Monthly Archives: May 2014

May 30, 2014
Sat Navs and Safety

Many drivers in modern times find themselves becoming increasingly reliant on technology to aid their driving skills – with few aware that this could in fact be posing a great risk to your safety.

With a vast proportion of drivers now using Satellite Navigation systems in replacement of the classic map, a high number of drivers on UK roads depend on this technology to make their way around. However, a recent study has shown that a shocking 78% of Road Traffic Accidents were caused by drivers not paying enough attention to the roads – with Sat-Nav’s cited as one of the foremost reasons for distraction.

Whilst sat-navs are infinitely useful for drivers, especially when driving in new areas, you need to make sure that you do not become too dependent on them. No matter how advanced in-car technology gets, there is no substitute for a good driver – so by all means, continue to use your sat-nav systems to to your hearts content, but be sure to keep your attention where it belongs at all time – on the roads.

What are your thoughts on this article? Sound off in the comments section below!

Safe driving from Britannia!

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May 29, 2014
Motorist Veered Across Lanes Reading Map

A pensioner has been banned from driving for 12 months after he was caught veering into the overtaking lane on the A59 in North Yorkshire reading a map at the wheel.

The 73-year-old, Peter Rigby, was caught by the safety camera operator when he began to drift across the dotted white line of the overtaking lane as he read the map. The footage of Rigby caught on camera shows him being distracted for at least 10 seconds while flicking through his atlas and then holding it up to his face which completely obscured his view of the road.

Rigby pleaded guilty to driving at Skipton Magistrates Court over the incident. As well as the year-long ban, he received a £1,080 fine and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £108 and costs of £85. He must also take an extended driving test before he is allowed his licence back.

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May 28, 2014
Driving At 149mph on the M25

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have obtained information on the fastest motorists after a Freedom of Information request to police authorities in England and Wales.

One motorist was caught driving at 149mph on the M25 in Swanley, Kent. Another driver was recorded driving at 96mph in Gateshead in a 30mph zone.

Other drivers were caught driving at over twice the speed limit in various areas across the country. IAM chief executive Simon Best has highlighted that ‘if anything goes wrong at that speed, you’re unlikely to walk away and you are a grave danger to the innocent road users around you’ and adds that speed limits are a limit not a target.

Guidelines on sentencing for excessive speeding offences need to be reviewed to be brought into sync with modern roads and vehicles as well as the stigma surrounding the risks of speeding.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:

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May 27, 2014
How to Get Cheap Insurance

Car insurance costs are perhaps the biggest worry to new drivers once passing their test. Not only are new drivers subject to high premiums, but being within the age range of 17-25 also adds to the cost of the insurance. Here are Britannia’s top tips to lower the cost of your insurance if you have recently passed your test:

Compare prices and haggle. There are many car insurance providers and the market is very competitive and this can be used to your advantage by comparing different providers. Not only should you use comparison sites but also check out various providers as well. It is usually best to call them and bargain your way to a cheaper deal.

Accelerated no-claims: Some companies offer an accelerated no-claims bonus which could give you a year’s no claims bonus after just 10 months. It is worth researching which companies offer this.

Multi-car discount: You can also get a discount by insuring two or more vehicles between friends or family members with the same firm.

Adding drivers: Consider adding a second or even third driver to your insurance, especially an older more experienced one as this can make the insurance cheaper.

Extra qualifications: if you’ve passed your test recently, consider taking a Pass Plus or Advanced driving course since some insurance firms can knock off up to 25% off the insurance cost.

Less Miles: If you know you will only be driving a few thousand miles a year, consider a limited mileage policy.

Type of car: certain cars attract more expensive insurance premiums – make sure you bear this in mind when choosing a car to purchase.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:

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May 23, 2014
Pre-Drive Checklist

As the bank holiday weekend approaches, more and more of us will be taking off in our cars for long drives in the warm sunshine (hopefully!), and even weekends away along the coast. However before setting off driving this Bank Holiday weekend, do make sure that you have made the correct preparations for your car on the journey.

Here are Britannia’s Top Tips for the Pre-Drive Check-list:

– Oil : Often missed, the oil level is a crucial ingredient in the smooth running of a car, and being as easy to check as it is, there is no excuse for missing this.

– Windows: Clear your windows of any dirt or grime that may hamper your visibility.

– Lights: Check your headlights, tail lights, brake lights, indicators, interior lights, make sure that all those bulbs are working!

– Tyres: Take a quick look over your tyres to make sure they are clean and undamaged, and check the tyre pressure.

– Brake fluid: Safety comes first, and with the wrong amount of brake fluid in your car, you are asking for trouble!

– Windscreen washer fluid: Make sure that this is topped up, should your visibility be impaired without warning.

– Fuel: It might go without saying, but work out in advance how much fuel you will need to reach your destination, or even carry some spare.

– Steering and Miscellaneous: Now it would be a good time to take your car for a quick test drive, just for five minutes or so (make sure to keep the radio off). This will give you a chance to ensure that your car is running perfectly, or allow you to identify any potential problems with the vehicle, such as steering issues or warning lights.

Unfortunately you are never able to guarantee a smooth journey on a long drive – but by following these simple, basic steps you should be able to dramatically reduce the risk of any unexpected problems.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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May 22, 2014
Drivers Using Social Media

There is an increasing concern over motorists using social media whilst driving. The head of roads policing in England and Wales, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport has highlighted that there are an increasing number of motorists posting updates, taking photos and video calling behind the wheel.

The problem is more significant with young drivers with a recent RAC survey finding that 20% of 17 to 19-year-olds admitted to using Facebook or Twitter whilst driving.

Perhaps the most concerning is the new craze – the ‘selfie’. The craze involves taking a photo of yourself and posting it on a social media website. This may seem harmless, not if it is a motorist taking the ‘selfie’ whilst driving. A survey by confused.com revealed that 11% of drivers admit to taking a ‘selfie’ whilst driving with the number being significantly greater for 17-24 year-olds.

Motorists are strongly advised against engaging in this practice whilst driving. Last month, a 32-year-old driver from North Carolina died in a head-on collision just moments after posting a ‘driving selfie’ on Facebook. It is a dangerous practice with the costs being severe.

More broadly, using social media whilst driving is just as dangerous if not more so than using a hand-held device to make and receive calls, something that is already banned in the UK.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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May 21, 2014
Driving Test Changes Put On Hold

Radical plans to change the driving test have been put on hold by the government. The Green Paper which outlines the stricter rules for young drivers was meant to be released last year. It introduced the idea of a 12-month probationary licence which amongst other restrictions included a curfew between 10pm and 5am unless someone over 30 was in the car. It also advised that learners be tested on motorway driving.

Critics of the delay says that reforms should be top priority as these changes are imperative for the safety of new drivers and then learner drivers need a minimum number of hours behind the wheel.

Some young drivers thought the plans were however too restrictive – the extra number of hours needed before the practical test could be difficult to fund by younger drivers. This could lead to an even greater rise in the number of people leaving learning to drive to later.

Many driving instructors and motoring groups believe that some restriction on young driver should be welcomed but the ones proposed are impractical – additional training on the motorways are important but radical restrictions would not help young drivers.

What are your thoughts on this article? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:

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May 20, 2014
Driving in Heat

Whilst many drivers think that the most damaging conditions for your car occur in the Winter months, most are not aware that driving in the summer heat can be just as bad for your vehicle.

With much of the country enduring almost unbearable hot spells this summer, and set to experience more heatwaves in the coming months, it is important to know the basic dangers of driving in heat and how to avoid them.

Extreme heat can cause problems to your battery, just as much as the cold spells do – be sure to check your battery at the start and end of every journey undertaken in high temperatures, to ensure that no adverse effects have befallen your battery.

Although it is not just your car that may suffer – keep an eye out for warped road surfaces, such as buckled or cracked tarmac, that could pose a danger to you and other road users.

Finally, take care of yourself when driving in heat – make sure to use your air conditioning when needed, and stay plenty hydrated when behind the wheel, as this will help you to stay much more alert and to drive at your best for as long as possible.

Safe driving this summer from Britannia!

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May 19, 2014
System To Make Cars Safer

Road safety campaigners and insurance companies have called for the law to be changed to make autonomous emergency braking (AEB) to be compulsory in all new cars.

This new technology uses radar, camera and laser sensors fitted to the vehicle to detect potential collisions. The system works by using sensors fitted to the car which can detect if the car in front is slowing down or braking sharply. The system would then judge quickly if the car needs to come to an automatic emergency stop.

Currently, this system is only fitted in approximately a fifth of new cars but campaigners are calling for it to become as common as seatbelts. However, critics are worried that the system could make drivers too reliant on the technology whilst insurance industry research suggests that 1,220 lives could be saved over the next 10 years if AEB became mandatory in cars. Critics are also concerned over the cost of the technology as prices range from several hundred to several thousand pounds.

Do you think this technology should become mandatory in all new cars? Send your views to Britannia Driving School by using the comments link below:

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May 16, 2014
Safe Clothing for Driving

Whilst it is important to ensure that your driving skills are up to scratch, many young motorists seem to forget one of the basics of safe driving – that of wearing safe and appropriate clothing when behind the wheel.

A recent survey has revealed that a vast proportion of young drivers admit to wearing unsuitable footwear when driving, such as sandals or even high-heels and stilettos!

Young drivers between the ages of 18 to 30 are the most dangerous culprits, with almost one in three admitting to wearing clothing deemed unsuitable for driving, comparing to half of that amount with older drivers.

Experts have said that unless you are wearing shoes with a flat sole, and a good amount of grip, you are risking your feet sliding off the brake and accelerator pedals, which could likely result in a crash.

Don’t endanger yourself and other drivers – ensure that you always wear the appropriate clothing when driving.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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