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122015 Nissan Leaf gets B mode standard, new MorningSky Blue color

The Nissan Leaf is getting a few updates for the 2015 model year, some functional, some purely aesthetic. The appearance options will be made available later than the rest, and include a new exterior color called MorningSky Blue, as well as standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels for the SV trim level.

19Hands-Free Devices Still Present Distractions To Drivers

Motorists have limited mental bandwith, AAA-sponsored study says

Behind the wheel of a car, hands-free does not mean risk-free. Hands-free technologies, such as voice recognition, can be just as distracting to drivers as the hand-held habits they're meant to curb.

49Even LaHood thinks the NTSB mobile electronics ban is flawed [w/poll]

When Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood thinks a ban on drivers using electronic devices is a flawed, you know it's a bad idea. But that's exactly what the Good Secretary told David Shepardson of the Detroit News during a recent interview.

662013 Ford Escape to offer hands-free power liftgate

Ford will officially debut the next-generation Escape at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, but ahead of the crossover's official debut, we're getting our first look at one of the vehicle's new features: a hands-free power liftgate. How does it work? Simply kick your foot under the Escape's rear bumper (as long as the key fob is in your pocket) and the liftgate will open. When you're done, wave your foot under the bumper again, and the hatch automatically closes.

49Video: 2012 Ford C-Max demonstrates its hands-free liftgate

2012 Ford C-Max shows off its hands-free liftgate – Click above to watch the video after the jump

47Report: LaHood mulling nationwide ban on all in-car mobile phone use?

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wants to make our roads a safer place. Distracted driving is arguably his number one issue, and LaHood is waging a concerted campaign to try and curb it. Is he taking things a step too far, though? According to Automotive News, LaHood has now stated that he believes motorists are distracted by any use of a mobile device while driving. This includes making hands-free calls through the use of in-car or in-ear Bluetooth devices. LaHood's department is going

21Report: Senate pushes distracted driving issue back to the states

If you were waiting for the federal government to lay down the law on distracted driving, we've got bad news for you. New bipartisan legislation from Congress has effectively put the issue back into the hands of individual states. That means that instead of a single, nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving like most advocates were hoping for, we'll likely be stuck with the same status quo for a few more years. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportat

61OMG LOL: New study says 93% of Americans favor banning text messaging while driving

Maybe it's not surprising that Ford commissioned a study that helps bolster a sales case for some of its in-car-electronics, but the Blue Oval seems to have its finger on the pulse of the nation this time. Market researchers Penn, Schoen & Berland polled 1,000 drivers and found that 93% of them agree with the notion of a nationwide ban on texting. Those drivers seemed to be realists, however, with only 42% believing that the same idiots who punch out communiques instead of attentively piloti

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