May 19, 2014

Brake-O-Rama News! Hybrids safer than other cars!

Brake-O-Rama auto mechanics follow all the trends in auto safety news. Many New Jersey drivers want to know how the new hybrid safety compare to other automobiles. One of our Brake-O-Rama auto mechanics in Lodi New Jersey found this excellent article online and brought it to our attention!

Crash test: Hybrids safer than other cars

By Jerry Edgerton | CBS MoneyWatch 
Hybrid vehicles protect their occupants better in crashes than their regular gasoline counterparts, according to a report released by an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Research by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that drivers and passengers in a hybrid are 25% less likely to be injured than those in the same model with a standard gasoline engine. And the death rate for drivers in hybrid crashes also was lower.
The hybrid advantage is all about weight, it turns out. “Hybrids on average are 10% heavier than their standard counterparts,” says Matt Moore, HLDI vice president and author of the report. “This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes.” When cars collide, the heavier vehicle tends to push the lighter one backwards, exerting greater force on the lighter vehicle and its occupants.
To take an example, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUV (pictured above) weighs 4,500 pounds — about 330 pounds more than the gasoline Highlander. The hybrid’s battery pack and other components account for the added weight.
In researching the topic, HLDI looked at insurance injury claims from car crashes from 2002 through 2010. It compared only 28 situations where hybrid vehicles had a gasoline twin, such as the Ford Fusion sedan. (That excluded the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which are sold only as hybrids.)
The HLDI findings run counter to the long-held belief that getting higher gas mileage means buying a smaller (and possibly less crash-worthy) car. “Saving at the pump no longer means you have to skimp on crash protection,” says Moore.
More danger to pedestrians
The study also found that while hybrids protect their occupants, they can be a greater threat to pedestrians — because when they are operating in electric-only mode, hybrid cars make no sound that pedestrians can hear. Hybrids may be as  much as 20% more likely to be involved in accidents resulting in pedestrian injuries, HLDI found.
Following congressional action, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working to develop a sound generator that can be installed in hybrids to make them audible for pedestrians.
Concerns about Chevy Volt battery
This mostly good safety news about hybrids comes shortly after concerns over a fire involving the batteries in the Chevrolet Volt, GM’s plug-in electric model. About three weeks after a Volt was crashed as part of safety testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Volt battery caught fire in a NHTSA storage lot.
General Motors initially said that  NHTSA  technicians did not follow proper procedure for disabling the battery after a crash but then conceded that it had not developed those protocols until after the NHTSA  test incident. NHTSA  itself issued a statement saying it did not believe that plug-in electric cars were any less safe than conventional gasoline cars.
In any case, the lithium ion batteries used in the Volt and competitor the Nissan Leaf are different from the nickel-metal hydride batteries in most gas-electric hybrids covered in the insurance study of occupant protection

January 14, 2014

New of New York! From Zalman Silber. Hot off the Presses

zalman silber

There are many things for visitors to do in New York City. It’s the Capital of Everything, after all, whether you’re thinking of culinary delights, arts and culture, or anything else. It’s the nexus of worldwide communications and, thanks to the United Nations, the global political nerve center as well. But there is so much more about New York that escapes the typical tourist.

One can easily take in all the sights and sounds of “tourist New York” in one day – or half an hour, if you choose to board serial entrepreneur Zalman Silber’s Skyride at the Empire State Building, a simulated helicopter tour of iconic landmarks narrated by actor Kevin Bacon – but to see what makes New York truly special one ought to visit the so-called outer boroughs, particularly that of Queens County.

For nowhere else in the world are so many diverse ethnicities to be found, right next to one another. The celebrated multiculturalism of New York is often segregated into ethnic enclaves, but in the great Borough of Queens even the ethnic enclaves are diverse. So, for example, one finds African-Americans in the middle of what’s regarded as one of the city’s three Chinatowns, Flushing – which neighborhood’s eastern reaches still host many observant Jewish families on handsome tracts of private houses. And though Asian faces are very prevalent in this part of the county, one will certainly find a barely less numerous presence of Latinos and those of European backgrounds. On the other side of the borough, the neighborhood of Sunnyside is also known as a mini-UN in itself, what with its Turkish, Romanian, and Nepalese restaurants.

Indeed, Queens is the only borough other than Manhattan itself where you can find such a wide variety of cuisine – with the difference that prices in Queens are geared towards the immigrant population, as are the tastes. You want white-glove service, stick to Manhattan’s pricey celebrity-endorsed haunts. For authentic “everyman fare” such as you would find in the actual countries of origin, look no further than the ethnic restaurants of Queens.

The visual marvels belong mostly to Manhattan. With the exception of Flushing-Meadows Park, site of two World’s Fairs, Queens is a county of burghers, of the middle-class and petite bourgeoisie. But if they could somehow put aromas on brochures, you can bet that Queens County would see a much greater share of tourist traffic! As it is, Queens remains the private preserve of culinary adventurers.