Detroit Free Press Names Ram 1500 Truck of the Year

The 2013 Ram 1500 was recently named the Truck of the Year by the Detroit Free Press. Mark Phelan, a distinguished automotive journalist who works for the news provider, explained that this model was chosen as the winner because it "combines workhorse capability with fuel efficiency." The Ram gets 25 miles to the gallon, putting it at the front of its class in terms of fuel economy. There are also a number of engine choices, so drivers are able to get the right amount of power that they need to tow heavy loads and handle other big jobs.

"The new Ram 1500 takes a massive step forward in technology and fuel economy, representing the direction the Ram Truck Brand is heading with all its models," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico for Chrysler Group LLC. "… This award will be well-received by our dealers and customers, reiterating the fact that Ram has the best truck on the market."

Drivers who like the Ram truck don't necessarily have to purchase a new model to get a great pickup, as these vehicles have been produced for many years. This makes it easy to find used vehicles at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models. If car shoppers cannot decide between a Ram and other popular models such as the Ford F-150 or the Toyota Tundra, they can take test drives to make a more informed decision. No matter what they choose, they can drive off the lot with confidence, as each model is CARFAX certified.

Men and Women Should Be Careful Driving on New Year’s Eve

It's no secret that men and women are different in many ways, and a new study reveals that they also have different risk levels when it comes to drinking and driving. While both sexes have a higher chance of getting into an accident if they get behind the wheel after drinking alcoholic beverages, VroomGirls, an online automotive information provider for women, found that the risk may be a bit higher for ladies.

The study examined car accident statistics from across the nation and found that women who were involved in fatal car accidents were 7 percent more likely than men in the these types of car crashes to have blood alcohol levels at or below 0.08 percent, the most common legal limit. Conversely, men were more likely to be involved in alcohol-related car accidents than women, as 17.5 percent of accidents involving male drivers also involved alcohol. Only 9.5 percent of fatal accidents with female drivers were alcohol related.

While these findings are interesting, it is important for men and women alike to take precautions on New Year's Eve and the following day, as this holiday has been found to be one of the most dangerous for drivers. Those planning to indulge in a few glasses of Champagne may want to designate a driver or call a cab to get home from their festivities safely.

"We encourage every driver to be safe and responsible on the road year-round, but it's especially important during the holiday party season that concludes on New Year's Eve," said Tara Weingarten, co-founder and editor-in-chief of VroomGirls. "Drinking and driving never mix."

Should drivers get into fender benders, they can get their cars repaired after the holiday at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. The expert mechanics can address most major repair needs and give your car a tune-up to ensure it is running well in the 2013.

Hyundai Sonata Breaks Previous Sales Record

Hyundai has climbed the ranks to become one of the leading car brands in recent years, and now the popular midsize Sonata has broken its all-time annual sales record. Last year, this model sold a record-setting 225,961 units, but the Sonata has already surpassed this amount in 2012, with a few days left to close out the year. The car has been turning heads for a few years now, standing out among other similar models for its impressive performance and many features.

"Sonata's redesign in early 2010 demonstrates that midsize sedans that paired bold design and fuel-efficiency with long-time segment essentials such as roominess, safety and durability could really break through," said John Krafcik, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. "We'd like to think Sonata helped spur on the latest generation of bolder midsize sedans, and we're happy to see that this new competition hasn't dented Sonata retail sales, which are now running third behind only Camry and Accord in December."

Since the redesigned Hyundai has been available for a few years, drivers searching for used cars may be able to find previously owned Sonatas. Oftentimes, used models already have many of the great features that are included in the sale price. These same additions would each cost extra for car shoppers looking to buy new models. NJ State Auto Auction has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, making it easy for drivers in the New York/New Jersey area to find the ride they want. Plus, every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, ensuring drivers will get behind the wheel of a reliable ride.

Kelley Blue Book Expects December Car Sales to End Year on Strong Note

As the year winds to a close, Kelley Blue Book predicts new car sales in December will push the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 15.2 million units. At this time last year, the most confident predictions guessed the rate for 2012 would reach 15 million units. Since sales exceeded expectations, this is a clear indicator that the economic environment of the auto industry is continuing to improve. The rash of vehicle sales that followed in the wake of Superstorm Sandy certainly bolstered sales a bit, but this increase only lasted a little more than one month.

"Our analysts believe most buyers seeking a replacement for a vehicle damaged or destroyed by Superstorm Sandy already found the new or used car they needed in November," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book. "There was some lingering replacement demand coming in from New York and New Jersey through the first week of December, but as the month went on, the sales pace in these states returned to pre-storm levels."

The 13 percent year-over-year increase in new car sales is also beneficial to the used car industry. In the past few years, there has been a high demand for used models, as many people turned to pre-owned vehicles during and following the recession to save money, and others held on to their vehicles for longer. This led to reduced inventories and drove up prices, but now that new car sales are on the rise, the cost of used models is beginning to ebb. Drivers looking to purchase used models can take advantage of the lower prices and find the car they want at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from.

New Year’s Day is Deadliest Day for Driving in U.S.

It's no secret that many people consume excessive amounts of alcohol to welcome in the new year, so it should come as no surprise that New Year's Day has been named the deadliest day for alcohol related traffic accident deaths. This is a major part of the reason AAA recently announced its support for devices that help monitor those who have been convicted of drunk driving.

To ensure that anyone, even a first-time offender, who has gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated does not repeat their actions, AAA believes anyone who has been charged with drunk driving should be required to install ignition interlock devices (IIDs) that would prevent them from using their vehicle if they're intoxicated
. IIDs have been proven to reduce the risk of repeat offenses and keep drunk drivers off the road.

AAA is not the only organization showing its support for such devices, as the National Transportation Safety Board is also standing behind these helpful devices as an excellent way to curb drunk driving.

"Safety can be improved by requiring ignition interlock device use for all first-time DUI offenders," Anita Lorz, the NTSB's traffic safety and community programs manager, told the Los Angeles Times. "… However, simply mandating the device is not enough. We need to ensure that judges actally order IID use and that there is effective oversight and enforcements to ensure offenders have the devices in place on their vehicles."

The technology can be installed on nearly any vehicle, so drivers can still choose which car they'll be driving. They can find a safe, reliable model at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models at affordable prices.

Safety Tips for New Year’s Eve Driving

Now that Christmas, Hanukkah and other winter holidays are over, most people are stocking up on champagne, noisemakers and silly hats to ring in the New Year. Since this holiday is so commonly celebrated with late night parties where people are drinking alcoholic beverages, it also means that the likelihood of car accidents increases in the hours leading up to and following the stroke of midnight on January 1. According to a report conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2007, New Year's was the winter holiday with the most traffic fatalities between 2001 and 2005.

Designate a Driver
If you are planning to indulge in a glass or two of champagne this New Year's Eve, you should also organize a contingency plan to get home from your party safely. Leave the car at home, so you don't even have the option of getting behind the wheel, and call a taxi or use another transportation service. You can also choose someone in your group of friends to be a designated driver and ensure everyone arrives home safely once the festivities are over.

Be Cautious Behind the Wheel
If possible, you may want to avoid driving on New Year's Eve and in the wee hours of New Year's Day. However, if you have chosen to be the designated driver or you need to be on the road for other reasons, you should pay more attention to other drivers than usual. Watch for dangerous behaviors such as swerving and fluctuating speeds that could indicate they may be inebriated. Even if a car seems to be fine, you may still want to keep your distance so you have plenty of time to react if something happens.

Following these tips can help keep you safe this New Year's Eve, but if you do get into an accident, the experts at New Jersey State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center can help get your vehicle back in working order.

IIHS Finds Near-Luxury Midsize Sedans Beat Luxury Models in Terms of Safety

Safety is a primary concern for drivers, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts all new models of vehicles through rigorous crash tests to measure their level of safety. The newest test to be added to the roster is the small overlap crash test, which replicates incidents when the front corner of a vehicle collides with an object like a tree or another car. Each car being tested is sent toward a 5-foot barrier, traveling at 40 miles per hour, and 25 percent of the vehicle's front end strikes this rigid object.

The IIHS recently released the results for 29 near-luxury and luxury midsize sedans from the 2013 model year, and the former group turned out much better results overall. The near-luxury group included the top performing Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi as well as 11 models that received "acceptable" ratings. Among the 11 luxury midsize cars, only three models earned "good" or "acceptable" ratings.

"It's remarkable that this group of midsize family cars did so much better than the midsize luxury car group," said IIHS President Adrian Lund. "The difference is stunning. Thirteen of these midsize cars offer better crash protection than all but three of their luxury counterparts, and at a price that's easier on the wallet."

Since the IIHS conducts these safety crash tests every year, drivers in the market for used cars can research tests from years past to learn more about the models they're interested in. When they have narrowed down their choices, car shoppers can head to New Jersey State Auto Auction to test drive a variety of cars, trucks and SUVs. Every vehicle on the lot is CARFAX certified, allowing motorists to get behind the wheel of a safe and reliable ride.

Older Adults Benefit from Voice-Activated Car Technology

Distraction behind the wheel is a serious issue for all drivers, but technological advances, such as voice commands and hands-free phone connectivity are helping to reduce the risk of distraction-related accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 18 percent of all accidents in 2010 were affected by distractions. This includes everything from texting or talking on the phone to eating and taking your eyes off the road to check a display screen in the car.

Many studies focus on the risk that distractions can create for younger drivers, but aging motorists need to be considered as well, as approximately 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. As people age, their sensory abilities may wane, making it even more dangerous for them to use in-car technologies.

However, a recent study by automotive technology company Agero Connected Services found that voice activated technology can help senior drivers stay safer on the roads. When compared to drivers between the ages of 18 and 30, those aged 65 to 75 demonstrated similar driving capabilities while using voice technology.

"Using either a speech-only interface of a speech interface combined with brief glances to a display screen helped senior drivers improve their driving and leveled the performance gap between the two generations," explained Tom Schalk, vice president of voice technology for Agero.

Without speech recognition technology, seniors only detected 74 percent of peripheral signals in a driving test. This number rose to 94 percent with the introduction of voice activated technology, comparable to the 95 percent rate for younger drivers without the technology.

This feature can be found on some older vehicles, but can also be installed as an aftermarket accessory to make any car safer. Older drivers can find the ride they want at New Jersey State Auto Auction, which carries a wide selection of makes and models.

December is Ideal to Find Deals on New and Used Cars

As the year draws to a close, dealerships are making every effort to get rid of their 2012 inventory, and as such there are many incentives and other offers for new vehicles. recently put together a list of the best deals on new cars, and they found drivers looking to buy can save an average of 8.2 percent off the MSRP in December. Models like the 2013 Chrysler 200, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford Focus and BMW 5 Series all have even more savings, each offering over 11 percent off the original price.

"Manufacturers continue to offer attractive year-end incentives to help move metal off dealership lots," said Jesse Toprak, senior automotive analyst for "December has always been a good month to purchase or lease a luxury vehicle. This year, we're also seeing some strong incentives on large trucks as well. Car buyers should always to their research before buying a car…"

Car shoppers may want to consider used cars as well when researching options for their next vehicle. Not only can they save on the initial price, but there are other advantages as well. Previously owned cars depreciate much more slowly than brand new cars, which can lose as much as 50 percent of its value in just four years of ownership, according to If you are planning to trade in your vehicle after a few years for a newer model, as many drivers do, then you could save a lot more in the long run by opting to purchase a used vehicle.

Additionally, as more drivers trade in their current vehicles to take advantage of new car deals, the inventory of used models will grow as well. New Jersey State Auto Auction has four acres of used cars, trucks and SUVs to choose from, and every model on the lot is CARFAX certified. This allows drivers to know they'll be getting behind the wheel of a reliable ride.

Parents Should Discuss Road Safety with Teen Drivers Before New Year’s Eve

The holiday season is a time filled with cheer, friends and celebrations, but New Year's Eve is also full of dangers, especially on the road. A recent survey by Students Against Destructive Decisions and Liberty Mutual Insurance revealed that roughly 12 percent of teen drivers admitted to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol on this holiday. Even though 49 percent of surveyed teen drivers indicated they believe New Year's Eve is a dangerous time to drive, it is still essential for parents to talk to their kids about the risks as well as good behaviors to ensure they are safe while ringing in 2013.

"There are approximately 3,000 teenage driving-related deaths a year, a third of which involve alcohol," said Dave Melton, a driving safety expert and managing director of global safety for Liberty Mutual Insurance. "Parents have to play an active role in preventing underage drinking. Talk to your kids before New Year's celebrating begins and make sure they understand the importance of making smart, and possibly life-saving, decisions."

The risk of being involved in a crash is typically higher around any holidays, especially on New Year's Eve. More people are celebrating with alcohol, which increases the risk of encountering drunk drivers. The weather can also be an important risk factor to consider, as there is a chance that roads could be icy. These are both crucial points for parents to discuss with their teens before the holiday to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the celebrations and start 2013 on a good note.

In addition to discussing driving safety and good behaviors behind the wheel with teen drivers, parents can be sure they are safer on the road by putting them behind the wheel of a reliable vehicle. New Jersey State Auto Auction has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, all of which are CARFAX certified.