Monthly Archives: October 2013

October 31, 2013
Sexism Towards Female Drivers By Beijing Police

Beijing police have being accused of sexism towards female drivers after safety tips targeted at female drivers were published on their blog account.

The post, title ‘Female drivers, please pay attention and avoid driving mistakes’, police identify common mistakes which they believe are made by female drivers which include a lack of sense of direction, forgetting to release the handbrake whilst driving and failing to change gear. The police then proceed to give tips accordingly.

Police also identified another error which they regard common amongst female drivers and that is their alleged inability to remember roads and directions.

The post has attracted significant response namely from women, commenting that the faults pointed out are common to both sexes. One poster responded, ‘If this post appeared in the United States. I could go to court and sue them.’

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October 30, 2013
DVLA Services Review

A review into how the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) can deliver better services and save money for the taxpayer has been launched by the government.

The review will consider each part of the DVLA, to identify improvements and make recommendations on how to improve services, including how best to move more services online and identifying how to increase the use of services that are already online.

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October 29, 2013
Halloweens Deadly Driving

Although Halloween is mostly viewed as a fun time to dress up and take the children out trick-or-treating, it also happens to be one of the most infamous nights of the year for road accidents involving pedestrians.

The AAA warns that between the hours of 4pm and midnight are the times most dangerous for pedestrians, due to the large number of motorists on the roads either taking their children trick-or-treating or otherwise attending the increasingly common themed Halloween parties.

The weather at this time of year also unfortunately lends itself towards car accidents, due to the wet roads, glare from the Autumnal sun and leaves on the roads becoming factors in the rising number of accidents towards the final months of the year.

As many people take advantage of the Halloween theme to dress up in scary costumes, this also can have negative implications sue to its ability to restrict visibility and mobility for pedestrians, as well as the common colour of black being worn making the pedestrians much harder to see by motorists, especially as the nights get darker earlier on.

Many people will also be attending Halloween celebrations, with a majority of party-goers consuming alcohol – a deadly combination when teamed with driving. Stay sober behind the wheel, not just this Friday!

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest night of the year – but for the right reasons.

Safe driving this Halloween from Britannia!

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October 28, 2013
Get Ahead This Half Term

It’s half term and a great time to get ahead in your driving. Why not book an intensive course with us and pass your test next week? We have a range of courses available depending on your driving ability. Have a look at the number of people who have passed on our intensive courses. If you did not want to start your intensive course this week, we can book you in for a course during your Christmas holidays.

You can also get a head-start on normal weekly lessons. We offer the first lesson at £10.50 and great discounts on block bookings. So why not take a few lessons this week before going back to school, university or college? All our instructors also work evenings and weekends and so you can book in your lessons for after half-term too!

Just as the weather is getting worse, what’s better than being able to avoid public transport by learning to drive?

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October 25, 2013
Check Your Tyre Pressure

Maintaining your vehicle is just as important as learning to operate it correctly. One of the main factors of good car maintenance is checking that you have the right amount of pressure in your tyres.

Over-inflated tyres will be hard to handle correctly. Under-inflated tyres are much more likely to overheat. Both of these pose serious safety risks, so do not underestimate the importance of keeping an eye on your tyre pressure.

By not maintaining your tyre pressure, you are effectively reducing the life expectancy of your tyres, which will lead to unnecessary purchasing of replacement tyres that could have easily been avoided if you had taken more care of them. You will also be much more likely to pass your dreaded MOT with correctly inflated tyres.

You will also be throwing away money on fuel, as tyres that are not inflated to the optimum level will not be fully fuel-efficient. In this day and age, every penny counts, so keep your tyre pressure at the recommended level and see your money go further.

To keep your pressure at the right level, you will need to find the recommended Tyre Pressure for your car – this can usually be found in the manual provided with your car. If your car is not brand new, and does not have a manual, a little research online or by contacting the manufacturer or other ‘in-the-know’ people should do the trick.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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October 24, 2013
Measures To Reduce Cost Of Driving

The government has announced measures to help motorists cut the cost of running a car. Below are the measures announced by Justice Secretary Chris Grayling:

– The fees charged prior to obtaining a licence will be reviewed, including the current £31 for the theory test, £62 for the practical test and £50 fee for the provisional licence, to identify any opportunity to save money for the 1.5m car drivers who take their test every year
Whiplash cheats will be targeted by new independent panels which will ensure only evidence from accredited professionals can be considered. As a result, exaggerated or fraudulent claims will not be allowed whilst genuine claimants will get the help they deserve.
– The statutory maximum price of the MOT test for a car will be frozen at £54.85 until 2015
– In order to tackle high motorway fuel prices, new comparison road signs will be trialled that will show prices at different services stations en route.

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October 23, 2013
Films Targeting Young London Drivers

Hounslow Council have produced two films to highlight to young drivers the ‘devastating impact of careless driving’ which were launched last week on YouTube and the council’s Facebook page.

The time-lapse films tell the stories of Georgia and Alex through their social network, as they prepare for a night out with their friends. Each film introduces the main characters through information they are sharing with friends.

In the last two years in Hounslow there have been 160 casualties involving 16-20 year olds, and the council is committed to reducing the number of young drivers killed or injured on the brother’s roads.

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October 22, 2013
Motorway Driving

For many young drivers, their first time driving on a motorway can be a daunting experience. Here are a few tips to help the uninitiated with Motorway Driving:

– Prepare well. Plan your journey ahead, know exactly where you need to get on and off the motorway, and pack for eventualities, such as food and drink for rest stops on long journeys, or even blankets (better to be safe than sorry!). Perform all necessary checks on your car – oil, fuel, tyre pressure, windscreen washer fluid, just to make sure you are fully ready for your journey.

– When entering a motorway, use your signals and mirrors correctly. Between exiting the slip road and entering the motorway is likely the time your nerves will get the better of you – so remember to stay calm. D not rush onto the motorway, but don’t dawdle either, as this can cause tailbacks which will cause you unnecessary pressure.

– Take it easy. Motorways are notorious for erratic driving, and it always helps to be calmer behind the wheel. Indicate well before attempting any manoeuvre, to give the driver ahead of you plenty of notice, and check your mirrors and windows regularly to keep an eye on what all other drivers around you are doing.

– When preparing to leave the motorway, plan ahead. As you pass the penultimate junction, start preparing to leave already. Move towards the outer lanes now, in order to compensate for any rushes in traffic that might delay you later. Slow your speed down as soon as you enter the deceleration lane shortly before your junction approaches, and ensure you indicate well in advance to alert other drivers of your actions.

– Once leaving the motorway, remember you are back on normal roads now. Many drivers make the mistake of maintaining a high speed after leaving a motorway. So don’t forget, speeding is illegal!

If you are still nervous about Motorway driving, or feel you could brush up on these skills, why not look into Britannia’s Pass Plus courses?

Safe driving from Britannia!

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October 21, 2013
Seasonal Driving

Daylight hours are shortening, weather is getting worse, and these conditions are making driving more difficult, especially for new drivers. Here are some handy tips to make driving a lot easier:

Remember your headlights: turn on your headlights during dawn and dusk so that other road users can see you and vice versa. Using your headlights during these hours, helps you identify hazards in the road, pedestrians, animals and other conditions.

Slow down: the faster you drive, especially on wet, slippery roads, the longer it takes to stop your vehicle. Doubling your speed can nearly quadruple the amount of time it takes to stop your vehicle.

Check weather forecasts: if a storm or other adverse weather conditions are expected, only drive if absolutely necessary. If you need to drive, be prepared for changing road conditions such as developing frost.

Make adjustments for shorter daylight hours: look out for children playing, people walking dogs, pedestrians, joggers and cyclists during the morning and afternoon.

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October 18, 2013
How much fuel is too much?

Come on drivers, we’ve all been there: the dreaded fuel light coming on mid-way through a journey; ages away from your destination, and potentially miles away from the nearest petrol station. The panic setting in as you realise you could well be stranded without an operating vehicle in the middle of nowhere tonight. So how do we resolve this issue? Simple really; just keep plenty of fuel in your car at all times.

Or is it so simple?

A little known motoring phenomenon called “over-fuelling” is rapidly gaining momentum, and its dangers are becoming increasingly apparent too. Whilst it is probably preferable to carry around more fuel than necessary in your car, it is time to consider the pitfalls of over storing on petrol or diesel.

– Fuel is heavy. 80 litres of petrol is roughly equivalent to carrying an additional person weighing 60 kg. This added weight will take more energy for your car to haul around, meaning higher fuel consumption, and therefore fewer miles to the gallon.

– Fuel is expensive. The average person cannot afford to fill up their tank at every opportunity, and instead will only fill up as and when they need to in order to spread the cost of running a car throughout a longer period.

– It is not economical. Doesn’t it make more sense to just top up your fuel when you need to, and just as much as you will need to get from A to B?

In the end, it all comes down to the individual driver. Many drivers will prefer the added comfort of knowing that there is almost always enough fuel in the tank, meaning less arduous trips to the petrol station and extra peace of mind, whereas others are more than happy to pay as they go.

Which driver are you?

Safe driving from Britannia!

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