Car Safety and Regulatory Devices

In the Safety & Regulatory Devices section you'll find tools and technology intended to keep drivers and passengers safe, from car seats and airbags to red-light camera technology.

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Can Your Car Have Too Many Bumper Stickers?

The van driven by the recent pipe bombing suspect was literally covered from top to bottom with right-wing stickers. But, for the average law-abiding citizen, how many bumper stickers is too many?

Why Syncing Stop Lights May Not Solve Traffic Woes

Ever get red light after red light when you're driving? Often, it's because traffic lights aren't synced to each other. But would doing so really fix traffic problems?

If the Light Is Stuck on Red, Are You Stuck Too?

We've all been there. The stop light won't change and you've got places to be. Do you run it or just wait, wait and wait?

You'll Get in Serious Trouble for Speeding in These Five States

When it comes to cracking down on lead-foot drivers, these states aren't playing around.

Sorry, But Speed Traps Aren’t Actually Entrapment

It may seem unfair that cops can lie in wait for speeding motorists, but legally, speed traps aren't entrapment. Still, some states have imposed laws to limit their use as a revenue source.

Why You Shouldn't Ignore a Recall on Your Car

Car manufacturers don't issue recalls without good reason. Why do some people ignore them?

New Cars in Europe Automatically Call Police in an Emergency

A new law requires all cars manufactured in the EU be equipped with eCall system that will alert authorities after a crash.

Why Does My Tire Pressure Light Come on When It's Cold?

It's freezing when you get into your car and you notice a light on your dashboard saying, 'check tire pressure.' You figure it's something to do with the cold, but must you fill up the tires fast?

Traffic Hotspots Cost U.S. Drivers Billions, Study Shows

Traffic hotspots costs drivers billions of dollars in wasted time. So what are cities doing to help alleviate them?

People Who Drive With Their Hazard Lights Flashing Are Making a Mistake

Although driving in inclement weather with your car's hazards flashing seems like a great idea, it might be both illegal and ill-advised.

What's the Point of Car Alarms If Nobody Calls the Cops?

Depending on where you live and what you drive, a car alarm can be worthwhile. Here's how to know.

7 (Bad) Reasons Why People Don't Use Their Turn Signals

You wouldn''t do that (right?) but we bet you've been behind people who switched lanes without a signal.

Are Crosswalk and Elevator 'Close Door' Buttons a Total Sham?

Nudging a thermostat, pushing an elevator button and pressing a crosswalk control are satisfying ways to control the environment around us… right? Right?

Volvo's Death-proof Promise Is Nothing New

The carmaker has been talking about fatality-free vehicles for a decade. How's that going?

Does tinfoil on your hubcaps bypass police radar?

You watch somebody zip right through an obvious speed trap — but there are CDs all over the dash and the hubcaps are covered in foil. Is that car really ticket-proof?

Can a penny help you pass a breathalyzer?

So you've been pulled over by the police, and they've put a breathalyzer in your face. Your friends once said you could beat it by sticking a penny in your mouth. Does it really work?

Did airbags make cars deadlier when they were introduced?

We don't give them a second thought now, but when airbags were first introduced, they were controversial. But did they actually make cars less safe?

Can airbags kill you?

There's no doubt that airbags are one of the great achievements in automotive safety technology. But could they actually end up hurting or killing the people they're supposed to protect?

Can seatbelts kill you?

Seatbelts are a way of life for most of us, but some think it's safer to go without them. Could following the rules and wearing a seatbelt actually end up killing you?

How Traction Control Works

Most safety and regulatory devices within your car or truck operate so seamlessly that you may never even know that they're active. So how do you know when your vehicle's traction control system is working?

How Traffic Jam Assistance Systems Work

Over the next few years, your commute just might get a lot more comfortable -- all in the name of safety, of course. Will Volvo's traffic jam assistance system really alleviate traffic jams?

Can your car keep you from getting tired while driving?

Is your big, comfy luxury car lulling you to sleep while you drive? Is your tin-can econobox shaking the fillings out of your teeth as you get around town? Which one do you think is safer?

How the Cadillac Safety Alert Seat Works

When you're driving, your eyes are on the road, your hands are busy steering the car, and your feet are making you stop and go. So what part of your body could still take in new information?

How Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Work

You may have noticed that one of the lights on your console is shaped like a tire with an exclamation point in the middle. This is a tire pressure monitoring system, which lets you know if your tires are underinflated.

What is the purpose of a seatbelt pretensioner?

Few of us will ever have to bail out of a fighter jet mid-flight; however, it's comforting to know that similar seatbelt technology will keep you anchored during a head-on car collision.


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