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The Importance of Considering Safety When Purchasing a New Car

mature salesman showing new car to a couple


When shopping for a new or used automobile, there are several factors that will influence your decision-making. You’ll want a vehicle that has good gas mileage, enough space for your needs, and one that has the type of engine and other performance features you’ve been looking for. However, one factor that is often forgotten is the vehicle’s safety rating.


As eTags often comments, it is important that you pay attention to this because the rating can help you get a better idea of how the vehicle would fare in the event of a crash. While you’re certainly not expecting to get into one over the course of your ownership of the vehicle, it’s one of the most commons causes of injury and death in the US. Wouldn’t you want to know that your vehicle will be able to provide you with the highest level of protection possible?


This is why, as an advocate for public safety on the roads, eTags has no complaints with choosing safety over style. Luckily, you won’t have to do that often since many cars with the highest safety ratings are also pretty stylish. Consumer Reports has a good resource on car safety ratings and how they are determined that you might want to check out. Here were a few key points that were made in the article by Consumer Reports.

How Are Car Safety Ratings Determined?


Crash Ratings: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conduct front and side-impact crash tests to see how well a vehicle can withstand a crash. Over the last few years, the crash tests have been made more stringent to strengthen vehicle safety and in doing so, manufactures have adjusting accordingly to assure their vehicles pass those tests. In fact, it was data from crash test that led to the implementation of laws requiring the use of child restrain devices.


Accident Avoidance: In addition to providing protection during a crash, a vehicle today should have features in place to help a motorist avoid a crash as well. Consumer Reports provides an accident-avoidance rating based on tests of the vehicle’s braking and emergency handling. In addition to breaking and handling, you have technology features that are taken into account like Lane Assist.


Rollover Resistance: The NHTSA provides a Rollover Resistance Rating, which should be considered – especially if you are planning on purchasing an SUV.  The Rollover Resistance Rating shows how likely a vehicle may tip over during extreme steering, which can happen in various scenarios. The more likely a vehicle is to stay right side up, the better chance of reduced injury for passengers in most cases.

What Features Should I look for in a Vehicle?


In addition to looking at a vehicle’s safety rating, there are some basic features you should want in your vehicle. Both Consumer Reports and eTags would recommend that you consider buying a vehicle with an anti-lock brake system, blind-spot warning technology, electronic stability control, rearview cameras, and adaptive cruise control, among other features. Keep these tips in mind you go to the dealer’s lot for your next vehicle.



Safety Tips for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month



Did you know that May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month? All throughout the month, you may see advertisements on the road, social media, and more on the importance of riding by the rules to ensure the safety of you and the others around you on the road. The statistics show how there is still a pressing problem on roads across the nation including California.


According to the California Highway Patrol, 476 motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions and more than 14,000 others were injured in 2016. Crashes were most likely to occur between 4 and 8 in the late afternoon and early evening. The agency hopes that greater public awareness through campaigns like Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will improve these statistics. In addition to that, the California Highway Patrol will be overseeing a refresher course to give beginners and advanced riders an opportunity to fine tune their skills so they are safer on the road. The goal of the program is to match riders with instructors who can teach them better safety in various situations on the road.


Tips for Riding a Motorcycle Safer


If you want to learn more about safety in general, we encourage you to visit eTags’ blog where you can find in-depth information on vehicle safety. However, here are a few of the main points to keep in mind for motorcyclists on the road:


  • Wear the Right Safety Equipment: This will certainly include a helmet but also things like gloves and a protective jacket. Remember also that certain types of clothing are better for riding like long jeans.
  • Maintain Your Bike: Ensure that it is routinely maintained so it is safe to ride on the road from the engine, to the brakes, to the tires.
  • Be visible: Many crashes occur when a motorcycle gets in the vehicle’s blind spot. While it also the responsibility of other drivers to check their bling spots, avoiding any aggressive behavior, such as speeding, that will cause you to be unseen by other vehicles on the road is a smart decision.

Five Tips for Driving in the City

Car speed drive fast on the city road at daytime


Do you live in the city or must drive into the city from time to time? Even for those of us who drive in the city all of the time, it can be a challenge. A recent list of the best city cars on the eTags.com blog is a good read if you are thinking of buying a new vehicle in the near future. Some things to consider on this front are the need to parallel park in the city and how a SmartCar, as opposed to a sedan or large pickup truck, might be a better option.


Beyond picking the “right” car for city driving, there are other things you can do to make the commute not just more manageable but also a little more enjoyable. In addition to picking the right car to drive into the city, here are a few other tips to help you navigate the city safely:


Avoid city driving during rush hours if you can: If you need to make a trip to the city but you have a little more flexibility, wait until the morning and late afternoon rush is over. This way, you’re less likely to encounter traffic jams, aggressive drivers, and other undesirable traits of driving at those times. If you have a 9 to 5 schedule at work, consider getting to work earlier to avoid the RUSH and perhaps engaging in a late afternoon activity right after work such as going to the gym to avoid the late rush.


Pay attention: You should never text and drive, but this is especially the case in the city where your undivided attention is needed at all times.  Cyclists, pedestrians, taxis, and bumper-to-bumper traffic are some of the things to watch out for. Remember, distractions don’t only come in the form of a smart phone. Be cognizant of all types of distractions such as interaction with passengers or even just plating with the settings of your dashboard screen.


Use a Map: We don’t mean a paper map. Even if you know the city well, a map app is your friend. You can get an overview of the traffic along your route and get information on viable alternate routes that will help you avoid the traffic. Remember to only use while you are stopped and set it to speaker notifications if you choose a designated route for the app to guide you through.


Stop Completely at Streetlights for Turns: Even if you can turn on red or the light is green, stop and look both ways for pedestrians. Both motorist and pedestrians have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, but as the motorist it makes sense to exercise more precautions at intersections and throughout the city in order to be mindful of pedestrians of all ages.


Take a Deep Breath: City driving can be stressful. However, you will only make it worse if you begin to panic or stress. Take a deep breath, stay attentive, and take solace in knowing that you have control of your emotions. Stress or panic while driving will only lead to aggressive or careless driving.



Is Technology the Key to Mitigating Distracted Driving?

Irresponsible texting and driving wreck hitting pedestrian


A California man’s lawsuit brings to the lime light the issues of whether or not technology companies have a personal responsibility to curb dangerous behavior when individuals use their technology. The issue at question is texting when driving. This is not an issue that has gone away – even with now countless marketing campaign against it from telecommunication companies, motor vehicle agencies, and independent organizations. eTags, a motor vehicle service provider, has posted articles on its blog in the past about the dangers of distracted driving. The AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 58% of teen driving accidents are caused by distractions and a good percentage of this is from cell phone use.


In the lawsuit, a man who was rear-ended is suing Apple because his lawyers say that Apple has the technology to stop drivers from texting when they’re behind the wheel. They point to a patent Apple filed called “Driver Handheld Computing Device Lockout” which uses a motion analyzer and scenery analyzer to determine when a person is driving. Essentially, when the technology determines the person is behind the wheel and driving, it can lock the person out of the phone. The plaintiff wants a judge to halt all Apple sales in the state until the lockout feature is implemented.


Obviously, there are some lengthy ethics and personal freedoms issues here that will be discussed in court, but it does provide continued evidence that texting and driving is still a serious concern. And it is one that might not be even solvable with technology alone. In that eTags blog post mentioned above, it makes a point that people are quite adept at bypassing technology in order to do what they want. The best thing to do is advocate and practice personal responsibility. Other measures may include making texting and driving laws more strict and imposing more severe penalties for those confirmed to have caused a crash because of cell-phone distracted activity.


For parents, this means enforcing rules and teaching teen drivers about the dangers of using a cell phone when behind the wheel. For everyone, this could mean taking the temptation away. Motorists could turn the phone off before entering the car or throw the phone in the trunk so there’s no way to access it when driving. The key is to do anything possible to avoid distracted driving. We’ll have to see what the role of the technology provider will be in achieving this goal.


Don’t Drink and Drive. These 2016 DUI Statistics Show Why

An unmarked police car has pulled over a truck for a traffic violation


All of us know that getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol is not a smart thing. Alcohol lowers your inhibition, so you’re more likely to drive carelessly and aggressively. It also impairs your reaction time, so you’re less likely to see that deer in front of you or stop when the car in front of you makes a quick stop. It affects your vision, your mood, and can even cause you to lose consciousness if you’re severely intoxicated. In short, if you have had more than the legal limit or you know that alcohol significantly affects you, you should not be driving.


Unfortunately, many Americans still attempt to drive after drinking, and 2016 was a bad year for drunk driving. According to a CBS report on drunk driving in 2016, 28 people a day have been killed in DUI crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more people may die in DUI crashes this year than in 2015 when there were 10,265 fatalities that year. Countless other people will become injured, incur property damage, and get charged with a DUI. Depending on the number of offenses and the severity of impairment, an individual could be forced to pay a fine, lose their license, or even go to jail.


As we celebrate the New Year, please keep the following tips in mind from eTags to help you stay sober and avoid a potentially life-changing event:


  • Ask a sober friend to drive you home or designate a sober driver before you go out
  • Contact a taxi service or hire a Uber driver
  • Download a drunk driving prevention app to get commuting options when you are intoxicated
  • If you are at a party and feel that you are too tipsy to drive, make arrangements to stay there or over someone’s place that you trust until you sober up
  • If it’s a major holiday, services like Triple A
  • Address your drinking head-on. If you can’t limit yourself or have drove drunk in the past, it might be time to seek professional help to avoid future problems