Niagara Gazette — Gas prices often settle down in the fall, after the return to regular or “winter blend” gas has taken place. That’s often when the fuel economy of new cars sold flattens out, because consumers worry less about their MPGs. What’s remarkable is that fuel economy has continued to improve at a time when truck sales are booming and pickups, as we know, don’t tend to be the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road. Then again, with CAFE regulations setting ever-higher goals, perhaps the fact that fuel economy is improving isn’t all that surprising.
In Virginia, A simple warning sign produces big results
Drivers see warning signs all the time, but we don’t always heed their advice: “Slow Curve” — “Watch for Falling Rock” — “Yield.” However, a very simple message posted to an electronic sign in Arlington, Virginia is having a much bigger impact. It reads, “Don’t hit the car in front of you.” And what’s weird is, motorists seem to be paying attention! According to the Arlington County Police Department, the area around Washington Boulevard and Route 50 saw an unusually high number of accidents before the sign went up. In fact, between April and June 15 collisions occurred there (more than anywhere else in the county). Then, in July when the sign was posted (“Don’t hit the car in front of you”), the number of accidents began to plummet. Since July 1, the department has responded to just two. That’s a drop of about 87 percent.
The sign was changed in late August but it is still having an impact! In other words, its effect seems to be lingering. No one fully understands why the sign has such an impact. It might be a coincidence. Then again, maybe the sign’s simple message caught drivers off-guard, snapping them back to attention from their stupor caused by their daily commute. But hey, with stats like those, no one’s complaining.