Monthly Archives: August 2014

August 29, 2014
Back to School Driving Tips

That time of year has rolled around again – the Autumn has approached without warning, bringing with it the synonymous wet weather and hazardous driving conditions. Most important of these is to recognise that as the summer draws to a close, the “back-to-school” period will soon be back in full swing, and so you will have to adjust your driving style accordingly.

Most importantly is to remember that there will be a sudden abundance of children around the roads again, specifically around the times of 8am-9am and 2.30pm-4pm – and so if you will be driving in these peak periods, take this into account, especially if you will be driving near a school.

Make sure you are aware that there will be a sudden influx of cars on the roads as parents re-adjust to the school run – if this will conflict with your commute, then it may be wise to consider taking an alternative route to avoid the congestion.

Also bear the weather in mind – autumn leaves make for a peaceful, melancholy image, but they can play havoc with driving conditions. Be aware of wet leaves on the ground which can make roads slippy and dangerous, as well as accommodating for the increasingly wet weather conditions.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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August 28, 2014
Careless Driving On The Motorway

According to a survey carried out, 52% of drivers admit to being middle lane hogs, a year after new laws were brought in to stop it.

Young drivers are the most likely to admit to this habit with 41% admitting to sticking in lane two. They were also least likely to be able to correctly identify lane 1 as the ‘cruising lane’ with 1 in 10 believing this to be the ‘lorry lane’ and 5% believing it to be the ‘acceleration/deceleration lane’.

The confusion over correct motorway etiquette, particularly amongst young drivers, is unsurprising given that there is no requirement for new drivers to take motorway lessons. In fact, of those surveyed, 51% taught themselves to drive on motorways only 10% had a motorway lesson with a driving instructor after passing their test.

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August 27, 2014
Many Unaware Of The Abolition Of The Tax Disc

Paper tax discs are due to be abolished from 1st October and be replaced by electronic records, however, many drivers are at risk of fines because they have had insufficient warning of this by the government.

Fewer than half of drivers are aware of the changes, which prevent the discs being passed to new owners when cars are sold. Under the new rules, car sellers must tell the DVLA immediately of the change of ownership, and the new owner must register to pay tax before driving the car away.

Drivers do not need to do anything until their disc is due for renewal. At that point, you will receive a renewal notice to pay online, by phone or in the Post Office. The new system also allows drivers to set up a direct debit.

Under the new system, the police only require number plates to identify those breaching the rules. The online database would include every car’s tax status next to the registration number. Drivers will be watched by cameras on the roads and inspectors armed with access to the database.

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August 26, 2014
Safety Inside The Car

Whilst there is a lot of material published online in regards to ensuring your driving is safe, and that your vehicle is fully prepared for any journey and to cope with any possible weather conditions, very little has been mentioned about the safety of the driver and passengers inside the car.

For example, seat belts are now a legal requirement for any person inside a moving car- however statistics show that even now, far fewer passengers use them than they should. The humble seat-belt, whilst not exceptionally comfortable, is one of the key features that will keep you safe inside a car in the event of a collision.

Air bags are another vital feature to ensure your car is equipped with – should the worst happen and your car strikes an exterior object such as another car at speed, the air bags in your car could mean the difference between life and death.

However it is not only the in-built features of the car that will keep you safe – it is also the behaviour of those inside. A vast number of motor accidents are caused by drivers being distracted from the roads, whether it is just for a split second by a mobile phone, or by in-car activities involving another passenger or any other in-car distraction, and this is why it is always important for the driver especially to keep their full attention on the road at all times, and for their passengers to respect this.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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August 25, 2014
Car Seats Dirtier Than Toilets

Scientists at the University of Birmingham examining swabs from safety seats found an average of 100 potentially dangerous bacteria and fungi in each square centimetre whilst a toilet only contained half that number. The germs found included E. coli and Salmonella.

The study demonstrated that our cars contain more potentially hazardous bacterial and fungal species than anywhere in our homes. It was also revealed that almost half of us drive vehicles which are full of clutter with one in 10 Brits having had an accident or near miss due to the mess in their car.

The top 10 items of clutter found in the average family car as follows: a broken ice-scraper, a box of tissues, a torch (working or broken), an A-Z map, an old blanket, a toolkit, chamois leather, chocolate bar wrappers, an out of date map and an old phone charger.

Around one in five motorists tidy the inside of their car just once a year, typically prompted by an imminent visit to the garage. Due to the clutter and rubbish contained in cars, they can play host to a number of potentially harmful bacterial species. Most people would not dream of using their home as a dumping ground for rubbish as they do with their car which is why our cars contain more germs than our homes.

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August 22, 2014
Driving Theory Test Price To Fall

The price of the driving theory test is set to fall by £5 this October – with plans to reduce the fee even further the following year.

The move, which is at the moment limited to Northern Ireland, comes after new contracts were negotiated with theory test providers in the province.

The Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan, has said that by agreeing new deals with the test providers, he has managed to secure significant savings, and he believes that it is “right and proper” to pass these savings onto the customers of the Theory test – meaning that those signing up for the Theory test after October will get a reduced rate.

Durkan added: “It is my intention to ensure that my department’s services are delivered in such a way that they meet customers’ needs at the least cost possible.”

Many learner drivers in Northern Ireland will surely be happy to hear this good news, as bringing down the cost of driving will always benefit new and young drivers.

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

Safe driving from Britannia!

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August 21, 2014
Man With Dementia Caught Driving The Wrong Way

Traffic police had to crash into a car being driven at 50mph the wrong way down a motorway by a 77-year-old man with dementia.

Officers stopped the driver on the M6 toll in the West Midlands after reports that it was heading south on the northbound carriageway, between junction T5 and T4. The driver had shown no intention to stop travelling in the wrong direction. This made officers take the decision to make a deliberate head-on contact with the car to bring it to a stop.

The driver, who had dementia, was reporting missing by his family. After the incident, the man was returned home safe and well to his family.

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August 19, 2014
Driving in Rain

With many of us becoming increasingly aware that the summer is drawing slowly but surely to a close, it is gradually getting to that time of year again, when we have to consider driving differently when it comes to rain.

Firstly it is necessary to ensure your tyres are in good condition – they must be inflated correctly, as well as having plenty of tread depth left. If they do not meet these standards, they need changing – this is not just good advice, but this is a legal requirement.

When behind the wheel in a downpour, always make sure to slow down to a safe speed. Your stopping distance will be reduced significantly by the wetter road conditions, so you need to lead extra room between your car and the car in front, and drive at a sensible speed at all times.

You also need to avoid aquaplaning – this is when your car drives over a particularly wet surface and skids, which can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.

Finally, also ensure to avoid driving into the spray from other vehicles in front. Keeping at a safe distance should reduce the need for this, as not only will driving through the spray churned up by vehicles hamper your vision, it could be leading you directly into a dangerous situation without you even realising it.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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August 18, 2014
The Worst Flyover In The UK?

Flyovers are certainly not the easiest part of driving for any learner, but have you experienced a flyover like this?

The Chelmsford Army & Navy Roundabout is notorious as it is perhaps one of the most unusual flyovers that exist. It is bi-directional which means that it is open for traffic to go into the city until 2.30pm each day and out of the city after 2.30pm. The flyover is then closed from 9pm to 6am.

Accidents are far from unusual on this flyover, with the most recent accident being this April where a motorist driving up the wrong way caused a head-on collision. This is a common problem with many collisions being caused by drivers driving up the wrong way. An incident similar to this one even occurred on a driving test a few years ago – which is enough to put any learner off!

Calls have been made to replace the flyover with one which is two-way as the current flyover has caused a significant number of deaths and injuries. However, such calls have been made for years and no improvement has been made. At the moment, 2017 has been given as a provisional date for the flyover’s replacement. But the success of this relies on various other factors.

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August 15, 2014
Young Men at Highest Risk of Driving Ban

A new study has revealed the information that young men between the ages of 20-30 are at the highest risk of having their driving license revoked.

After the Institute of Advanced Motorists provided a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA, the shocking figures came back to reveal that between July 2013 and June 2014, over 90,000 people were disqualified from driving, with over a third of these being in their twenties, with only just over 4000 of these being women.

The single age for the highest offenders was 25 – showing that men in the third decade of life were at the highest risk of being disqualified from driving.

These figures stand out in comparison to other demographics, as over 31,000 twenty-somethings were disqualified in this period, compared to just a little over 10,000 in their 50’s or even less than 4000 in their 60’s.

All drivers need to ensure that they are particularly careful on the road – however if you fall into this bracket, you may want to take heed and start to pay extra attention when driving.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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