Cars with the Lowest Death Rates

It’s widely been noted that highway deaths are at historic lows, having fallen by more than a third over the last three years. This is generally accredited to advances in auto safety, along with a fortunate combination of stricter seatbelt, drunk driver and graduated licensing laws. How safe are today’s … Read more


What’s the Flow?

Q: They’re constructing a new intersection and traffic flow setup at the highway that intersects the interstate. It’s called a diverging diamond interchange. A diagram was in the paper, and it looked like a tangle of crossovers, raising more questions than it answered. Do you know anything about this approach? … Read more

The beauty and perils of spring

As an enduring annual event here, we are treated to bold and pastel hues emerging with the advent of spring. That colorful palette, made up of tulips, daffodils, and tree buds of virtually every color, is a welcome harbinger of great weather to come. Along… Read more

Long Term Goals

Wise car shoppers know that the best way to get the most for their vehicular dollars is to think long term, like a successful stock market investor, and select a model that not only meets one’s needs and budget, but will cost less to own relative to competing makes and … Read more

Welcome to Pothole Season

Spring may be in full swing, but that also means it’s the time of the year when winter’s wear and tear has left behind pockmarked pavement that can wreak havoc with our cars’ tires and suspension systems. Allstate Insurance in Northbrook, Illinois, offers these tips to help drivers avoid blowouts … Read more

Old Car Theft

Q: We’ve had a rash of car thefts in our neighborhood recently, and they’re all older vehicles, even though many of our neighbors leave their new, fancy cars that are clearly worth much more parked in their driveways overnight, not in garages. Is this just an aberration in our city? … Read more

Honest Vroom-Vroom

Percentage of drivers that report speeding on residential streets. Source: AAA Read more

Keep conversation casual

It’s always been common for drivers to have conversations with passengers, but nowadays, phone conversations are also prevalent. Beyond that, many drivers can’t resist the lure of convenient text message communication. The latter is forbidden by law in just about every jurisdiction nationwide. But sadly,… Read more

Chrysler 300S: Luxury, Motor City-style

I’m downtown, having a beer at a local haunt and watching the Final Four’s last hurrah. Outside on the sidewalk at halftime, a friend asks what I’ve driven lately that surprised me. Not what I’d liked best, but the one that exceeded my expectations. It’s… Read more

Supercars Reborn

No, they’re not for everyone. They’re limited-production, high-performance models that can make school kids swoon and set adults’ hearts racing. Carved with complex curves, creases, scoops and spoilers, and set precipitously low to the ground, they’re priced beyond reason and afford little in the way of practicality, but they’re certain … Read more

More Drivers Taking the ‘High’ Road

While the number of drivers having alcohol in their systems declined by nearly one-third since 2007, one in four drivers now say they’ve driven under the influence of at least one drug that could impair their safety - usually prescription drugs or marijuana. That’s according to the National Highway Traffic … Read more

No Top Truck

Q: I bought a Ram 1500 last year after quite a lot of research, and a big part of my decision was influenced by Consumer Reports naming it best pickup in 2014. This year, there’s no best pickup choice by Consumer Reports. What’s up? A: Consumer Reports did not choose … Read more

Undecided Shoppers

Percentage of new car shoppers that don’t have a specific make or model in mind when starting to search for a car. Source: Autotrader.com Read more

Recurring controversy

Over the years of this column’s publication, some driving topics give rise to recurring controversy. Although common sense and written law should dictate driver behavior, certain situations continue to be a source of uncertainty, frustration, and even rage. Differing opinions and indifference to established rules… Read more

Toyota Sienna: People-hauling made better

This side of a big, yellow school bus, the minivan is the most efficient and comfortable way to transport people and their possessions. Nevertheless, its stock has fallen sharply of late, victimized by the popularity of the sedan-based crossover. Doesn’t seem to matter to Toyota,… Read more

History’s Oddest Auto Accessories

A true automotive icon is celebrating its 100 anniversary this year, one that’s been satisfying the needs of garage mechanics and fueling the fantasies of car crazy adolescents for generations. That would be the beloved JC Whitney auto parts mail-order catalog which, aside from the usual array of tires, batteries … Read more

Leasing Fuels New- and Used-Car Markets

New-car leasing continues to gain in popularity among consumers, and is expected to surpass 1999’s previous record high of 3.3 million vehicles by year’s end, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association in McLean, Virginia. Consumers often find they can obtain a better or costlier car for the same or … Read more