Helping cars see better at night

Helping cars see better at night is key to reducing pedestrian deaths

No one was crossing Kercheval Avenue on The Hill in Grosse Pointe Farms as a minivan made its way through the shopping district one evening this fall, but people were clearly nearby.

If you are looking for a vehicle with front collision alert, adaptive cruise control and more please call Ron Westphal Chevrolet at 630-898-9630 or visit us online at  

They could be seen there on the laptop screen from inside the vehicle, their presence confirmed by glowing images captured by a thermal camera.

But the pedestrians weren’t on the street, and it took a moment to realize that they were actually on the sidewalk, obscured by decorative plantings and the darkness that coated everything not illuminated.

It wasn’t a great night for spotting pedestrians on this particular weeknight on a drive through a couple of the Grosse Pointes and the east side of Detroit. Maybe the pandemic was keeping people inside. Those who were out, however, were not hard to see, at least on the screen.

The eyeball view through the windshield was a different story, with darkness providing an effective camouflage. And darkness can be deadly for pedestrians.

In fact, most pedestrians who die in crashes are killed at night, but nighttime has been when the technology designed to prevent pedestrian crashes struggles most.

Last year, AAA revealed some startling deficiencies in driver assistance systems designed to protect pedestrians.

Thermal imaging company FLIR recently conducted testing in Michigan to show how its sensors could help advanced driver assistance systems detect pedestrians in dark conditions. (Photo: FLIR)
Thermal imaging company FLIR recently conducted testing in Michigan to show how its sensors could help advanced driver assistance systems detect pedestrians in dark conditions. (Photo: FLIR)

At night, several test vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems and pedestrian detection were found to be “completely ineffective.” Rather than bash the automakers’ efforts, AAA encouraged continued development of these systems because of the scope of the pedestrian death crisis in this country.

But finding a solution as the deaths of so many Americans on and along our roads has continued to rise — 6,283 men, women and children in 2018 alone, according to federal statistics — has become more urgent. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration even designated October as the first national Pedestrian Safety Month, an acknowledgment of the dangers faced by vulnerable road users. A 2018 Detroit Free Press/USA Today investigation highlighted the role the increase in large vehicles, such as SUVs, has played in the rising number of deaths.

The Best and Worst Drivers by State

The Best and Worst Drivers by State

The Best and Worst Drivers by State

In the five years we at QuoteWizard have been publishing our best and worst driver study, we have learned one thing: No matter where you live and drive, those drivers are the worst. California annually ranks among the worst drivers, according to our data, and they are generally in agreement that Californians are the worst drivers. When talking to Floridians about their continually great record of being among the best drivers, it’s met with utter disagreement. “Are you kidding me? Every day I get run off the road on my commute on I-95 from Boca Raton to Fort Lauderdale!”

What’s great about our best and worst driver study is that we’re using millions of data points to determine where the best and worst really are. While Florida may disagree with our findings, they can find solace in knowing it could be worse in other states. On the other hand, our data confirms what Californians have known for years. Everyone’s most popular opinion reflects the quality of the drivers around them. Many people have experienced driving in all parts of the country and have their thoughts on who is among the best or worst. What is your favorite and least favorite state to drive in? Do our rankings do it justice?

Best and worst ranking methodology

We analyzed over 2 million insurance quotes from QuoteWizard drivers to see which states had the best and worst drivers. To get rankings, we built a composite score between four driving incident factors:

  • Accidents
  • Speeding tickets
  • DUIs
  • Citations

Rankings are a composite score based on the rate of occurrence between the four ranking factors. States considered to have the worst drivers had the highest rates of each incident factor. States considered to have the best drivers had the lowest rates of each incident factor.

Rank (Worst to Best) State
1 Wyoming
2 Virginia
3 Colorado
4 New Jersey
5 South Dakota
6 Vermont
7 Maryland
8 Washington
9 Ohio
10 South Carolina
11 Georgia
12 North Dakota
13 Oregon
14 California
15 Delaware
16 Nebraska
17 Wisconsin
18 Arkansas
19 Indiana
20 Idaho
21 Maine
22 Utah
23 Alaska
24 Kansas
25 Connecticut
26 New York
27 Tennessee
28 Iowa
29 Pennsylvania
30 Louisiana
31 Minnesota
32 Alabama
33 Massachusetts
34 New Hampshire
35 Rhode Island
36 Hawaii
37 Mississippi
38 North Carolina
39 Arizona
40 Oklahoma
41 Montana
42 Nevada
43 Kentucky
44 Illinois
45 Florida
46 Texas
47 New Mexico
48 Michigan
49 Missouri
50 West Virginia

Most accident-prone states

Our ranking of the most accident-prone states means our data saw accidents occurring most often in these top five states. Geographically, it looks like the northeast carries the highest rate of accidents. Starting on I-95 in Boston, down through Providence, all the way to Baltimore appears to be the hotbed for accidents in the most accident-prone states.

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Maryland
  3. Massachusetts
  4. South Carolina
  5. Utah

Most lead-footed states

The most lead-footed states are those that speed the most and get caught doing it. No surprises here if you’ve ever driven in California. Californians tend to treat speed limits as more of a suggestion than the law. California Highway Patrol knows this too, so they’re always around the next turn. New York City traffic is brutally slow, but the open roads heading upstate can feel like a racetrack after getting out of the city.

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Delaware
  4. Hawaii
  5. North Dakota

Drunkest-driving states

When it comes to the drunkest-driving states, they’re all neighbors. While it may seem like a coincidence that the top four states are all next to each other, CDC data confirms it is not. The CDC’s BRFSSP data on alcohol consumption by state has the highest-consuming states all in the same neighborhood. It’s likely something about the cold northern states where people like to drink and the rural cities don’t have much of a cab service.

  1. Wyoming
  2. North Dakota
  3. South Dakota
  4. Nebraska
  5. Alaska

Worst driving habits (most citations)

The common citations we see while analyzing driver history tend to be tickets for things like texting while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, failure to signal and other minor citations. While minor in nature, they are bad driving habits that lead to accidents. States that ranked poorly for citations coincide with those with the worst driving behaviors. We could imagine citations for texting “Roll Tide” while driving landed Alabama on the top of our list.

  1. Alabama
  2. Arkansas
  3. Wyoming
  4. Kansas
  5. South Carolina

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Chevy Suburban HD

Will there be a Chevy Suburban HD?

Ever since General Motors introduced the all-new, T1-based 2021 Chevrolet Suburban, many have wondered whether GM would offer a new heavy-duty version of the SUV as well. Now, GM’s vice president of Global Product Programs, Tim Herrick, has hinted that a new Chevy Suburban HD could be on GM’s radar.

If you are looking for a new Suburban, please don’t hesitate to contact Ron Westphal Chevrolet at 630-898-9630 or visit us online.

Chevy Suburban HD prototype pic
Chevy Suburban HD prototype pic


General Motors recently announced that it had delivered the first unit of the Chevy Colorado-based GM Infantry Squad Vehicle to the U.S. Army. During the announcement, Herrick was asked how GM would bring its various technologies into the defense market. His response mentioned a new Chevy Suburban HD model.

“I have full-size truck stuff in my blood, right? So I understand what it takes to make a light duty truck, a heavy duty truck, an SUV, make them all together architecturally work, and then expand that architecture, whether it’s putting batteries in, or different engines and the like,” Herrick said. “Expanding the architecture architecturally would be great. And with that, then you bring, maybe a heavy-duty Suburban.”

Chevrolet Suburban 3500HD

Chevrolet Suburban 3500HD

There hasn’t been a Chevy Suburban HD in production since the end of 2018 following the discontinuation of the K2-based Suburban 3500HD. Previously, the Suburban 3500HD was available exclusively to fleets, starting at $80,215, $30,000 more than the $49,915 starting price of the standard Suburban model. Powered by the 6.0L V8 L96 gas engine, the Suburban 3500HD is motivated by 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, which was directed to all four wheels by way of the six-speed 6L90 heavy-duty automatic transmission.

Compared to the standard model, the Suburban 3500HD came with substantially greater payload capacity, specifically 4,405 pounds from an 11,00-pound GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating), as compared to the 1,670 payload rating and 7,500-pound GVWR offered by the standard Suburban.

As such, the HD model was a great choice for armoring and bulletproofing.

Although Herrick’s recent comments are from an official confirmation, they are still the first time we’ve heard anything related to a new Chevy Suburban HD model from GM brass. That said, we fully expect a new, T1-based Chevy Suburban HD to launch for the 2022 model year.

Subscribe to GM Authority for more Chevrolet Suburban newsChevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM newscoverage.

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Rust in Peace – Vehicles being discontinued

It’s that time of year again: Halloween. It’s a holiday that’s centuries old, having started as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It’s a day when people thought that ghostly spirits returned to earth. After being conquered by the Romans, who co-opted the ancient Celt tradition as All Saints’ Day, or Alholowmesse in Middle English, Samhain endured as All-Hallows Eve, and eventually, Halloween.

All these centuries later, October is the time when automakers kill off unpopular cars, when their time as new models on this earth pass, never to return.

Rust In Peace:

Acura RLX: A perfectly anonymous car with an equally anonymous name, the RLX is a stark reminder of how far Acura’s product development and marketing has fallen from the excellence established by the Legend.

The Chevrolet Impala will just be a memory next year. Rust in Peace.
The Chevrolet Impala will just be a memory next year. Rust in Peace.

Alfa Romeo 4C: Now that America has become a nation of SUV-loving truck drivers, where dreary practicality triumphs over sheer fun, pure sports cars like the fun-to-drive 4C are sadly overlooked also-rans.

BMW i8: You’d think a gas-electric hybrid as attractive as the BMW i8, with handling to match, would succeed. But $147,500 for a car powered by the Mini’s three-cylinder engine? Really?

Buick Regal: In the pantheon of cool Buick names like Invicta and Electra, this Opel import with the blue-hair name was doomed from the start, although its remarkably unremarkable personality didn’t help.

Cadillac CT6: With a name only a lifeless marketer would love, this flagship sedan was sabotaged by tepid styling that lacked the Escalade’s unmitigated swagger, and a cabin far too cheap for its station.

The Chevrolet Sonic Sedan and Hatchback are being retired. Rust in Peace.
The Chevrolet Sonic Sedan and Hatchback are being retired. Rust in Peace.

Chevrolet Impala: While car buyers think nothing of buying an enormous SUV, they think twice about buying a large car, even one as good as the Impala. That said, a more inspired design would have helped.

Chevrolet Sonic: With exorbitant gasoline prices now a distant memory, this funky and fun little hatchback lost its raison d’etre. Its platform lives on, however, in the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore.

Dodge Grand Caravan: Cheap to buy and very practical, the end has come for this minivan after 35 years as Dodge focuses on performance-oriented products. Its replacement, the Chrysler Voyager, is now on sale.

Dodge Journey: Outclassed in every respect except for its low price and archaic Ultradrive four-speed automatic transmission, this sad relic of the DaimlerChrysler era is thankfully seeing its journey come to an end.

Ford Fusion: Ford may blame lack of buyer interest with killing the Fusion, the absence of any meaningful update for years has much more to do with it. A sad, self-inflicted end to a well-respected and popular car.

Honda Civic Coupe: While the whole sport compact scene grew out of cars like the Civic Coupe, its time has come and gone, as buyers are unwilling to put up with an iota of inconvenience in the name of fashion.

Honda Fit: Its beauty was its utility, which was far larger than its size suggested thanks to the flexibility of its seating system. And it was unexpectedly fun to drive, something rarely said of cheap utilitarian cars.

Hyundai Elantra GT: Styled and engineered in Europe, the five-door Elantra hatchback never enjoyed the popularity it deserved, despite U.S. car buyers buying hatchbacks by the millions, as long they are on an SUV.

Jaguar XE: Like the X-Type before it, this entry-level British sports sedan never possessed the requisite grace, pace and space needed to steal buyers away from the BMW 3-Series.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake: If you thought that the idea of a Jaguar station wagon seemed a bit off, you’re not alone, even though this was a fabulously fun-to-drive alternative to the overwhelming overabundance of SUVs.

Lexus GS: Always the middle child, never as popular as the Lexus LS or ES sedans, Toyota President Akio Toyoda wanted to kill the GS in 2011. Executives saved the car, but sales never improved. Now, Akio gets his wish.

Lincoln Continental: Developed using a front-wheel drive Ford Fusion platform to save money, and lacking the requisite aura of the concept car that foreshadowed it, the Continental’s fate was sealed from the start.

Lincoln MKZ: This gussied-up Ford Fusion with a crummy name was bound to exit once the Fusion did. Aside from seniors who liked nabbing a Lincoln at a low price, the MKZ was never special enough.

Mercedes-Benz SL: Mercedes-Benz has killed the two-seat SL-Class, but online reports speculate that the renowned roadster could return as a 2+2 for 2022, built by Mercedes-AMG.

Mercedes-Benz SLC: With buyers ignoring everything except SUVs, this cut-rate convertible is circling the block for the last time, still in need of the upscale elan, space, and build quality that its larger siblings possess.

Toyota Yaris: Americans hate subcompacts, especially when gas prices are low. So even though this disguised rendition of the Mazda2 is fun to drive, downsized cars are DOA.

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Ron Westphal Chevrolet practices social distancing

Ron Westphal Chevrolet practices social distancing!
Ron Westphal Chevrolet practices social distancing

Ron Westphal Chevrolet practices social distancing

Your safety is our number 1 priority at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.

To help keep you and our staff safe we practice social distancing in all departments.

We also wear masks and continually clean and sanitize common areas.  If you prefer, we offer contact-less vehicle deliveries in both service and sales.  You can shop and buy online and we’ll be happy to drop off your purchase at your front door.  No direct contact needed-paperwork can be completed online or sent through the mail/overnighted.  You can apply and obtain a vehicle loan online at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.

Congratulations to Manny & Trisha Bermudez and big thanks for your repeat business with us here at Westphal Chevy!  From-your salesperson Danny Cardinal and all of us at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.  We look forward to serving you in the future.  This pic shows Danny Cardinal NOT wearing a mask outside with the client’s permission.  In case you were wondering…Inside the building we always wear our masks.  

About the Dealership

Ron Westphal Chevy is located on the corner of Routes 30 and 34 where Aurora meets Oswego, IL.  We are across the street from Sam’s Club and JC Penneys.
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We appreciate your time and hope to see you in our dealership soon.


If you buy your truck on Halloween you’ll always remember when you got it.

It's Truck Month at Ron Westphal Chevrole
It’s Truck Month at Ron Westphal Chevrolet!

If you buy your truck on Halloween you’ll always remember when you got it.

It’s Truck Month here at Ron Westphal Chevrolet and the offers are incredible!  Enormous rebates, financing as low as 0.9% for up to 72 months, massive dealer discounts and so much more!

Don’t forget to ask about the $1,000 GM Accessory Allowance when you purchase here this month.

We will be OPEN on Halloween and look forward to having a fantastic selling day here.  Some of us may even be in costume…

Stop by this weekend for a new or pre-owned vehicle.  We promise you’ll have a great time.

Ron Westphal Chevy is located in Aurora/Oswego, IL.  Part of our dealership is in Aurora and part of it is Oswego!  We are located right where the two towns meet and we are in Kendall county.  Don’t forget to ask us how that fact alone could save you hundreds of dollars!

2017 Suburu Outback 3.6R Limited for sale at Ron Westphal Chevy

2017 Suburu Outback 3.6R Limited for sale at Ron Westphal Chevy

2017 Suburu Outback 3.6R Limited for sale at Ron Westphal Chevy
2017 Suburu Outback 3.6R Limited for sale at Ron Westphal Chevy

Just-In!  This recent trade-in is a welcome addition to our used vehicle line-up.

This beauty is leather and loaded!  Symmetrical All-wheel-drive, vehicle Dynamics control (VDC), rear vision camera, blind spot detection and lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, X-mode with hill decent control, fully independent raised suspension, roof rails, power rear hatch with height memory, high intensity HID headlamps, 7.0 inch multi-media navigation system, eye-sight driver assist system, pre-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, land departure warning and lane sway warning, pre-collision throttle management system, all wheat floor mats, body side moldings, rear bumper cover, rear seat back protector, remote starter and soooo much more!

For additional details contact our sales team at 630-898-9630.

2021 Chevy Tahoe What’s New


2021 Chevy Tahoe What’s New and in stock

The 2021 Tahoe is in stock at Ron Westphal Chevrolet and you’ve just got to see it!  It features 10 inches more rear leg room for the 3rd row seat.  10 inches!  Give our Customer Care Team a call at 630-898-9630 for a V.I.P. appointment or drop by our showroom anytime!

2021 Chevy Tahoe What’s New versus 2020

Body-on-frame SUVs are a dying breed, but GM’s truck-based family of utility vehicles are damn near everywhere on the roads. For good reason, too; their primitive underpinnings provide for some major capability, whether it’s hauling people or horse trailers or whatever. But ubiquity doesn’t mean perfection, and resting on one’s laurels for too long never turns out well. For 2021, the Chevrolet Tahoe and its SuburbanGMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade siblings pick up some major refinements that add some yachting flavor to these boats.

2021 Chevy Tahoe When the latest generation of GM’s pickup trucks came out, the response was… a smidge tepid. The exterior was on the Seinfeld side of breathtaking, and the interiors felt stagnant, with too few changes over the previous generation. The 2021 Tahoe, by comparison, just gelsChevy‘s corporate front end front end looks far more imposing on the Tahoe, and a few strong character lines break up some of the slab-sided look that comes with an SUV this big.

And yes, this thing is massive. The Tahoe’s new body is about 7 inches longer than before, with a wheelbase extension not far behind. The result is an absolute boatload (groan) of cargo capacity and interior space. Cargo space is up 66% behind the third row to 25.5 cubic feet, thanks in part to a load floor that’s nearly half a foot lower, but it’s not like that space comes at the expense of passenger comfort. Those in the way, way backs get an extra 10 inches of legroom, something my 6-foot frame immediately appreciates. I’ve lived in smaller studio apartments. The first and second row are precisely as voluminous as you think, too.

So where did all this extra space come from? The answer is three letters that would give any “creative” accountant pause: IRS. To further differentiate the big-boy SUVs from their truck siblings, General Motors swapped out the ol’ stick axle in favor of an independent rear suspension. Not only does this offer up all manner of space, it vastly improves the ride quality.

Make no mistake, you won’t forget that there’s a truck hiding under this boxy shell. Some of the traditional body-on-frame judder is present over more severe bumps, but by and large, the ride quality falls within the positive definition of nautical. My High Country tester comes standard with GM’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control magnetorheological suspension, but it’s enhanced further with a $1,000 adaptive air suspension that is absolutely worth the cost of entry. Both low- and high-speed cruising take place in a cushioned, comfortable state that eats up road nastiness. It’s the most luxurious GM’s full-size SUVs have ever felt — as my tester damn well should, given its shocking as-tested price of $81,845.

he rest of the Tahoe’s underpinnings also stress smoothness. The High Country’s engine is the largest offered on Tahoe, a 6.2-liter V8 churning out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, with an exhaust note that’s more than a little Corvette-inspired, especially at full clip. That eight-pot works well in conjunction with its 10-speed automatic transmission, hopping through the gears with ease. The pedal modulation is dead simple, making for smooth starts and stops. Of course, a lump this big tends to be thirsty, and the EPA’s estimates of 14 miles per gallon city and 19 mpg highway reflect that.

That stuff is all well and good, but the biggest and best improvements in the 2021 Chevy Tahoe are found inside. Further separating itself from its trucky family, the Tahoe’s interior is much closer to a passenger car, with a modern “floating” infotainment screen and a dashboard design that is actually interesting for a change. The High Country trim errs on the luxurious side (and at $72,000 to start, it’d better), with soft leather just about everywhere. The push-button transmission controls on the dash face take some getting used to, but as far as child’s-toy-lookin’ toggles go, these are king of the hill. There’s still a whole bunch o’ switches, something GM will probably struggle with until the heat death of the universe, but they’re put in sensible places and are legible at a glance.

As you might expect, there are ten trillion places to store your junk in the Tahoe. The door pockets have multiple layers to better separate items, and while my tester’s under-armrest cubby feels shallow, that’s actually not a bad thing. For $350, you can option an electric sliding center console, which slides aft to give the second row better access to this storage space. Sliding the console back also reveals a hidden compartment that will be an excellent place to store one’s valuables. I don’t generally get smitten with gimmicks, but this one is pretty sweet, and you can have it for a song. If I don’t need the third-row seats, I can fold them flat using the buttons overhead, a nice touch.

GM’s vehicles already come with a solid complement of dashboard tech, and the Tahoe is no exception. My tester’s center screen measures 10 inches and runs the automaker’s latest infotainment system, which is quick to respond and laid out well. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are on offer, and all trims except the base LS get a standard Qi induction charger. It’s not like there aren’t ports in here, though; the front row gets two USB outlets (one USB-A, one USB-C), and the second and third rows each carry dual USB-Cs. Short of a barbiturate dispenser, access to device chargers is probably the best in-car addition to keep the kids quiet on long trips to the lake house.

For whatever reason, Big Bowtie has generally been pretty stingy with its safety systems, but the Tahoe packs a number of standard driver-assistance aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, parking sensors and a suitably high-def backup camera. A $3,355 Technology Package bolsters that with adaptive cruise control and a radar-based automatic braking upgrade. Up to nine cameras can cover just about every angle of the Tahoe, and a top-down view on the infotainment screen is basically necessary when trying to park something the size of an office building.

How do you make a truck better than a truck? By putting a whole lot more into it than usual. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe has almost completely separated itself from its roots with the addition of key upgrades like an independent rear suspension and a well-thought-out interior. Those with large families or the need for more capaciousness than most walk-in closets will not be let down with this latest generation of full-size SUVs, which is now fully positioned as a 21st-century hauler.

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The 2021 Chevy Colorado is in stock and it’s on sale too

The 2021 Chevy Colorado is in stock and it’s on sale too!

The new 2021 Chevy Colorado has arrived on our lot!  And, it’s on sale.  Not only are we reducing the price but GM is offering an additional $750 off if you qualify for the GM Loyalty program.  Click on the picture to find out more.

2021 Chevy Colorado is available for immediate delivery.

GM Loyalty is a program geared to reward GM owners and lessees.  You must own or be leasing a 2006 or newer light duty GM vehicle to qualify.  A light duty car, suv or truck is fine and there’s no need to trade it in.  You can even transfer this offer to another individual that lives with you.  For additional information please call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 or visit our showroom.

Ron Westphal Chevrolet is located in Aurora/Oswego, IL.

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