Which City Has the 'Greenest' Car Shoppers?

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When it comes to eco-conscious car shoppers, the Golden State is the greenest. From SoCal to the Central Coast to NorCal, California lays claim to seven of the top 10 places on Cars.com's annual "Greenest Car Shoppers" list, up from five last year. The greater West Coast accounts for two more spots, while only one non-Western locale — Charlottesville, Va. — made this year's roster. Data is compiled based on Cars.com visitors’ searches for hybrid and electric vehicles.

The Top 10 Cities Where Car Shoppers Go Green (2013)

"While California continues to lead in car shoppers' adoption of hybrid and electric cars, overall demand for these green cars has led car companies to make hybrids in all shapes and sizes, capable of accommodating the needs of just about any type of driver," said Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder.

Here are the top 10 greenest cities:

By Matt Schmitz | April 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

Gas Prices 14 Cents Higher Than a Year Ago

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Gas prices climbed another 5 cents the past week to a national average of $3.66 for a gallon of regular unleaded, according to Thursday's AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, and motorists in all but a handful of states saw pump prices move higher.

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Drivers in California experienced the biggest increase, AAA reported. Pump prices surged 13 cents in the past week to a statewide average of $4.20. California had the most expensive gas except for Hawaii, which averaged $4.33 as of Thursday.

By Rick Popely | April 18, 2014 | Comments (2)

Texting-While-Driving Consequences Vary by State

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Generally speaking, a moving violation is when a driver breaks the law while their vehicle is in motion. Examples of patently dangerous actions include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding and running a stop sign. But what about texting while driving?

Cars.com Undercover: Texting While Driving Rampant

That indisputably risky variety of distracted driving that puts drivers' eyes on their smartphone screens and their thumbs on the digital keys — and only a portion of their attention on the road — has been shown to directly correlate with accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to crash, a major contributor to the thousands of distracted-driving deaths that occur each year.

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2014 | Comments (3)

Gas Prices Rise Higher Than a Year Ago

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By Rick Popely

Gas prices continued to rise in most parts of the country the past week, and for the first time since early January the national average for regular unleaded was higher than on the same date a year ago.

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The national average of $3.61 for a gallon of regular gas was 4 cents higher than on April 10, 2013, according to Thursday's AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report, and the highest since early August. That ends a 14-week streak in which pump prices were lower than a year ago.

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2014 | Comments (7)

Chevy Steers the Action in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Iron Man has an affinity for Audi. The Avengers are all about Acura. Now, Captain America — the poster boy for Made in the U.S.A. — demonstrates his domestic disposition by pledging allegiance to a brand that's as American as apple pie: Chevrolet. As Marvel Entertainment's latest Avengers-universe entry, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" dominated the box office this past weekend with an April-record-smashing $96 million bow, the bow-tie brand dominated the film's driving scenes.

Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

As we reported during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show in February, among the most prominently featured vehicles in the Chevy-heavy sequel is the custom black-on-black-on-black Chevrolet Corvette Stingray driven by actress Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow when she picks up Cap in front of the Capitol. (She's a spy, so obviously a totally bad-ass-looking supercar should help her keep a low profile, right?) Other showcased Chevrolets include the Tahoe SUV, Impala sedan and Silverado pickup truck.

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

What to Expect at the 2014 New York Auto Show

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For nearly as long as there have been automobiles, there have been auto shows. One of the oldest and most important is the New York International Auto Show. The Big Apple's exhibition started 114 years ago and bills itself as the longest-running auto show on the continent.

More 2014 New York Auto Show Coverage

The show returns for 2014 from April 18-27, with press- and dealer-only previews April 16-17, at New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center, 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets. Based on the debuts and notable appearances we already know about, it's shaping up to be quite a year of face-offs.

By Matt Schmitz | April 10, 2014 | Comments (1)

Distracted Driving Campaign Targets 'Big Fat Myth' of Hands-Free Safety

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Safety advocates want motorists to pay attention to the dangers of distracted driving. As April is designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the century-old Itasca, Ill.-based National Safety Council has released a new poll showing that 80 percent of drivers across the U.S. believe hands-free devices are safer than using a handheld phone while behind the wheel. The group believes this not to be the case. Meanwhile, among motorists reporting using hands-free devices while driving, 70 percent said they do so for safety reasons.

More Safety News on Cars.com

"While many drivers honestly believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device, it's just not true," said David Teater, the NSC's senior director of transportation initiatives. "The problem is the brain does not truly multitask. Just like you can't read a book and talk on the phone, you can't safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone."

By Matt Schmitz | April 10, 2014 | Comments (5)

Gas Prices Impact Driving Habits Less

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Fewer Americans are reducing how much they drive because of gas prices, which average $3.57 for a gallon of regular unleaded, 7 cents less than a year ago, AAA said Thursday.

More Fuel-Efficiency News

In a telephone survey conducted by AAA, 53 percent of motorists said they are changing their driving habits or lifestyle to offset higher gas prices. A year ago, when pump prices averaged $3.64, 68 percent said they were reducing the amount of driving they do.

By Rick Popely | April 4, 2014 | Comments (6)

App Helps Urban Drivers Avoid Street-Sweeping Tickets

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You thought to yourself, "This is too good to be true," last night when you pulled into that parking space right in front of your building. After all, you live on a crowded street in a crowded neighborhood in a crowded city and normally have to circle the block at least three times. Yet there was a curbside space so big you maneuvered into it nose first. And why not? Everyone lucks out and snags a sweet spot once in a while, right? Actually, maybe not. See, what you did was park on the side scheduled for overnight street sweeping, and then you were greeted by a nice fat ticket when you left for work the next day.

More Car Gadgets News on Cars.com

And so goes the plight of the urban-dwelling car owner. If you are one, you've likely experienced any number of similar scenarios, from snow tow zones to construction parking bans to parade routes; street-sweeping-related parking tickets rank among the most common. According to pay-per-mile car-insurance provider MetroMile, it was the most frequently issued of all tickets in San Francisco in 2011, at $60 a pop costing the city's drivers $29 million. But the story should be relatable to motorists in other congested metropolises like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago where parking is tight and warning signs confusing.

To help drivers avoid getting cleaned out by street-sweeping tickets, MetroMile has developed a smartphone app that warns parking motorists. Working in tandem with the company's connected-car device, the Metronome, which plugs into a vehicle's OBD-II port, the app uses onboard GPS to note the location of the parked vehicle. If it's in a street-sweeping zone, the app will send a push notification 12 hours ahead of the sweeping schedule and a reminder an hour before.

By Matt Schmitz | April 4, 2014 | Comments (3)

Feds Say New Cars Must Have Backup Cameras By Model-Year 2019

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After years of delays and lawsuits, the government's proposed backup camera mandate is finally a reality, according to reports from The Detroit News. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that all vehicles less than 10,000 pounds must be equipped with a backup camera starting in 2018 for model-year 2019 vehicles.

The mandate is a long time coming: Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in 2008, named after a child killed when an SUV backed into him in 2002. The bill stipulated that the Department of Transportation had to issue a backup camera law within three years. After years of setbacks, several safety groups sued the DOT last year, citing an "unreasonable delay" in creating backup-camera rules.

Cost is one of the points at issue; NHTSA says the backup camera will likely cost the auto industry an extra $58 to $203 per vehicle, but that the equipment would cut between 95 and 112 of the nearly 300 backup deaths per year in the U.S. NHTSA cites that about 100 of those annual deaths are of children younger than 5. Some automakers, like Honda, have already started offering standard backup cameras across their lineups.

Click here to read more from our affiliates at the Detroit News.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (9)

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