Warning Systems To Prevent Kids Being Left In Cars Are Ineffective, NHTSA Says

In warm weather, the interior temperature of a car can get very hot very quickly, which is extremely dangerous to a child left alone in the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports heatstroke is the leading cause of death for children under 14 involved in non-crash vehicle-related accidents.

"With summer temperatures hitting record highs around the country, child heat stroke is clearly an issue of national concern," said U.S. transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Public education is the best way to help parents and caregivers prevent tragic accidents and keep their children safe."

There are many products on the market that claim to prevent parents from accidentally leaving their kids in the car, but a recent study by the NHTSA and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) found these devices are unreliable and cannot be trusted as the only line of defense in preventing child heatstroke. CHOP analyzed the effectiveness of available products that connect to a child's safety belt and found any number of situations can render them useless. If a child slouches in his or her seat or spills a drink on the device, it may not alert the driver if they leave their kid in the car when exiting.

These devices are also ineffective when it comes to children finding their way into their parents' parked cars. If a kid decides to play in the car, he or she may get locked in. It is important for parents to consider other strategies to ensure their child is safe around the vehicle. Keeping a car locked and leaving the keys out of a child's reach can stop children from trying to play inside a vehicle. Putting a purse, wallet or phone with the child can also serve as a reminder to double check the backseat when getting out of a car.

Drivers looking for a new family car can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer carries a variety of vehicles, from minivans to SUVs and midsize sedans, so shoppers will be sure to find something that fits their families' needs.

George Clooney’s 2008 Tesla Roadster Will Go On the Auction Block at Pebble Beach

George Clooney is selling his barely driven Tesla Roadster for charity at the upcoming Pebble Beach auction, and it will likely go for at least $100,000. Tesla discontinued the Roadster line a little while back, making the limited number of vehicles on the road even more valuable to collectors, according to Green Car News.

The vehicle, which only has 1,700 miles on the odometer, is a 2008 "Signature 100" model, the eighth of its kind to roll out of the factory, the Los Angeles Times reports. Clooney plans to donate the money he makes on the Roadster to the Satellite Sentinel Project, a nonprofit organization that monitors border tensions between South Sudan and Sudan for signs of violence to prevent a civil war from breaking out. The auction will be handled by Gooding and Co auction house, which specializes in selling celebrity cars.

"This is an incredible opportunity to purchase a modern collector car with all the right elements – one owner, celebrity provenance, historical significance, limited-edition rarity and philanthropic ties," said David Gooding, president of the auction house.

According to Forbes, Gooding expects the car to sell for as much as $125,000. The initial base price of the vehicle was around $98,950, but Clooney's model likely had a few upgrades, including a premium two-tone leather interior. The auction featuring the Tesla will also have a $10 million 1936 Mercedes-Benz Von Krieger 540K Special Roadster, Jay Leno's Fiat and a Ferrari Scaglietti owned by Andy Warhol available to interested buyers.

Drivers in the market for a more modest ride may want to head over to New Jersey State Auto, which carries a wide variety of vehicles. Every car on the lot is CARFAX certified, so buyers know they'll be driving away in a reliable ride.

New Electric Vehicles Emerge on the Market

Most major automakers have electric vehicles or hybrids in their lineups, but these options are typically accompanied by higher price tags than comparable gas-powered options. There is now a new option for drivers looking to make the switch to electric without spending too much. Alvarez Electric Motors Company (AEMC) recently unveiled its very first vehicles, the Eco-E Commuter Car, EcoVan and EcoTruck.

The Eco-E has a maximum range of 30 to 40 miles and can reach a cruising speed of 25 miles per hour, making it a possibility for drivers who spend most of their time on city streets. The car starts at about $10,000, and is expected to use up about $5 of electricity on a monthly basis. AEMC partnered with the Liuzhou Wuling Special Purpose Vehicle Manufacturing Company in China to create these new electric vehicles.

"Americans who love the environment and hate the price of gasoline are showing an increasing level of interest in owning an electric vehicle, but they sometimes have been stymied by the relatively high cost of ownership," said Ramon Alvarez, the president of AEMC. "AEMC is going to bridge that gap with a commuter car that is priced just under $10,000 and is eligible for thousands of dollars in rebates and tax credits through our local, state and federal governments."

Alvarez believes the Eco-E could be perfect for commuting across a college campus, getting around a golf course or at large-scale manufacturing sites. The new car is smaller than a Smart ForTwo, and only seats two, so drivers who want something bigger may want to consider used options that don't break the bank and can be driven on the highway. NJ Auto Auction features a wide variety of makes and models at affordable prices, including the Toyota Prius and other alternative fuel options.

GM Works to Develop Driver Assistance App to Prevent Pedestrian Collisions

While it is important for drivers to always pay attention to the road and watch for pedestrians, some situations don't leave a lot of reaction time. For instance, if a person steps into the road from behind a large truck, a driver would not be able to see them until they were already in the street. General Motors is working to find the solution to this problem – a Wi-Fi application that can detect pedestrians, bicyclists and other dangers on the roadway.

"This new wireless capability could warn drivers about pedestrians who might be stepping into the roadway from behind a parked vehicle, or bicyclists who are riding in the car's blind spot," said Nancy Boules, GM's global research and development director of the electrical and control systems research lab. "Wi-Fi Direct has the potential to become an integral part of the comprehensive driver assistance systems we offer on many of our Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles."

GM's safety assistance technology is based on Wi-Fi Direct, a peer-to-peer development that allows wireless devices to connect with one another directly. Most peer-to-peer technology involves signals being sent to and from cellphone towers, which could add seconds to the delivery of a warning signal. Vehicles with the Wi-Fi Direct technology would be able to interact with nearby smartphones and other wireless devices that has the same app almost instantly. Drivers would be alerted if there was a potential danger ahead or in their blind spot, which could help prevent countless accidents.

While this technology may not be available just yet, drivers looking to get behind the wheel of a safe, reliable vehicle should head to New Jersey State Auto Auction. Every model is CARFAX certified, and there is a wide variety to choose from.

Volkswagen Builds Beetle Shark Cage For Discovery Channel’s Shark Week

For the past 25 years, Discovery Channel has hosted a week-long homage to sharks, and this year Volkswagen will be one of the presenting sponsors of Shark Week. For the occasion, Volkswagen has built its very own shark cage in the likeness of the 2012 Beetle. The automaker will present its creation – from designing and building the cage to putting it underwater – in three one-minute clips that will be aired throughout Shark Week.

"Shark Week has a loyal and enthusiastic following of fans, and we're thrilled to partner with Discovery Channel on this 25th anniversary special," said Justin Osborne, general manager of marketing communications for Volkswagen of America, Inc. "We wanted the integration to be authentic and fit naturally with the Volkswagen brand, imprinting our signature style on Shark Week. The Beetle shark cage plays on the silhouettes of two of the most iconic images – the shark fin and the Volkswagen Beetle."

The Beetle has not commonly been associated with the ferocity of the shark, as it's had more of a happy, bubbly appearance until the 2012 redesign came along. The new model has a more muscular design than its predecessors, and the dash-mounted flower vase is gone as well. Volkswagen even chose to reveal the new car during the 2012 Super Bowl to appeal to a more masculine consumer base. Scott Clark, one of the project's creative directors, told AutoBlog that "Shark Week is Discovery's Super Bowl," which may be why the German automaker has chosen to sponsor the television event, which runs August 12 to 16.

Drivers in the market for a Volkswagen of their own can head to NJ Auto Auction, which offers a variety of used makes and models at affordable pricing. Financing is not an issue either, as a partnership with the Credit Acceptance Corporation means every driver will be approved for a loan.

New Vehicles In 2012 Set Fuel Economy Record

New federal guidelines for fleetwide fuel economy improvements as well as consumer demand for better fuel economy have spurred automakers to strive to improve their vehicles' gas consumption. The hard work has paid off, as industry analysts Baum and Associates found new cars that came onto the market in the first half of 2012 set the record for high fuel efficiency.

The average fuel economy of new passenger vehicles in the first six months of 2012 was calculated to be 23.8 miles per gallon (mpg), which is a 1.1-mpg improvement over the previous six months. The estimated averages are already ahead of expert predictions of 23.4 mpg for the year, and they will only get better as the year progresses.

"Thanks to a bumper crop of fuel efficient models in the most popular segments, consumers don't have to choose between fuel efficiency and performance," said Alan Baum, principal of Baum and Associates. "No matter what type of vehicle you want, midsize car, minivan, SUV or pickup truck, car makers are now upping fuel efficiency performance across the board. The new era of fuel efficiency is truly here."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets fuel economy guidelines for automakers to meet, and last year they set the new corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standard to be 54.5 MPG by 2025. These guidelines will be finalized by the fall, which means consumers can expect to see the average fuel economy continue to improve over the coming years.

While new cars, in many cases, have vastly improved mileage over their predecessors, this does not mean there are not fuel efficient used models available. In fact, there are many options available for used car shoppers at NJ Auto Auction. Plus, every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, so drivers know they'll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.

July Car Sales Show Year-Over-Year Improvements

Reports of July car sales are already flooding in, even though the month is not quite over, and overall vehicle sales are experiencing the second strongest growth rate they have seen in the past 12 months, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The automotive experts at J.D. Power predict new vehicle sales for the month will come in around 969,200 units. Although it is a modest decline from June sales, it's still promising for the year. Total sales, including used cars, will reach about 1,168,000 units in July, which is approximately 20 percent better than July 2011.

"Retail sales got off to a fast start in July, and while they've slowed down a bit as the month has progressed, through the first 16 selling days, they're still up 15.1 percent compared to July 2011," said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "The positive growth has continued to build, as July is looking strong across most vehicle segments."

In particular, subcompact, compact and midsize vehicles are expected to show year-over-year gains of at least 28 percent in July. Sales of midsize crossover SUVs, on the other hand, are projected to slow in July.

Economic recovery, consumer confidence and pent-up demand for new vehicles has taken some of the strain off used vehicle sales, resulting in slowly declining prices for used cars. This makes it an excellent time to head to NJ Auto Auction to find the perfect used ride. All the cars, SUVs and trucks on the lot are CARFAX certified, so drivers know they'll be leaving in a reliable vehicle.

What To Do In The Event of a Car Accident

Traffic accidents can occur at any moment, whether it's during inclement weather or under blue skies, if there is a traffic jam or the road is nearly empty. Sometimes a crash is unavoidable, and drivers should be prepared in the event they find themselves in this situation. AAA recently released a few pointers to help motorists know what to do if they get into accidents.

"Even the most prepared and competent drivers sometimes find themselves involved in a crash," said Dr. William Van Tassel, manager of AAA Driver Training Programs. "It does not matter who is at fault, the most important thing to do first is make sure everyone is OK, then seek medical and law enforcement help and know what to do to protect yourself from legal or financial problems down the road."

When you get into a crash, the first thing to do is make sure everyone in your vehicle and the other vehicle, if there is another car involved, is all right. If anyone is hurt, call for help right away. If not, move to the next step, getting everyone to safety. Move the cars, if you can, off the road. Then, you have to call the police. This is the law, and a traffic accident report needs to be filed. You will need to explain to the cops what happened, and the report will help if you need to file a liability claim later on.

The next step is to trade contact, vehicle and insurance information with the other driver. You will also want to document the accident, taking pictures of damage and the scene of the accident. Then, submit all the information to your insurance company and have the other driver do the same.

If your car needs work, you can bring it to New Jersey Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. The repair shop, located in Jersey City, is open to the public and the maintenance experts can help you get your ride back on the road.

Downsizing Your Ride Doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Quality

There used to be a dramatic difference in quality between smaller and larger vehicles, but that is quickly becoming a thing of the past. J.D. Power and Associates recently released findings from the annual Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which shows more than twice as many drivers "downd," or downsized when they traded in their old vehicle for a new one, than those who "upd," replaced their old model with one from a larger segment.

The former group accounted for 27 percent of new-vehicle buyers, while the latter made up 13 percent of this group. The remaining 60 percent stayed within the same segment when replacing their old cars. The study found that trade-in cars were on average about 6 years old, and since these drivers have last purchased new cars, there have been major changes and advancements across the board that have made smaller vehicles more appealing.

"New-vehicle buyers who down are not making sacrifices that they once were," said David Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power and Associates. "Automakers are heavily focused on providing the U.S. market with appealing smaller models, and buyers may be surprised at just how good some of them are"

Smaller vehicles these days provide better performance, fuel economy, styling and features than many older models. That's not to say older compact and subcompact vehicles are lacking in quality. There are plenty of options available for drivers looking to purchase used vehicles at New Jersey State Auto. Every vehicle on the dealer's lot is CARFAX certified, so buyers know they'll be driving away in reliable rides.

San Francisco and Other Cities Consider Taxing Drivers Per Mile

San Francisco drivers may soon be paying taxes for how far they drive rather than how much gas they use. According to The Associated Press, the local government is determining the effectiveness of taxing motorists per mile driven rather than by gas consumption. To measure mileage, odometer-like equipment will need to be installed in personal vehicles. Drivers may be charged anywhere from less than a penny to 10 cents per mile, the news source reports.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments have decided to take this approach as an answer to the improving fuel economy, according to The Associated Press. They are also hoping this taxation may reduce congestion and vehicle emission pollutants by encouraging drivers to drive more frugally.

"The last thing we're interested in is where you go and what you do," Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler told the AP. "What we're trying to do is get people to figure out a way to raise revenue that they could support."

San Francisco is not the first city to consider this taxation method, and it may not be the last. The Jacksonville Business Journal reports Florida officials are thinking about a similar tax, in which drivers will be required to report their mileage when they renew their registrations. Being taxed per mile can encourage drivers to think more about how much they're getting behind the wheel.

Drivers can counterbalance these potential taxes by driving vehicles with excellent fuel economy. There are many fuel efficient models for drivers to choose from at NJ Auto Auction. Plus, every car is CARFAX certified, so buyers know they'll be driving away in a reliable ride.