Monthly Archives: January 2011

January 31, 2011
BEING COURTEOUS ON THE ROAD COULD LEAD TO AN ACCIDENT

Good manners from other drivers can cause a number of misconceptions and confusion.

If you signal to another car, you must assess the situation and make sure everyone around you knows what you and the other car intend to do. Make sure you position yourself to make it clear what your intentions are.

You are only supposed to flash your lights when you are warning a car of your presence however, many of us will flash another car to let them go ahead of us, to warn them they haven’t got their headlights on, or to tell them somebody is crossing…as you can see it’s very ambiguous.

The most common use of flashing headlights is to allow another driver to pull out, yet by leaving a big enough gap and slowly coming of the gas there should be sufficient time for the car to pull out without you flashing them.

Holly Harper of Britannia Driving School said: “Think before you flash, do other road users and pedestrians know what you are doing and is there a way to avoid using them.”

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January 29, 2011
Green cars and road safety ‘among drivers’ resolutions’

Driving in a safer way and investing in a green vehicle are among the new year’s resolutions many Britons have set themselves this year, it has been revealed.

A survey by Exchange and Mart has found that 37.5 per cent of people have included at least one driving-related resolution among their plans for 2011, with protecting the environment found to be a key focus.

Topping the list of motoring pledges was to trade in an existing car for a greener model or something smaller, followed by reducing the number of miles they travel.

Some road users also revealed they hope to get their vehicle serviced more regularly this year, along with making an effort to drive within the speed limit.

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January 28, 2011
THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE

Many of us enjoy a drink or three at the weekend and most of us would take responsibility and find an alternative way of travelling home.

Yet research has found that a lot of responsible people who would never consider drink driving are being caught out the following morning.

There is a lack of understanding as to exactly how long alcohol remains in our system and people who have consumed large quantities of alcohol the night before may still be over the limit the following morning.

It is important that we brush up on our knowledge and take responsibility for driving our cars when we are in a fit and proper state.

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January 27, 2011
Grants driving customers towards electric cars

Government subsidies are having a significant impact on the number of people considering a plug-in hybrid or electric car as their next purchase, a survey has revealed.

Vehicle valuation company Glass polled just under 400 motorists last month and found that 36 per cent were thinking about buying a hybrid or electric vehicle (EV). The proportion of respondents interested in purchasing a plug-in vehicle then rose to 53 per cent when they were told of the Electric Vehicle Plug-in Car Grant, which offers up to £5,000 off the price of nine new electric cars.

When asked the same question in June last year, just 0.5 per cent of respondents said they would buy an electric car, and eight per cent said they would buy a hybrid.

“This is a phenomenal increase in a very short time, and represents a fast-growing acceptance of the emergence of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles into the mass market,” said Andy Carroll, managing director at Glass.

“It is also clear the government’s Plug-in Car Grant is making an impact on figures and could be the deciding factor for people already considering buying a plug-in hybrid or battery electric car, as well as appealing to those who would not previously have considered it.”

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January 26, 2011
SAVING THE PENNIES AND LOSING THE POUNDS

With Christmas behind us but paying it of looming, saving money has never been so paramount. You could consider ways of increasing your income but saving money is just as quick and effective.

For many of us driving has become a privilege not a given with fuel prices and insurance on the up.

Think before you buy. Never settle on the first quote for insurance and repairs, shop around. You may even be able to bring the cost down by bargaining with them. Companies want your business and can normally come down on the first price they quotes so there is room for manoeuvre.

Keep the car clean, free of weight and keep your speed steady. Anyone that does this should reduce their fuel consumption and also reduce the risk of an accident, which would inevitably put your insurance premiums up also.

Shop around for fuel. Garages charge different prices and they can range considerably. 5p or 10p a litre cheaper may not seem a lot, but in the long run you could save yourself a large amount of money.

Holly Harper of Britannia Driving School said: “It may be an idea to consider ditching the car if you are travelling a short distance and walk instead. You will be save yourself the cost of fuel and lose the pounds piled on over the festive period at the same time.

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January 25, 2011
US parents want to spy on kids’ driving

US parents have been at the forefront of over protecting their precious little snowflakes for many years now.

Not only do they demand that their television be censored into next week, but they routinely check emails to see that they are not being closely monitored by a paedophile.

Now the latest craze for over protective parents is two-way cameras which will monitor teens as they drive. The camera is placed on the rear-view mirror in the centre of the windscreen. It tapes both footage of the driver and his view of the road ahead.

Dubbed DriveCam, the beast records all conversations which are taking place in the car, so that parents will know if they are distracted or having a snog.

Should a driver have an accident, violently swerve or even brake too hard, a video of what happened before and after the event is sent by the insurance company to the teenager and his parents.

Of course the idea is that the teen will drive sensibly and therefore prevent deaths on the road caused by careless and inexperienced drivers. The reality is that you get your kid used to a big brother environment and expect their parents to control their lives until they are in their sixties.

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January 24, 2011
TRAFFIC CONE CONSEQUENCES

Under the Road Traffic Act removing or interfering with site equipment including traffic cones and road signs could lead to an individual being fined up to £5000 and in some cases is punishable with a 6 month prison sentence.

It may seem funny to use a traffic cone as a hat or a megaphone but the consequences of removing that cone could be tremendous. Cones are there for a reason so by removing it you could potentially cause someone to have an accident.

It is not just members of the public that should take responsibility, but workers that block the road to carry out maintenance work. They are responsible for making sure that they provide adequate and safe access for cars and pedestrians and that any temporary road marking, cones or signs are clear and properly placed.

Yet cones are not always used legitimately, many people use them selfishly in order to reserve spaces for them to park. Quiet often they do not use the space all day which prevents other road users parking there.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “Think before you remove equipment, it will be there for a reason and by you removing it could cause more problems than you anticipate.”

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January 23, 2011
Driving Safely And Avoiding Accidents At Night

Every driver’s vision is reduced at night. It’s more difficult to see road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. It also takes time for eyes to adjust to the darkness after being in a lit building or after driving on a well-lit road. What’s more, in darkness it is harder to judge speed and distance-objects can be closer than they appear or travelling faster than first expected. That’s when things can go wrong.

Even a small quantity of alcohol can compromise your reaction times and awareness of hazards. The safest advice is to avoid it completely.

Illegal drugs should never be taken at any time. Prescription and over the-counter medication can cause drowsiness and dulled reactions-don’t drive if you’re affected.

The risk of a fatal accident for young drivers is 40% higher with one passenger, 90% higher with two, and 190% higher with three or more. Becoming distracted is a serious problem that can easily lead to you losing control-music should be kept at a safe volume too.

Research shows that 17 and 18-year-old males have around 75% more of their accidents following competition with other road users than 29-60 year-old males. The road is not the place to test yourself against others-the only place you’ll end up is in the hospital or morgue.

Inappropriate speed contributes to more than 35% of all drive accidents. Always drive at a safe speed according to the road conditions.

Emily Smith of Britannia Driving School said: “Being able to drive gives you that extra freedom where you’re not tied to bus schedules or the last train home. Unfortunately, 40% of collisions occur when it is dark. Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep-use other forms of transport such as rail, air, bus or coach if they are available.”

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January 20, 2011
Driving long at night as bad as being behind the wheel drunk

Ever wondered why most of the road accidents occur in the night? It’s because, being behind the wheel for over three hours at night makes motorists as bad as driving under the influence of alcohol, scientists say.

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that the tiredness after a few hours of non-stop driving has the same effect as being over the drink-driving limit.

Even two hours of motorway driving in the dark can affect performance so severely it is the same as having a couple of drinks, they said.

It is estimated that one-fifth of all traffic accidents are due to sleepiness behind the wheel and one in three motorists admits to nodding off while driving at night, the Daily Mail reported.

A study last year by experts at Cardiff University called for newly-qualified drivers to be banned from the roads at night, a move that could save 200 lives a year in Britain and result in 1,700 fewer serious injuries. Similar schemes are already in place in New Zealand, Australia and the US.

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January 19, 2011
DRIVING DOWN A MAIN ROAD THE WRONG WAY

A woman has died whilst driving her Nissan Micra down the A90 Dundee to Aberdeen road the wrong way.

The women in her 50s collided into at least four vehicles. One man is thought to be seriously injured in hospital but fortunately not in a critical condition. The other drivers aged between 39-67 years of age and were thought to have just minor injuries.

Many other vehicles had a narrow escape trying to avoid Mrs Greig and her Micra.

The road was closed in both directions for most of the day on Saturday and was reopened in the evening once police had carried out their investigations and recovered the vehicles involved in the accident.

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