Survey Says

New data shows where, when drivers are most likely to crash

Agero, which supplies roadside assistance, analyzed their calls for help to get results on likely incident scenarios.

Photo by Getty Images

Data from 65 million U.S. drivers has revealed when and where they are most likely to need roadside assistance. Agero, one of the largest providers of roadside assistance in the country, for companies including Toyota, Ford, and Progressive, conducted extensive quantitative and qualitative research and analysis to detail what a typical call for help looks like outside of a traditional crash scenario. These are the results.

Breakdowns can come in multiples. 

Of the respondents who experienced a breakdown in the last six months, nearly two-thirds of those under 35 years old reported experiencing two or more breakdown events, while just 40 percent of those over 35 experienced two or more.

It almost always happens on a weekday.

While one might assume a breakdown is most likely to occur during a long drive, like a summer or holiday road trip, this happens just four percent of the time. Instead, over 75 percent of breakdowns occur during the daytime and roughly 70 percent happen on weekdays – causing major inconvenience when you're about use the car to run errands (42 percent) or commute to or from work (25 percent).

Most incidents happen close to home.

Everyone's worst case scenario is being left stranded on the side of a highway. But as it turns out, this happens just 13 percent of the time. A calmer neighborhood street is the much more likely location, occurring almost a quarter of the time (22 percent). And, the chance of a breakdown happening while driving vs. parked is an even 50-50 split, with a significant portion of respondents at home (26 percent) or in a parking lot (25 percent) when their issue occurred. Overall, roughly 80 percent of events occur within 30 minutes of home.

Most incidents also happen while drivers are alone.

The natural tendency is to worry about being stranded with our kids in the car. Fortunately, this is often not the case. Over half of events (53 percent) occurred with no other passengers in the car. Other adults and children are present just 13 percent of the time, while drivers reported having only kids in the car for eight percent of events.

Most incidents don't require a tow truck.

A full 75 percent of the time, the event doesn't require a tow, and is instead a caused by a dead battery (24 percent), flat tire (23 percent), lockout (12 percent), out of fuel (10 percent) or stuck in a ditch, mud, etc. (5 percent). A tow is required just 25 percent of the time due to a mechanical problem (17 percent) or flat tire with no spare available (8 percent).

Spare tires are becoming increasingly less common as standard equipment in vehicles so it will be interesting to see how these numbers change over time. If you're not 100 percent sure if your vehicle has a spare tire and the proper equipment to change the tire, now's the time to check.

About half of vehicles on the road have an incident by the time they get to be eight years old.

Perhaps not surprisingly, vehicle age can play a role in the likelihood of a breakdown. In recent years, roughly 10 percent of cars two years old or less have had a breakdown. But the likelihood begins to spike after that, with approximately 30 percent of cars experiencing a breakdown by the time they are four years old and half experiencing such an event by the time they are eight years old.

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Nuts & Bolts


The Maserati Nettuno engine is the first one developed by Maserati in decades.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati is in the midst of a redo. The brand is reshaping its image, starting with its allegiance to its home country of Italy. For months, the automaker, a division of FCA, has been pushing has on the message that its future is fully Italian, despite the looming merger between its American-Italian owner and the French PSA Groupe.

The next step in its product plans was to shift development and production of its engines to Italy. The Maserati Nettuno is the result of a team of Maserati technicians and engineers working at the Maserati Innovation Lab on Via Emilia Ovest and the workshops on Via Delle Nazioni to design the engine. It was developed at the Engine Hub, located at the Viale Ciro Menotti address where it will be built.

Maserati Nettuno engine

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Maserati's new engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder unit with V90-degree architecture. It's capable of delivering 621 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 538 pound-feet of torque from 3000 rpm.

The engine features a dry sump pump and has an 11:1 compression ratio. The stroke is 82 mm and the bore 88 mm.

The Italian automaker says the that "soul of the engine" its its pre-chamber combustion system that features twin-spark plugs. The chamber is set between the central electrode and traditional combustion chamber and connected by a series of specially-designed holes. The lateral spark plug is traditional in its action.

This technology is derived from Formula One use and will make its debut in a passenger car this autumn.

The twin-injection system is linked to the fuel supply pressure at 350 bar, working to reduce noise in the low rev range, which lowers emissions.

Maserati has lowered the traditional development time of an engine by utilizing virtual analysis via the Innovation Lab.

The engine will be employed first in the Maserati MC20, which is set to bring Maserati back to the world of racing. It is expected to debut in September.

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The Nikola Badger will debut with a tap for drinking water.

Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

When it comes to emissions, there's little that beats the cleanliness of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Though it has a mineral-rich battery pack, the model is fueled by hydrogen. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor.

That water vapor can either be absorbed into the atmosphere or, in the case of the Nikola Badger, become part of a drinking fountain system, as reveled in a tweet earlier this week.

Take a look at the back end of the Badger. That's right, you will be able to tap that.

Nikola Badger The Nikola Badger can be reserved online today.Photo courtesy of Nikola Corporation

A recent tweet from Nikola Founder and CEO Trevor Milton promised that a drinking fountain would be in the truck. Inn fact, the company had already narrowed it down to two designs and chosen the winner.

A hot a cold tap are promised, with safeguards to prevent accidental emissions and splashing.

Aside from the engineering, the question about the safety of drinking the water is a valid one. There are technologies, including hydropanels, that capture water vapor and turn it into drinking water. Other technologies, like Akvo AWGs, do similar things via a different, multi-step process.

Toyota does not recommend drinking the water vapor from its hydrogen fuel cell-powered Mirai, however Hyundai touts the ability to do so, even going so far as to creating a publicity stunt wherein Olympic swimmer Mireia Belmonte ran on a treadmill inside a plastic bubble while the Nexo's tailpipe was hooked up pumping in emissions.

Hyundai Nexo y Mireia Belmonte 30"

The engineering behind taking the emitted water vapor from the truck's tailpipe to a drinking fountain has yet to be seen. A prototype of the Nikola Badger has yet to be seen by the public despite the fact that top-tier reservations for the model have already sold out.

The Nikola Badger is slated to debut later this year as part of the festivities surrounding Nikola World.

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