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Car debt, drowsy driving and 2018's top vehicles

(Photo: © Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.)

A new report from Experian shows Americans are borrowing more for vehicle purchases and taking longer to pay back loans. The analysis showed car buyers borrowed an average of $31,099 for new vehicles and $19,589 for used vehicles – both records – in the fourth quarter of 2017. On average, Americans take 69 months to pay back new car loans and 64 months for used ones, according to Experian.

The number of drowsy drivers on the road is grossly underestimated, according to a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In fact, the number of crashes that involve drowsiness is nearly eight times larger than federal estimates, according to the foundation’s findings, which studied in-vehicle video from more than 700 crashes. In addition to getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, AAA suggests driving during hours you are normally awake and avoiding heavy foods and medications that cause drowsiness or other impairments.

Consumer Reports has released its rankings of the best 2018 vehicles and Japanese automaker Toyota is at the front of the pack. Consumer Reports uses a combination of track tests and owner surveys to create its annual rankings. Four Toyotas – the Corolla, Camry, Sienna and Highlander – were named winners in four of the 10 total categories. Other notable winners include the Chevrolet Bolt, for the best compact green car, and the Subaru Forester, which was named the best compact sport-utility vehicle.

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