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The Mercury Cars Guide : March 20th 2010
2--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, March 20, 2010 Mature drivers help slash crash rates ASSISTANCE REQUIRED: One expert believes young drivers need more learning time. AVOID DEATH: Germans have found having experienced drivers accompany L-platers has dramatically reduced accidents 'I don't think that speed alone is the problem. It's the wrong speed in the wrong situation' AEUROPEAN safety expert be- lieves extended learner driving periods are the best way to cut crash rates among young drivers. More mature guidance for longer is the preferred path of Professor Ulrich Mellinghoff, the vice-president of safety engineering at Mercedes- Benz. He says a 16-year-old or 17-year-old learner driver in Germany must be ac- companied by someone at least 30 years old for one year. ''We have seen in Germany that this has reduced accident rates by 20 per cent,'' he says. ''This is a good solution, it gives young people time to learn what is important in real-world traffic.'' Apart from delaying full licenses for beginners, Mellin- ghoff predicts that future crash avoidance systems will focus on pedestrian safety. Among his crystal ball gaz- ing is 360-degree guidance system's cameras to help drivers monitor conditions, car-to-car communications to report road dangers and bet- ter pedestrian-avoidance sys- tems. Mellinghoff says Benz is working on a pedestrian sys- tem that not only avoids a pedestrian --- like the latest Volvo system that automati- cally brakes to prevent hitting people --- but will steer the car around them. ''We are now working on several different options with prototypes,'' he says. Another option is to link any pedestrian avoidance sys- tem to the car's headlights so they can specifically flash at the pedestrian to warn them. ''The first step was night view and the next step to highlight the pedestrian. We can do that relatively cheaply with conventional high beam systems.'' Mellinghoff credits brake- assist systems in today's mod- ern German cars with reduc- ing pedestrian accident rates by between 15 to 20 per cent. Car-to-car communication is also getting closer all the time. ''I am confident it will be available in two years. It will check between cars on the road conditions, accidents or other problems.'' But Mellinghoff says the use of real-time technology to make cars stick to posted speed limits is unlikely. ''You can do it but our customers don't want it. There are situations too when you may need to accelerate quickly to avoid an accident.'' Mellinghoff has clear views on speeding. ''I don't think that speed alone is the problem. It's the wrong speed in the wrong situation,' he says. He says in the former West Germany, there were 22,000 people killed in car crashes in 1972, but the number has since dropped dramatically. ''Last year 4100 people were killed and this was with 20 million more people in Ger- many because of the addition of East Germany, as well as so much more traffic on the roads. And we still have unre- stricted speed limits.'' NEIL McDONALD www.thecarmart.com.au 6211 0566 14 Derwent Park Rd, Derwent Park David Strang 0404 724 986 Mark Patterson 0417 025 936 Rob Sylvester 0418 124 226 (Finance) Easy on-site finance available $6995 $7995 85 Mitsubishi Express Camper 2.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, 4WD, pop top, ideal for getaways. 01 Holden VX Commodore Series II 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, spoiler, Shanghai Red. Specialising in cars... Under$10,000 www.thecarmart.com.au 02 Holden Vectra CD 2.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, alloys, superb condition. $9995 90 Mazda 121 Shades 1.3lt manual, as traded, ideal cheap 1st car. $1995 04 Ford Falcon BA XT 4.0lt auto, p/s, a/c, electrics, late model, family sedan. $9995 99 Kia Sportage GE 2.0lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 4WD, economical, clean. $8995 97 Mazda 323 Protege 1.6lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, chioce of 2, both well featured. $3995 03 Suzuki Ignis 1.3lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, dual airbags, 52,000km. $8995 99 Holden Commodore VT 3.8lt auto, p/s, a/c, factory alloys, clean & tidy, value. $4995 99 Hyundai Excel Sprint 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, only 119,000km, ideal 1st car. $4995 03 Hyundai Getz 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, award winning, 119,000km. $5995 00 Mitsubishi Magna TH 3.5lt auto, p/s, a/c, ideal family wagon, lovely condition. $6995 05 Holden Barina XC 1.4lt manual, p/s, a/c, electrics, 91,000km, very neat, value. $9995 03 Proton Jumbuck 1.5lt manual, p/s, a/c, economical, ready for work. $8995 From
March 13th 2010
March 27th 2010