Recalling the Ram and F-150
A couple of safety issues prompted the NHTSA to recall the 2009 Dodge Ram and the 2009 Ford F-150. More than 37,000 Ram's are being recalled because of an issue in the HVAC control module with manual temperature controls, which could cause the windshield defrosting and defogging functions of the system to be inoperative. Not being able to see is a pretty serious matter so we aren't surprised at the recall. Dodge says to take your truck to your local Dodge dealer to have the control module reprogrammed free of charge.
Ford got off light with the F-150, with just 9,000 trucks needing to see their local dealer. The issue is with an improperly adjusted brake lamp switch. Improper adjustment leads to a delay from when the brake pedal is depressed to when the brake lights actually illuminate. This is a big deal in rush hour traffic when the chick behind you who's talking on her phone, fixing her eyeliner, and driving with one knee on the wheel doesn't get a clear warning that you're stopping. Under mild braking, the lights might not even come on. Dealers will inspect the switch and adjust it if necessary free of charge.
You Can't Park Here!
Driving in Boston is a bit like playing a video game, but with real consequences. The layout of the roads dates back to colonial times and as a result, you have to do a bit of stunt driving to get anywhere. This puts parking at a premium, much like any other overcrowded metropolis. How big a premium is it? Well, somebody just dropped over a quarter-million dollars for a private parking spot in the Back Bay. The $300,000 price tag was the result of a bidding war between several residents at 48 Commonwealth Avenue. That's enough to pay for a couple of houses in rural Texas. The $300,000 space isn't in a parking garage either; it's outdoors and uncovered.
In the last year, parking spaces in the Back Bay and Beacon Hill have fetched an average selling price of $134,000, Listing Information Network said. A year earlier, the average cost of a parking spot in those areas was $127,000. The number of parking space sales has also increased in the last two years, from 18 in 2007 to 26 last year.
The previous record for an open-air parking space was set in 2006, when a buyer paid $250,000 for a space behind 31-33 Commonwealth Ave.
20 Percent of Us Can't Drive: Women and NY Really Suck
A 2009 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test revealed that 20.1 percent of American drivers wouldn't pass a written driver's test if given one today. That amounts to over 41 million people behind the wheel who don't know which way to turn the front wheels when parking their auto next to a curb on a steep hill. Last year, the failure rate was slightly lower and overall, the licensed driving population averaged at 78.1 percent score-basically a C+ if you want to get all grade school about it.
So which states suck the least? Idaho and Wisconsin driver's averaged over 80 percent on the test. New York drivers are the worst, averaging 70.5 percent or a C-.
The survey points out that the Northeast generated the lowest average test scores, men are more likely to pass the test than women, and that drivers have no clue what a yellow traffic signal means and how far they should follow the car in front of them. Want more? Older drivers are more likely to pass the test. 18- to 24-year-old drivers have the highest failure rate and white males over 45 years-old posted the highest average scores.