The Nation's Worst TrafficHere's a shocker-Los Angeles wins yet another award. The people-happy city was among the places with the worst traffic spots, according to a study by Cambridge Systematics for the American Highway Users Alliance, with four congested sites on the list. The group also found that fixing nearly 170 bottlenecks nationwide would, over the 20-year time of improvements, prevent 290,000 crashes, reduce carbon monoxide by 45 percent, cut carbon dioxide emission by 71 percent, and reduce delays by 19 minutes per trip (or nearly 40 minutes if you're fighting before- and after-work rush hour). The top 18 bottlenecks are located in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
In another study, the Texas Transportation Institute's annual deal involved state and federal commuting figures of 68 U.S. cities. It found that, although traffic hasn't increased that much in the last five years, 82 hours every year are devoted to sitting (that also adds up to two weeks you're losing), and for the average driver, about four extra tanks of gas each year in the 35 most congested cities are donated to the environment. In fact, traffic is seriously picking up in smaller cities, such as Indianapolis. Let's hear it for Los Angeles, again, for ranking number one, followed by Washington, D.C., Oakland, Chicago, Miami, Seattle, Atlanta, and Detroit.
On a related note, the Census Bureau said that we currently have a population in the U.S. of more than 274 million.
GM in CourtGeneral Motors was just ordered by a jury to pay $14.2 million to the family of a woman who died after being run over by her GMC Sierra. She had gotten out to pick up some wooden chairs that someone was throwing out when the truck "suddenly lurched backward and ran over her." GM was held partially responsible for her death, which the family blamed on a faulty transmission.
Although the deceased was found 40 percent responsible, GM was asked to fork over $4.2 million in compensatory damages plus $10 million in punitive damages.
GM says there was no basis for the award: "This unfortunate incident occurred when [she] left her vehicle with the engine running, the transmission not in Park, and without setting the parking brake, as instructed in her owner's manual." GM is appealing the verdict.
Your 4x4 in This MagazineEveryone dreams about it, so here's exactly how to get photos of your truck in 4-Wheel & Off-Road. There are two routes you can take. If you want to try to score a full-blown feature, send photos of your pride and joy and a convincing letter to Shoot My Truck Please, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. We'll need to see photos showing the exterior, interior, underhood, and any other interesting parts of your 4x4.
If Readers' Rides is more your style or you want to cover all your bases, fill out the following form as completely as lawyers in your state will allow, and mail it along with a clear photo of your vehicle to Readers' Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.
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