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Monday, July 5th, 2010

Who Drives safer and more carefully behind the wheel,..A Man or A Woman? The answer: it depends on each individual, but overall findings don’t speak well for the guys…It appears you’re better off with a woman behind the wheel.professional-man-and-woman

A series of articles published recently in the  NY Times support that men are more likely to ignore traffic laws and loose emotional control.

  • Men are three times more likely to honk their horns.
  • More likely to “rudely gesture at or verbally abuse other drivers. and
  • More likely to be involved in tragic, massive accidents (on the road and off).

Wow! It sure looks like we the guys need that Toyota  with the Star Safety System and maybe more. This may turn out to be a surprise for some. The data shows that the reason why men tend to break the rules more is an ingrained sense of biology, reaching back to early concepts of male and female roles. The male brain, hard wired to hunt and kill, favored the bold and the brave. The Times piece goes on:

Research data state these behaviors are deeply ingrained. Researchers Leda Cosmides and John Tooby describe our prior existence as “a camping trip that lasted an entire lifetime, and this way of life endured for most of the last 10 million years.” In comparison, the auto arrived a blink of an eye ago, and we have not had time to evolve a new set of behaviors for coping safely behind the wheel. Gee, I didn’t realize I was so closely connected to the caveman…

Today, men are found to drive faster overall, ignore traffic laws more often, take more (and greater) risks and are involved in the majority of fatal crashes around the globe. The data in the Times articles bear this out, although some of the research cited dates as far back as 1986.  

Anecdotal evidence is readily available for both sides. There are a lot of men who will say when they are behind the wheel that their wives are typical critical back seat drivers. On the other hand and on a personal note I recently got a speeding ticket for going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone that was soon after disregarded by the police officer. But when I announced at home that I had gotten a ticket, everyone in the family replied in unison, “What For? Going Too Slow?”…  

Some data shows that there is a  preference for female drivers when taking cabs, car services and airport shuttles.

“Women cab drivers aren’t going to hit on me and they pay attention,” says one female business executive. “In cabs, male drivers are eating or are on the phone a lot of the time. I’m 100 times happier with a woman.”

The good news carries with it no inherent sexual battle, however. According to institutional data, deaths have gone down among both male and female passengers as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.


Friday, June 18th, 2010
You may have seen the Toyota TV Spots proudly touting the merits of the Toyota Star Safety System standard on all Toyota vehicles. But what is the Star Safety System exactly?

Toyota’s Star Safety System is a combination of five different carefully engineered features that keep the driver in control of the vehicle and out of trouble.

Here’s a brief description of each of the five engineered safety technologies of The Star Safety System and how they go into action for the driver.


VSC helps prevent wheelslip and loss of traction by reducing engine power and applying brake force to the wheels that need it. (Figure 1) Rear wheelslip can occur when the rear wheels lose traction and cause the vehicle to slide around.(Figure 2) Front wheelslip can occur when the front wheels lose traction during cornering and begin to drift toward the outside of the turn. Toyota’s VSC monitors your steering angle and the direction your vehicle is actually traveling and senses when your front or rear wheels begin to slip. When it senses this loss of traction or slip, VSC reduces engine power and applies braking to the individual wheels that need it to help correct the slip and keep the vehicle in the intended path.vsc


Traction Control helps maintain traction on wet, icy, loose or uneven surfaces by applying brake force to the spinning wheel(s). Let’s say you’re driving and come upon a snowy or icy patch on an uneven road. (Figure 2) If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, wheelspin occurs, and you come to a stop. (Figure 1) Toyota’s Traction Control sensors are activated when one of the wheels starts to slip. TRAC limits engine output and applies the brakes to the spinning wheel. This transfers power to the wheels that still have traction to help you go safely on your way.traction-control


ABS helps prevent brakes from locking up by “pulsing” brake pressure to each wheel to help you stay in control in emergency braking situations. When something unexpected appears in your path, you may instinctively swerve to avoid it and jam on the brakes. However, without ABS, the brakes can lock up, the vehicle starts to skid, and you struggle to stay in control. Toyota’s ABS sensors detect which wheels are locking up and prevent the lockup by “pulsing” the brakes at each wheel independently. Pulsing releases brake pressure repeatedly for fractions of a second — a reaction time not possible for humans.This means the wheels never stop rotating and that helps the car to avoid going into a skid, helping you stay in control. ABS
1. Inexperienced or panicking driver applies brakes quickly but without enough pressure. 2. Driver sometimes eases up on the brake pedal too soon. 3. The Brake Assist system increases braking force, even when the brake pedal isn’t pushed hard enough. 4. When the driver intentionally eases up on the brake pedal, the Brake Assist system reduces the amount of assistance applied. Note: To activate the Brake Assist system, keep pressing the brake pedal. When braking assistance is no longer required, ease up on the brake pedal.brake assist

Toyota’s ABS technology has Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to help keep the vehicle more stable and balanced when braking. If you have to stop abruptly, momentum causes the vehicle to tilt forward and reduces the brake force of the rear tires. But in a Toyota, EBD responds to sudden stops by redistributing brake force. Wheels with more braking effectiveness receive more brake force; wheels with less effectiveness receive less brake force. This helps prevent brake lockup. EBD is especially helpful when carrying cargo. Sensors recognize the extra load the cargo puts on the rear axle, so brake pressure on the rear wheels is increased because the extra weight improves braking effectiveness. ebd