”

The film explores the band’s creation and rise to fame in the 1970s through their breakup in 1980. More than 25 new interviews were conducted with all current and former band members, as well as with many others who have been closely involved in their history. In addition, the documentary features previously unreleased home movies and archival footage, including a rare 1977 concert film from the Hotel California tour. Personal photos, video and memorabilia amassed by the Eagles over the course of their career will also be seen for the very first time.

“Acura is thrilled to return to the Sundance Film Festival for the third consecutive year as the presenting auto sponsor,” said Mike Accavitti, Vice President of Marketing Operations. “This year our roots grew deeper collaborating with the Eagles on an integrated campaign that includes hosting the world premiere of their documentary, a luxury sweepstakes to attend the festival hosted on Acura’s Facebook page and an Eagles’ guitar auction that will raise money for a local charity”.

On December 20, Acura launched the “Sundance Film Festival Fly-In” sweepstakes, giving one lucky winner and their guest an opportunity to enjoy the Sundance Film Festival first-hand with the Eagles and Acura. The grand-prize:

  • Trip to Sundance Film Festival (airfare)
  • Passes to the Eagles film premiere and Q&A session
  • Luxury ski-in accommodations for three nights
  • Ground transportation
  • Other surprises

Sweepstakes began on December 20, 2012 at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time and ends on January 9, 2013 at 8:59 p.m. Pacific Time. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal U.S. residents residing in the forty-eight (48) contiguous United States or Washington D.C. and who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or the age of majority in their state of primary residence at the time of entry. The Grand Prize winner must be available to travel from January 17, 2013 – January 21, 2013. See Official Rules at http://www.acurasundance.com/rules for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions/restrictions/ARVs and complete details. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes sponsored by American Honda Motor Co., Inc. For information please visit Acura’s Facebook page, “Sundance Film Festival History of the Eagles Part One” tab.

In addition, on January 19, Acura will launch an online “Eagles Guitar Auction” that will feature an acoustic guitar autographed by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit. Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, a non-profit organization located in Park City, Utah, with a mission to Preserve the land and the human connection to the natural landscape, to Educate the local and broader communities about the value of nature, and to Nurture both the ecosystem and the people connected with it.

On Saturday afternoon, January 19, members of the Eagles will appear at the Acura Studio (528 Main Street, Park City, UT 84060), which was launched in 2012 and has played host to several big events, to autograph a signature acoustic guitar and kick off the charity auction.

 

Source: Acura Media

Enjoy the outstanding 2013 Acura RDX at Continental Acura

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Drive into the new year in a vehicle like this! It’s the 2013 Acura RDX. Visit us and you can drive away in this beautiful SUV today. Click here to learn more about the RDX.

2013 Acura RDX Review.

The 2013 Acura RDX is all-new, and that sounds exciting, doesn’t it? The RDX received a makeover, both inside and out, and the compact SUV even got a little bigger to give families a tad more wiggle room. The engine was changed from a turbo four-cylinder to a V-6, which results in better fuel economy. Despite all these changes, I liked the RDX, but didn’t love it.

I suppose that’s my problem; when it comes to the luxury market, I’m looking for love. Why splurge on a luxury crossover if I can get a similarly sized vehicle for considerably less? It’s that emotional bond you get from a luxury vehicle, you know — the one that justifies investing a little more.

The 2013 Acura RDX does have a lot to offer families, but I’m not convinced it’s enough to spring for its higher sticker price.

Setting emotions aside, driving the RDX’s 3.5-liter V-6 does feel good. It’s powerful, but not beefy; it was enough to make things fun behind the wheel if I wanted them to be, but not too much to tempt me to be irresponsible. Maneuvering the RDX through the tight neighborhood parking lots wasn’t a problem, and its responsiveness of the brakes felt just right.

The all-new 2013 Acura RDX with front-wheel drive has a starting price of $35,215, including an $895 destination charge. My test car, equipped with all-wheel drive and the optional Technology Package, cost $40,315.

EXTERIOR

The Acura design aesthetic is easily recognizable throughout its lineup, and the all-new RDX follows suit. The 2013 RDX looks clean, chiseled and subtly sporty. Acuras always remind me of chameleons because they can look masculine or feminine; it just depends who is driving, making the crossover suitable for either Mom or Dad.

 

The RDX makes loading infants and toddlers into their child-safety seats a breeze because the safety seats sit at an ideal height to get kids in without bending or stretching. The RDX isn’t so high that younger children or adults will have to strain much to climb in, but a little assistance may be necessary. The door handles sit at a reasonable height to be grabbed by passengers of all heights.

The cargo area surprised me. It looked small at first glance, but it was able to hold my international houseguest’s over-packed luggage when I picked him up from the airport. My stroller also fit, though I think a double stroller would require a test run. If you need extra space, the cargo area is actually quite large when the 60/40-split rear seats are folded down, and it’s easy to collapse them in one motion with a single lever found in the back.

My test car also had a power liftgate. This feature, which makes the hearts of multitasking parents sing, is usually an option on most vehicles, and it’s the same with the RDX. I’m rather irked that this is considered an upgrade on a luxury vehicle.

Some of the best news about the RDX’s redesign is its standard 273-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It gets an EPA-estimated 20/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 19/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. That’s better than the previous RDX’s turbo four-cylinder engine that got 19/24 mpg with front-wheel drive and 17/22 mpg with all-wheel drive. I averaged just under the EPA’s 22 mpg combined city/highway fuel-economy number during my weeklong test drive, logging mostly city miles. Filling the gas tank with the recommended premium gasoline may sting a little, but Acura says it’s not required.

 

SENSE AND STYLE

Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some

INTERIOR

You can tell that Acura had families in mind when designing the RDX’s interior space, and there are definite triumphs but also a few fails. The positives include ample legroom and plenty of storage compartments.

 

The 2013 RDX grew with its redesign, creating more legroom for both rows. This five-seater accommodated child-safety seats with ease, but it could only manage two of them, which isn’t unusual for compact SUVs.

Generous storage compartments make things convenient inside the RDX. In addition to the usual two cupholders in front and two cupholders in back, there are bottleholders in each door. The center console houses an ample bin, and there’s also a good-sized compartment underneath the center stack that can hold an MP3 player or smartphone while plugged in via USB. And, should you need a place to store a few books or magazines to entertain the kids, there are also two seatback pockets.

I found the center stack in the RDX to be overwhelming because it’s cluttered with buttons. My test car had the optional Technology Package ($3,700), which includes a premium stereo, navigation system and AcuraLink, a multimedia system. I found the navigation system’s graphics to be dated, and AcuraLink was frustrating to use at times. This diminished the RDX’s promised luxury experience.

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT

Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): More than Fair/Less than Ample

SAFETY

The 2013 RDX has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It received the top score of Good in front, side, rear and roof-strength crash tests. It hasn’t yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Installing child-safety seats was a cinch in the RDX. There are two sets of lower Latch anchors in the backseat. Slits in the seat cushions provide a foolproof way to locate them, as well as make access easy. Find out how the RDX performed in Cars.com’s Car Seat Check.

The RDX has standard front-wheel drive, four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system with traction control, a multiview rear camera with rear parking sensors and six airbags, including side curtains for both rows. Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and all-wheel drive are optional.

 

Source: Cars.com

December 17, 2012

Prepare your vehicle for this winter weather!

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Did you know that cold weather reduces tire pressure and that your tire tread depth should be at least 1/8-inch? Let us here at Continental Acura help prepare your vehicle for this winter weather! http://continentalacura.com/