Drink driving in its own right is a very dangerous thing to do but new studies have revealed that the most dangerous thing to do whilst driving is to text and drive.
According to national research, texting impairs motorists further than alcohol and drug influences.
The research was compiled from a selection of different studies, one including findings from the RAC foundation who completed a simulator study. The study tested the affects of texting whilst driving and 17 – 24 year olds participated, the result found that reaction times were slowed down by 35% while they read and wrote texts.
The RAC also stated that nearly 50% of 18 – 24 year olds texted whilst driving. Reaction is slowed by 21% when cannabis is consumed and 12% slower when drunk to the legal limit.
When driving, people who text are more likely to cause a serious accident, as they are not in full control of their steering, by drifting in and out of lanes etc.
In actual fact steering control is decrease by 91% when on the phone, talking, texting or even holding the device. The combining factors of impaired reaction time and vehicle time are a greater risk then having consumed alcohol to the legal limit.
Drivers who use hand help phones face a £60 fine and three penalty points. In August, a law was implemented to harshly penalise those who cause death by careless driving.
When driving it is more than likely that you will experience passengers in your car, as the driver you must ensure that seatbelts are provided for them and that they are worn. Although as the driver you are solely responsible for passengers and the wearing of their belt if they are 14 years and under, passengers over this age need to ensure that they wear their belts themselves.
If you enjoy driving and like to socialise with people, then maybe becoming a taxi driver or bus driver may be the way forward for you. To complete this you may require a PCV – Professional carrying Vehicle driver specification.
No matter whether you are driving a taxi, limousine, tour bus or bus, your passengers comfort is vital. Also, ensure that the vehicle you are driving is road safe and has all the appropriate accompanying road documents. Check that your tyres are inflated, engine oil is at an appropriate level, and lights, horn and wipers are all working.
July 1st 2008 saw a change to the vehicle safety questions of ‘show me/ tell me’ questions that were originally introduced in September 2003.
The new additions include questions that cover a wider range of vehicle topics. The questions that learner drivers have to compulsorily answer as part of the theory test have now changed in order to make new drivers safer on the road.
The questions encompass a combination of vehicle safety and maintenance ones. The method is that questions would be asked by the examiner and then the pupil would respond by telling the examiner how to check or complete the proceed.
The new questions that have now been added include ones that cover the use of wipers, demisters, brake lights, fog lights, head restraints, ABS warning lights and the correct operation of relevant controls and switches.
A 12 year old girl in Limerick was recently arrested with driving offences. The girl which cannot be named for legal reasons drove a vehicle around the streets of Limmerick around 4am in the morning and was arrested later when she crashed into the Garda car.
Garda is the Police force in Limmerick and after she was pursued by the patrol, she plummeted into the vehicle. In the pursuit, she also sped through two sets of traffic lights.
She appeared before the District court on five charges of dangerous driving, causing criminal damage, driving without insurance and a licence and then colliding with the garda car. She also appeared on two further public order charges dating back from July 17th.
She was remanded on bail until September 30th and must obey a curfew from 8am to 8pm. The Probation service will investigate the girl’s circumstances and will prepare a report for her next court appearance.
If plans so ahead by next month, there will be segregated motorway lanes that will allow drivers to drive past stationary traffic.
This privilege will cost £5 and will allow drivers to drive in this lane, depending on the length of the journey.
Ministers are due to award contracts for technology trials to begin next year on the new lanes, and have arranged 100-200 volunteer motorists to act as guinea pigs in trials that will go ahead soon.
The Department for Transport has confirmed that tolling is being considered for one lane on any stretch of motorway that is due to be widened.
We will bring you further information soon, so please revisit for updates.
The DSA was today being questioned by an AM to why it appeared harder to pass driving tests in North Wales apposed to other parts of the country.
There is a significant difference in the pass rate figures from Wales in comparison to the rest of the welsh county.
The pass rate in Rhyl, Denbighshire, is 35%, compared to 63% in Lampeter and Ceredigion. It also showed that waiting times also varied and pupils had to wait longer here.
Don Bartley, who runs Acorn School of Motoring in Mold, said: “Every instructor around here will tell you that the pass rate is very low and we’re all worried about it.
“None of us know the reason why but for example this morning I took a girl for a test in Chester because she’d failed twice in Mold and she sailed through.”
Mr Bartley also said that the waiting list was higher in Mold, which he believed was due to a closure of a test centre in Wrexham last year.
Stella Carrington, of the Independent Driving Centre in Rhyl, said: “Rhyl’s also been classed a deprived area – I don’t know whether that might have something to do with it.”
February 2007 saw a new law brought out that penalised the many drivers that were using mobile phones whilst driving.
This act seemed to have no affect and until this day, there were drivers who continually used their phones whilst moving in their vehicle. According to a national report, it found that 40% of the drivers that were ‘dialling and driving’ were doing so illegally with out the use of a hands free device.
From Monday 18th of August 2008, there will be an act that will constitute causing death by careless driving.
If a driver causes death or injury through distractions such as being on the phone, texting, applying makeup, reading a map, adjusting a sat navigation device, eating, drinking or tuning a car stereo they will be penalised harshly.
The ministry has also stated that drivers who have even a moment’s distraction can make the difference between life and death.
Formerly a £5000 fine and points on the driving licence were issued as a maximum punishment, with the new law, a driver who commits this kind of offence will attain a higher fine, more points and could receive a prison sentence of up to 5 years!