Archive for March, 2013

Google’s Driverless Car

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Are you tired of driving all the time to get where you need to go? There are many alternatives to driving after you donate a car to Goodwill, such as riding a bike or using public transportation. But for those who still prefer using car to get around, Google is developing cars that drive themselves so you don’t have to.

At this point, Google is still in the testing phase of its 10-vehilce fleet. Currently, all of the driver-less cars are being ridden in by selected test participants and one of Google’s engineers in the passenger’s seat. They have successfully navigated 300,000 miles, which has included driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast Highway and Lombard Street in San Francisco, which is famous for being a difficult street to drive due to traffic and hairpin turns.

Google’s driver-less system operates the vehicle by driving at the speed limit it has stored on maps and navigating pre-programmed routes. The system keeps the vehicle at a safe distance from other vehicles and objects by using sensors that constantly monitor the surroundings of the vehicle. Additionally, the system includes an override that allows the driver to easily shut off the driver-less system and begin driving the vehicle manually.

Google does not currently have plans to produce vehicles that have this system built in, but they are looking at selling the system to major car manufacturers for them to begin using in their vehicles. You can learn more about Google’s driver-less car here.

So, if you are tired of having to drive yourself, keep your eye out for when this incredible new technology is available to the general public. When you decide it is time to replace your old car with a driver-less car, consider donating the old car to Goodwill of Greater Washington.

Donating your old vehicle is a great way to support your community while also getting a great tax deduction.

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Distracted Driving

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

When people in the DC Metro area find themselves with a car that has been damaged, they often consider donating the vehicle to Goodwill of Greater Washington. There are many different things that cause car accidents, but one of the leading causes of car accidents is distracted driving.

Distracted driving includes many different activities, such as texting, using a cell phone or smart phone, eating and drinking, talking to other passengers, reading, looking at maps, programming a GPS, watching a video, adjusting an mp3 player and several other activities that take any of the driver’s attention away from driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has created a website to help raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. This site contains several startling statistics about distracted driving, such as:

  • 3,331 people died in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2011 and an additional 387,000 people suffered injuries as a result of car crashed involving a distracted driver.
  • In 2010, 18% of crashes that caused injuries were reported to involve a distracted-driver.
  • Text messing increases the risk of a crash by 23 times that of the risk of driving without distractions.
  • Drivers that use mobile devices are 4 times as likely to get in a crash and seriously injure themselves as nondistracted drivers.

To help combat the dangers of distracted driving, many states have passed laws against cell phone use while driving. Here is a summary of these laws in the DC Metro Area

  1. Washington DC: Handheld devices and texting are banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.
  2. Maryland: Handheld devices and texting are banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.
  3. Virginia: Texting is banned for all drivers. All cell phone use banned for novice drivers.

But despite the new laws, distracted driving accidents still occur. If your car has been involved in an accident, you should consider donating it to Goodwill. Goodwill will be happy to tow your donated vehicle free of charge to you. Plus, when you donate, we will give you all the paperwork you need for a great tax deduction.

 

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