Daydreaming Ranks Highly on List of Driving Distractions

As April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a great deal of information surrounding the dangerous behavior is being brought to light. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 18 percent of all injury crashes in 2010 involved distracted driving. 

The latest research comes from Erie Insurance, which analyzed police report data from 2010 and 2011 to determine just what distractions are causing people to get into accidents. Among the top distractions were smoking-related activities, eating and drinking, adjusting the radio and other dashboard controls, rubbernecking, handling handheld devices such as navigation systems, and using cellphones to make calls or send texts. However, none of these held a candle to the most commonly reported distraction – daydreaming.

Being "lost in thought" or "generally distracted," as police officers wrote on accident reports, accounted for 62 percent of all distracted drivers, whereas using a cellphone was only the cause in 12 percent of accidents. This finding makes it clear that it doesn't matter what you're doing – if you're not 100 percent focused on the task of driving, the risk of a crash will increase drastically.

"Treat driving as a complicated task requiring your full attention," the foundation said on its website. "Remember 20 complex decisions are needed for every mile you drive."

The study also found that roughly one in 10 accidents involved at least one form of distracted driving, but the authors noted that some police reports may have been inaccurate or certain drivers might not have been entirely honest about their behavior behind the wheel.

It is important for every driver to observe safe practices behind the wheel and pay attention to the road, as a few motorists may think they're above the law.

Those looking to improve their safety on the road can find a reliable used car, truck or SUV on the lot at New Jersey State Auto Auction. The dealer has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from, and every vehicle is CARFAX certified.

Ford Focus Is The World’s Best Selling Car

Sometimes the best-selling cars are popular for a reason. Fan favorite automobiles frequently boast great features, handling, exemplary safety features and more, making them well-known and sought after. If that's the case, then the Ford Focus must be a stellar drive, as the car was the world's best selling model last year. 

According to figures from R.L. Polk & Co., the Ford Focus was the top selling car of 2012. The model moved more than 1.02 million units, outdistancing the Toyota Corolla by about 17 percent, NBC News reports. In the U.S. alone, sales of the Focus grew by an astonishing 40 percent and also posted significant increases in China and several European markets. 

Part of the reason Ford performed so well is because it started shifting its focus to more compact, fuel-efficient vehicles. Constructing superior small cars has boosted its prestige in Europe as well as the U.S., where drivers are beginning to look for more economic and environmentally friendly options. 

While Ford is rejoicing in its victory, Toyota maintains that the results are incomplete. Reuters reports the manufacturer claims its figures are missing a few derivatives of the Corolla, which may impact the final count – the actual final number could be as high as 1.16 million models sold. While there can be no official winner until these results come in, it appears as though the Focus reigns supreme. 

Drivers who are interested in shopping around for a Ford Focus or a similar car can make their way to NJ State Auto Auction, which has a wide selection of CARFAX certified used vehicles. With so many makes and models to choose from, prospective buyers shouldn't have a problem finding an automobile that can meet all of their driving needs. 

Car Repair Costs Rise For The First Time In 6 Years

CarMD recently released its third annual Vehicle Health Index study, and the results showed some good and bad news for drivers. The good news is cars and their individual parts are being built to last. Many vehicles are able to go longer without the need for standard tune ups or repairs, and when small issues do arise, drivers are taking care of maintenance themselves.

There was also some positive news for hybrid owners, as the cost of repairs on these environmentally friendly automobiles is dropping. As more hybrids enter the mainstream, their parts are becoming easier to get and professionals are more familiar with methods of fixing them, which helps reduce overall costs. 

"The broad findings in the CarMD Vehicle Health Index can empower consumers to extend vehicle life through informed repair and maintenance decisions," said Ieon C. Chen, CEO of CarMD. "Whether you make repairs yourself or seek service from a trusted professional, the most common check engine-related repairs demonstrate that addressing small problems early is key to saving time and money." 

Not all of the news was positive for drivers, however. In the past year, the average cost of repairs has risen 10 percent. The price of individual parts is up 6 percent and labor costs grew by a whopping 17 percent, and the most expensive and extensive forms of car repairs – called "catastrophic" repairs – increased in frequency by 24 percent. 

Drivers who believe their vehicle is not performing up to snuff shouldn't hesitate to reach out to a professional. If you think something is wrong with your car or you're simply ready to bring it in for a tune up, you can head to the Total Car Care Center at NJ State Auto Auction. The garage caters to the public and can help drivers handle any issues or problems that may come about. 

GM Dominates 2013 ‘Best Cars For Families’ List

Once you start a family, the type of car you drive becomes an even more important topic than ever before. Parents are constantly on the lookout for vehicles that have the best safety features, entertainment options and cargo space for everything a growing family needs, but it can be difficult to narrow down the choices. U.S. News & World Report compiled a list of the Best Cars for Families based on the quality, features and space that people today need, and the cars recognized could be worthy selections for most families. 

"We created the Best Cars for Families awards to make it easier for parents to find cars, SUVs and vans that will help make their lives easier," said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "With such a broad range of award winners, any family can find the best car for their lifestyle." 

GM earned the most awards of any manufacturer, with three brands and six individual models recognized in the different categories. The Cadillac Escalade, Buick Lacrosse, Buick Verano, Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Suburban were among the winning vehicles in areas like compact cars, full-size automobiles, midsize vehicles and luxury cars. 

Lists like this one from U.S. News & World Report can help you decide which pre-owned vehicles would be best for you and your family, as the car companies that won awards have proven themselves to be dependable rides for any type of group. Whether you're looking for one of the offerings from GM or any other automaker, you can head to NJ State Auto Auction to find just what you're searching for. The dealer has a wide selection of makes and models to choose from.

BMW 3-Series Named The Best Sports Sedan For The Money

Car shoppers usually have a lot of things to consider when they're looking for their next purchase. To help consolidate this process,, USA Today and MotorWeek teamed up for the Sport Sedan Challenge, which evaluated the six most popular vehicles in the segment. After extensive tests dealing with the handling, performance and features of the cars, the BMW 3-Series was found to be the leader of the pack. 

A panel of experts looked at popular sport sedan models that cost under $46,000. Each automobile was then judged based on how it drove in different situations, as well as braking, real-world mileage and more. 

The contest also used input from everyday car shoppers to select a winner. These drivers looked at things like cargo space, test drives, fuel economy and spaciousness to determine if they could see themselves investing in a similar vehicle. Many of these prospective buyers were impressed with the BMW 3-Series, which has been providing quality vehicles as a part of its lineup for 35 years. 

"Shoppers have a lot of great options to choose from in this category, but the 3-Series offers an outstanding combination of performance, fuel efficiency and roominess," said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief of, one of the top websites for finding information on used cars. "From the start, we had high hopes for the BMW, and it did not disappoint. As tougher competition emerges in the sport sedan market, the long-lived BMW 3-Series continues to remain a force to be reckoned with in the segment." 

Car shoppers who want to drive something that combines the best of luxury, reliability and value can find used cars like the BMW 3-Series at NJ State Auto Auction. The dealer has a wide selection of makes and models from which drivers can choose from, making it easy to find an affordable and stylish ride that still makes an impact on the road. 

National Car Care Month Tips: Rotating Your Tires

It's no secret that car tires wear down over time. Since all four tires are being used at the same time, the wear is even for the most part, but sometimes one or more wheels will begin to have uneven wear, which can be caused by a multitude of conditions. For this reason, it is important that you get your tires rotated every so often. Most car manufacturers recommend having the tires rotated every 6,000 to 8,000 miles, but you may want to discuss options with a trusted mechanic, as your needs may vary slightly.

So what can cause uneven wear? A variety of issues, including incorrect tire pressure, uneven weight distribution and aggressive braking, can contribute to uneven wear on your tires. For example, if your vehicle has two-wheel drive, the wheels attached to the drivetrain will be used for braking and accelerating, so they will wear down faster than the others. Making turns will also put additional pressure on the front tires, and more weight sits in front of the car than in the rear, thanks to the engine's location.

If you don't know the last time you had your tires rotated, it might be time to call NJ Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center and make an appointment to see one of the experts on staff. They can not only rotate your tires, but can help you determine a good schedule for doing so in the future. Regularly rotating tires will help the rubber parts last as long as possible. It will also improve smoothness on the road, give your fuel economy a boost and help your vehicle retain its value.

This last point is especially great for those looking to trade in their current ride soon. A better trade-in value will mean a bigger down payment on a driver's next used car. You can check out the selection of makes and models and NJ Auto Auction while you're waiting for your maintenance to be finished.

Used Car Sales Surpass 3 Million in March

Used cars have always been a hot commodity, but it seems as if their popularity is continuing to grow. This past March saw sales of pre-owned vehicles top 3 million for the first time in 11 years, with many of the buyers consisting of younger drivers, Auto Remarketing reports. This growing youthful segment, along with lower average prices and an influx of automobiles for sale, helped to drive the overall increase. 

In total, used car sales in March grew 11 percent over this time last year, but this was only a small part of a strong month for the auto industry.  

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, all automobile sales have been on the rise recently, and as people snatch up new cars, their older vehicles go up for sale. Many of these used cars are still in great condition and have a lot to offer a driver – not the least of which is an affordable price. Auto Remarketing reports that a greater number of older vehicles entered the market in March, and their generally lower prices made the cars more accessible to young buyers who may be on a tighter budget than other shoppers. 

Any driver, regardless of budget, can find an adequate used car. There are many benefits to buying a pre-owned automobile, and people who want to explore the opportunities available to them can capitalize on the large number of vehicles they have to choose from. That's certainly the case for those who go shopping at New Jersey Auto Auction, which features many different models at affordable price points to meet any family's needs. Drivers who don't know exactly what they want out of a used car can come to New Jersey Auto and try out a few models until they find one that works for them.

Teen Vogue Teams Up With Toyota To Empower Young Drivers

Teen Vogue is partnering with Toyota to recognize Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April. The two companies will work together to maybe shed light on the dangers of distracted driving, especially teenage girls, and aim to inspire more young people to drive safely on the roads. 

Although cars are constantly being redesigned with improved safety features, other technologies like cell phones and music players continue to provide a source of distraction. Issues, such as having noisy passengers in the car or trying to multitask while driving, also contribute to an average of seven teens between the ages of 16 and 19 dying in car accidents every day. 

"We are thrilled to partner with Toyota on this important initiative," said Jason Wagenheim, vice president and publisher of Teen Vogue. "Teen Vogue's influential young readers are the perfect ambassadors not only to participate in this initiative, but also to help build awareness and educate their peer groups on the importance of driver safety. Toyota, with the success of their ongoing work in this arena, is the ideal partner." 

The dual campaign will center on providing driving tips for young people as well as reaching out to parents to inspire them to teach safe habits. Teens can even take a pledge to practice focused driving at all times and do their best to remain safe while behind the wheel. 

Young drivers who have proven themselves to be responsible may be ready to have a car of their own. Places like the New Jersey Auto Auction have a variety of CARFAX certified used vehicles that are safe and ready to drive, making it the perfect stop for parents and teens shopping around for their next ride. 

Study Reveals Biggest Maintenance Issues for Car Owners

National Car Care Month is the perfect time for vehicle owners to get their maintenance on track. Life can get pretty busy, and if you can't remember the last time you brought your used car, truck or SUV in for a tune-up, it might be time to call your mechanic. The Car Care Council recently conducted a study of vehicle inspections at community events around the U.S. during last year's April and October car care months, and the results show that most car owners are not up-to-date on their maintenance. A whopping 77 percent of vehicles were found to be in need of servicing or replacement parts.

Some maintenance issues stood out from the pack, as motor oil, brake systems and engine cooling systems were ranked as the top three common problems. Issues with fluids were glaring in the study results, as low or dirty oil, leaking or dirty antifreeze, and low brake fluid levels were all major issues.

The appropriate service interval varies for every individual car, as the age, amount of wear and other issues will all influence how often your car needs a tune-up. The Car Care Council offers a helpful guide to give you a general idea of how often to visit the mechanic.

"Neglected vehicle care almost always means much higher costs down the line in the form of extensive repairs or lost resale value," said the Car Care Council's executive director, Rich White. "Following a routine maintenance program like the Car Care Council's free, personalized schedule and email reminder service can help you drive smart, save money and make informed decisions."

If you live in the New York/New Jersey area, you can head to Jersey City to visit the experts at NJ Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. They can help you address any needed maintenance or repairs to keep your car running better, longer.

Most Drivers Sell Used Vehicles Instead of Donating

Despite the fact that many drivers can get a tax credit for donating used vehicles, many choose to sell their old cars for a profit. 

According to a recent survey from Kars4Kids, a nonprofit organization that collects old automobiles and then puts the funds toward charitable endeavors, found that only 5.4 percent of adults currently donate their cars after making a new purchase. Another 4.6 percent will keep their old cars and just not use them, but the vast majority choose to sell the rides to another individual. 

Although donating a vehicle to charity may ease the burden on a driver's wallet, only about 10.5 percent of people in the U.S. have ever done it, and few are looking into the possibility of donating one in the future. 

"We were surprised to learn that a very low number of adults donate their car to charity despite the financial and environmental benefits," said Avi Gordon, CEO of Kars4Kids. 

Not all used cars are ready to be relegated to the donation box, however. Plenty of pre-owned vehicles are more than capable of handling the demands of everyday driving, and in some cases they are relatively modern automobiles that can provide an upgrade for others on the road. For those who aren't ready to invest in a brand new vehicle, a used car is a great option. 

There are many benefits to buying a used car, whether you're looking to replace a donated vehicle or just searching for the right model to upgrade to. Those who go shopping at New Jersey Auto Auction, which features a variety of CARFAX certified used cars, can find the model that best suits their needs.