Monthly Archives: December 2013

December 31, 2013
New Year’s Eve at Britannia Driving School

Tonight is the final night of the year – we here at Britannia Driving School hope you have had as fantastic a year as we have. With the launch of our new and improved web site and our continued success with our hard-working pupils and instructors, we have definitely made 2013 a year to remember.

As the year draws to an end, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has helped make this year so memorable, and to wish all of our staff, pupils, instructors and fans all the best of luck for the coming year.

We hope you all make this New Year’s Eve a great night, but if you are going to be out celebrating the dawn of 2014, please do remember to drive safely, and if you are going to be driving, make sure that you stay on the soft drinks, or if you would prefer a few drinks, leave the car keys at home.

Thanks from everyone at Britannia Driving School for a great 2013, here’s to making 2014 even better!

Safe driving as always, from Britannia!

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December 30, 2013
New Year Driving Conditions

The heavy winds and rain are still continuing over much of the country and is expecting to continue until the New Year; everyone is being urged to avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

The Met Office have warned of the risk of further flooding and winds of up to 70mph in Wales, southern England and the South-West.

If you do need to drive, make sure you check weather forecasts and drive carefully taking extra precautions.

Many driving tests have also been cancelled in recent weeks due to the weather so if you do have an upcoming driving test, make sure you double-check that it is still going ahead.

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December 27, 2013
Driving When Tired

With January fast approaching, many of us will soon be returning to the routine of early mornings and getting used once again to the daily commute. However after the Christmas holidays, and following a succession of late nights and mornings, your body clock may well be out of sync with this ritual, and you are likely to find yourself feeling tired behind the wheel for some time afterwards as you learn to adjust again to this pattern.

Tiredness behind the wheel is estimated to be the cause of one in five motoring accidents – so don’t take the chance. If you know you have to be up early for work the following morning, plan ahead and try to have an early night for preparation. Try drinking a strong cup of coffee or tea shortly before you leave for the journey to work to keep you awake during your trip.

If you know you are going to be driving for more than a couple of hours, plan ahead to allow yourself extra time to take a break of at least fifteen minutes for every two hours you are driving. If you start to feel drowsy whilst on the road, pull over immediately into the first safe place you can find, such as a service station or suburban lay-by (not the hard shoulder of the motorway!) and drink a high-caffeine drink such as an energy drink or a strong coffee which should keep you awake for a short while longer.

It is worth remembering that caffeine drinks and other solutions such as turning up the radio or opening the window are only short-term fixes for tiredness, and the only real way to fix this is to have a good night’s sleep.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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December 26, 2013
Boxing Day

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and no doubt a lot of you will be spending the day indoors after the festivities of yesterday. For those of you planning on hitting the sales today, remember to drive carefully.

A lot of people will be in a rush to get to the sales and roads are likely to be extremely busy and it is inevitable to some road users, in their rush to hit the sales, will not be following the rules of the road.

If you are out on the road, drive at a slower speed and be mindful of other road users. Give plenty of time for your journey and concentrate on the road at all times. If you have had some alcohol on Christmas Day, it is advisable to stay at home as you may still be over the limit.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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December 24, 2013
Driving on Christmas Day

So we’ve finally made it, tomorrow is Christmas Day. With a bit of luck, your car has served you well over this busy Christmas period, with all your shopping and delivering of presents (although many of us will still be delivering until late tonight… you know who you are!)

Tomorrow over 4 million of us will take to the roads of the UK to visit friends and relatives, and although you will be busy enjoying the festivities of the day, do not forget to take care of your car this Christmas Day. Unfortunately traffic and congestion do not take Christmas Day off, so be wary of other cars around you, and try not to contribute to the heavy volume of vehicles on the road tomorrow.

Also keep in mind that your car can break down at any time, and that tomorrow is no different. Remember to perform all of the necessary pre-flight checks – oil, fuel, tyre pressure, and central heating, plus all of the other essentials needed to complete your journey. The last thing you want is for your car to break down and leave you stranded for the best part of Christmas Day!

Finally, drive safely this Christmas Day. At Britannia, we know that nobody wants to be stuck behind the wheel on Christmas Day of all days, but remember to take your time, be aware of other road users and pedestrians, and take into account that at this time of year the weather can be at its most treacherous.

Merry Christmas tomorrow, from all here at Britannia Driving School!

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December 23, 2013
Christmas Travel Disruptions By Wind and Rain

Warnings have been issued for rain and heavy winds across England and Wales. Most train companies have cancelled services or are running a reduced service and road disruption is likely.
The strength of winds is likely to increase throughout the day and particularly in the late afternoon and evening. Britannia’s advice is to only drive if you need to and try to get to your destination before the late afternoon.

If you do need to drive during the times when the weather is expected to be at its worst, keep the following points in mind:

– Keep both hands on the steering wheel and keep your speed down. The quicker you are driving, the less control you will have of your vehicle especially in high winds.
– Be aware of other vehicles being blown into your path, in particular high-sided vehicles who are most affected by high winds. Also take particular care around cyclists and motorcyclists.
– Trees and debris are also likely to cause obstructions in the road at this time. It is important to keep your speed down and drive with great care as hitting debris at high speed can be incredibly dangerous.
– If you do need to drive, plan your journey carefully checking both weather and travel bulletins regularly.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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December 20, 2013
Driving Hope for Parkinson’s Sufferers

Drivers suffering from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease, Dystonia or Essential Tremor are being given a new hope for their future behind the wheel of a car, after a revolutionary new treatment has proven to be effective at numbing the symptoms of their conditions.

Deep Brain Stimulation (or DBS) involves implanting small electrodes into specific areas of the patient’s brain, and transmitting minor electrical impulses that can help to regulate abnormal activity within the brain, which should help to ease people suffering from conditions that involve involuntary movement such as spams or shaking.

The treatment was tested with 65 subjects, 23 of which were Parkinson’s sufferers undergoing DBS, 21 sufferers that were not currently undergoing DBS, and 21 non-Parkinson’s sufferers.

After each group had completed a trail drive of three times, the results that came back showed a significant improvement between those of the Parkinson’s patients currently taking DBS, and those not currently taking any treatment, with the former performing better in almost all categories.

In fact, the results seemed to suggest that Parkinson’s patients taking DBS performed just as well as the people without Parkinson’s at all, in most categories, and suggested positive benefits for Parkinson’s sufferers taking DBs to continue driving.

Whilst this treatment becoming mainstream may still be a long way off yet, there is still a glimmer of hope for any people suffering from illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease who cannot enjoy the pleasure of driving due to their condition.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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December 19, 2013
Cars For Cheap Car Insurance

The excitement of passing a test is deciding which car you are going to buy. On the other hand, the biggest worry is finding the cheapest car insurance with few cars attracting cheap car insurance for new drivers.

The Ford KA is the cheapest car to insure for new car drivers – with an average premium of £1,651.40 for 17-18 year-olds. The Peugeot 107, Citroen C1 and Mini One all also attract cheaper car insurance. The more energy efficient models will be in the lower insurance groups – the Suzuki Swift and Vauxhall Corsa all fall into this group.

When considering which car to buy it is best to ask your instructor’s opinion – they can advise you on not only what sort of car would suit you but also one which is not likely to be too expensive to insure.

Here are some tips on finding cheaper car insurance:

– Consider becoming a named driver on a parent or partner’s insurance policy.
– Do your own research on insurance quotes – don’t just rely on comparison sites as they don’t necessarily list all insurers.
– Consider insurers that uses a Black Box to calculate insurance.
– Pay upfront if you can as this works out cheaper than paying through instalments.

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December 18, 2013
Driving Hazards During Christmas

The drink-driving message is a clear one this Christmas with Think! launching a campaign to demonstrate the serious impact drink-driving can have on an individual’s job prospects. The effects of alcohol can still be the same the day after drinking. The legal limit is 35mcg of alcohol per 100ml and the consumption to reach that level depends on a number of factors including age, metabolism and weight. Drug-driving is also an increasing problem – the penalty for driving under the influence of drugs is the same as drink-driving and is also a serious concern.

Below are some other points to consider when driving this Christmas:

– Speeding: as Christmas draws closer, everyone is in a rush to complete that last bit of shopping but remember stick to the speed limit to avoid serious consequences or the risk of a penalty. Make preparations for adverse weather conditions as well and drive accordingly.

Mobile phones: It is a criminal offence to use a mobile handset not only whilst driving but even if the engine is running.

– Pedestrians: Look out for pedestrians whilst driving and the same rules apply if you are a pedestrian – take extra care when crossing roads and stick to the pavement.

– Cyclists: The rise in cyclist deaths in recent months demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists so make sure you look out for them. If you are a cyclist abide by the road rules and do not cycle after drinking.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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