Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 28, 2012
PAPERBACKS WILL BECOME A THING OF THE PAST

I am a little saddened by the fact that kindles and e-books are replacing the real thing. I love nothing more than to curl up with a good book, one that I can fold the pages down and get coffee stains on. It tells a story and brings back memories but technology is taking over.

Even the DSA are converting, with ‘Driving – the essential skills’ and ‘The Official Highway Code’ both available as an e-book.

Along with apps and paperbacks for now, there are multiple ways to choose how you want to study for your theory.

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September 27, 2012
Junctions

When approaching, coming out of, and turning into junctions you are required to exercise due care and attention. Yet, time and time again we see people fail to take the proper measures when it comes to junctions.

When you are approaching a junction remember to do so slowly. Take the time to look both left and right a few times. Remember that although it may be easier to see a car, it’s not always easy to see a motorcyclist. You need to look out for them and ensure that they when you pull out you won’t hit them. This may sound obvious, but it is scary how often people don’t notice cyclists and motorcyclists.

When you are waiting to turn into a junction look around you. If a driver flashes you to turn into the junction have a good look around to make sure that he is not flashing any one else. Before you turn into the junction ensure that you won’t hit a car or person!

Quite often people park close to junctions, thus affecting your view. We all know that people shouldn’t do this, but they do. To be safe, approach this situation cautiously. Take it slowly and constantly make sure you are checking around you for any possible problems.

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September 26, 2012
WHEN SHOULD OLD PEOPLE HANG UP THEIR DRIVING KEYS FOR GOOD

Some drivers will be just as good on the road at age 80 as they were aged 50, whilst others may need to retire from driving at 60. There are many factors that contribute to our ability to drive well or badly for that matter and as driving is no easy task, everybody needs to take responsibility for themselves and make an informed choice to stop driving.

Factors in old age that could contribute to poor driving skills include:

Motor skills: muscles weaken and reflexes slow, making movement a lot harder.
Hearing: with impaired hearing, being alert to sirens or other road users becomes affected.
Vision deterioration: any vision loss will affect your driving ability.
Reaction time: reacting to situations on the road, such as pedestrians walking out or a car suddenly braking will become decreased.
Medication: many older people take various medications which can result in drowsiness, confusion or slower reaction times.

All of the factors above can contribute to the way a person drives, no matter what your age. However, an older person is more susceptible to the above.

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September 25, 2012
Vulnerable Road Users

As mentioned in the Highway Code, the most vulnerable road users are pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. It goes onto to say that you need to be aware of children, older and disabled people, and learner drivers. With this is mind you need to be cautious when driving and take particular caution when you are driving in the vicinity of schools and areas where elderly people are. But also, you must pay extra attention when you are in crowded placed, driving past bus and tram stop, passing parked vehicles, reversing into a side road and turning at roads and junctions.

It’s one thing knowing this, but what do we do in these situations?

Firstly, drive slower. Take the time to look around you. If you are, for example, driving near to a school you will know that parents will be picking up and dropping off their children and that children may run in the roads. Therefore, you need to slow the car down, be prepared to stop if you need to.

Remember that the speed limit maybe 30 mph but that doesn’t mean you need to drive at that speed. At times you will need to slow right down to avoid any accidents.

When you are driving behind a bus remember that it will often stop to pick up and drop off passengers. Some passengers may walk in front of the bus as you are overtaking. So again, exercise caution and be aware that this may happen.

We hope these tips are useful.

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September 24, 2012
DRIVER LEFT DANGLING OVER BRIDGE

A truck driver from Southern Brazil was left dangling in his cab over a bridge after he lost control of his truck.

Aguinaldo da Silva said a car stopped suddenly in front of him which led him to lose control and skid over the guardrail.

Luckily the truck didn’t hold any cargo and after around 25minutes of hanging over the bridge, passers-by managed to pull him to safety using a rope to pull him from his cab. He was left uninjured.

The truck wasn’t so lucky, 24 hours later the truck still remained and they had to halt rescuing it after the bridge began to shake.

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September 21, 2012
CROYDON YOUNG DRIVER WEEK

Members from the DIA and road safety groups took part in an awareness event at St Mary’s RC High School in Croydon last month.

The event was created to provide 15-24 year olds with a taster at driving a car in a controlled environment, road awareness, but more importantly the dangers of loud music, mobile phone calls and the influence of drink and drugs whilst behind the wheel.

Experienced driving instructors took groups of pupils around different courses that had been set up in the playground and allowed them to try their hand at maneuvers.

Feedback was positive from the young people involved. They particularly found wearing vision impairment goggles a useful lesson, their driving became more nervous and coordination was off with some drivers not even able to see traffic lights. One pupil said: “That was horrible”.

Olivia Baldock from the DIA says: the scheme is about raising awareness among young drivers and driving instructors. The way that they approach younger drivers making the learning experience fun but also giving a serious message is as important as educating the learners at these events.

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September 20, 2012
Our Second Home

Just think about how much time you spend in your car. You may use it to drive to work, use it to pick the kids up from school, jump in it to go and do the shopping and use it to do other errands. You may also use your car to go and see people, to go holiday and to transport lots of things. It sometimes feels as if our car, is our second home.

It only makes sense then that our car is kept up to mark, much in the same way that we keep our homes. Make sure that you keep your car up to standard by checking it’s MOT etc. It’s worth finding out about a garage that you know and trust. Ask friends where they go and who they recommend. Having a mechanic you trust makes a big difference.

If you notice that when you press down on your brakes that the stopping distance increases, or that your car is leaking oil ensure that you contact a mechanic. Make sure that you are aware of the basics as well. For example, do you know how to check the water levels? Do you know what to do if you break down?

Making sure you have all these things in place makes a big difference to your driving experience.

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September 19, 2012
CAUGHT DRINK DRIVING, DONATE MONEY TO CHARITY

Brazil ranked eighth in the World Health Organisation’s list of road deaths in 2009 and statistics still remain high.

Up to 40,000 people a year die of Brazils roads and it is thought that poor road conditions, poorly designed motorways, high levels of drink-driving and inexperienced drivers all contribute.

Fernando Diniz was told his son had been involved in a serious car accident, when he arrived at the scene he found his 20-year-old son’s body lying in the road. The driver had been drinking and came away unscathed whilst, Mr Diniz’s son and two other passengers lost their lives.

Mr Diniz has since set up a pressure group ‘Friendly Traffic’ calling for tougher laws to punish those who drink and drive. Currently some drivers involved in traffic accidents receive much softer sentences such as being asked to donate money to charity as their crimes are often not considered to have been deliberate.

Philip Gold, a traffic specialist, says: “The government needs to improve road signs, poor-quality roads and educating drivers is vital.”

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September 18, 2012
Older Drivers are Still Ruling the Roads!

The older generation are showing their younger counterparts quite a thing about driving – and how to driver better! They seem to be much more focused than younger drivers. There are one million drivers who are 80 and over in the country. Does it actually make an underlying difference in the end? Well it seems so. They drive with utmost sincerity and safety guidelines in mind. They have an enormous amount of experience available. The official data released by DVLA has supported this abundantly. It shows that older drivers tend to be ‘safe drivers’. They are three times less susceptible to deaths and injuries caused in road accidents. You can’t ignore these kind of statistics. Facts are simply facts.

It seems that the driving habits are causing bigger problems here. The young drivers are continuously told that they drive too fast and without a sense of responsibility. Their approach to driving, as we are told by the media, is all about speed and who can drive faster. Of course, we all know the tragedies that this leads to. The old drivers are becoming better with passing age. They enjoy driving and take it as a means to freedom. The latest reports have challenged the common perception that old drivers lack focus and quick reaction time to drive safely on the roads. Their experience or company can prove to be a valuable asset to pass it onto the next generation. Let’s drive happily and enjoy the ride!

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September 17, 2012
ROCHDALE DRIVING INSTRUCTOR ROBBED MID LESSON

Driving instructors are urged to be extra vigilant when conducting lessons especially when it is dark, after a driving instructor was robbed and assaulted mid lesson.
A female instructor from Rochdale was conducting an evening lesson with another female pupil when two men approached the stationary car and robbed the instructor of her jewellery.
DC Pete Murphy of Greater Manchester Police said: “Both women were focused on the driving lesson and have been left understandably shocked and upset…I believe this was nothing more than an opportunistic and desperate act.”

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