Monthly Archives: October 2014

October 31, 2014
Driving This Halloween

Tonight is the night of Halloween, the scariest night of the year, where ghouls, ghosts and goblins come out of the shadows and fear and terror set in across the country, for one night only.

However if you are planning to be on the roads this Halloween, there needn’t be anything terrifying about your driving.

Driving at Halloween can be especially dangerous for multiple reasons. By now, the Autumnal weather has most probably set in across most streets, leaving heaps of dead leaves littered across the roads. Combined with the already wet road surfaces and the dark nights setting in earlier, this can make for particularly treacherous driving conditions.

Also be on your guard for children this Halloween. The age-old ritual of trick-or-treating can be a great experience for most youngsters, however it does require drivers to be extra vigilant on the roads as a high volume of children take to the streets tonight. Children are less visible than their adult counterparts at the best of times, and when they are wearing darkened costumed colours on these dark nights, they will become even harder to see.

Take care with your driving this Halloween, and hopefully the only scary thing about tonight will be the prospect of “bobbing for apples”.

Safe driving this Halloween from Britannia!

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October 30, 2014
Using P Plates

P plates stands for Probationary driver which indicates that the driver is a newly qualified driver. Although P plates are not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that new drivers use them as they help to warn other road users that you are a new driver and to be more patient.

There have been discussions to introduce probationary periods for new drivers as in other countries such as Australia where new drivers must display P plates for a minimum of 24 months by law, observe extra speed limits and have zero alcohol.

Once you’ve passed your test, it’s recommended that you use P plates until you feel confident driving alone, within different situations as well as in a range of weather conditions too. Unfortunately, P plates are frowned upon by most newly qualified drivers as they seem ‘uncool’ and too similar to L plates. However, if this is the case, it is a good idea to keep a set in your car and use them if you are travelling on a motorway for the first time or an unfamiliar place.

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October 29, 2014
Cars Sold Without A Spare Tyre

It has emerged that nine out of ten new vehicles are now sold without a full-size spare wheel. Less than half of cars (46%) only come with a repair kit which usually comprises of an air-pump and a self-sealent whilst 27% are fitted with a ‘space-saver’ tyre which cannot be used for long distances. Other alternatives include cars fitted with ‘run-flats’, tyres that are reinforced to allow the motorist to continue driving on a puncture for a limited time.

This has resulted in a significant rise in the number of wheel-related call-outs to breakdown organisations. To help solve the problem, the RAC has developed its own ‘universal spare wheel’ which fits eight out of ten cars and has been used more than 30,000 times since its launch in January.

According to the report, the worst manufacturers who don’t provide a spare tyre or a ‘space-saver’ are Volvo, Vauxhall, Porshe, Mini, Mazda, Dacia and BMW. On the other end of the scale, the best are the Alfa Romeo, SsangYong and Suzuki.

With puncture and other tyre-related breakdowns on the rise, in part due to poor road conditions, these cutbacks come at a huge cost to the consumer with some having to fork out more than £600 for a full-size spare.

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October 28, 2014
Bad Driving Habits Revealed

Worrying statistics have been revealed this week showing that almost 75% of parents believe that they would fail their driving test if they had to re-sit it – however over half of this amount would still be happy to teach a younger person to drive.

Also revealed was that almost half of those questioned have eaten when behind the wheel, almost 25% have used their mobile when driving, and one in ten have failed to stop at a red light.

Despite these worrying figures, many parents don’t see the problem with their bad habits, and most did not think that their activities behind the wheel would influence their children into bad driving habits – despite other recent reports.

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

Safe driving from Britannia!

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October 27, 2014
Provisional Licence Fee Dropped to £34

The cost of apply for a provisional driving licence is being dropped from £50 to £34. This is the figure for those applying online, whilst the price of renewing online will be cut from £20 to £14.

This comes after the cost of the theory test dropped from £31 to £25. The Department for Transport state that these changes are key for the economy.

The slashes in price of both the cost of applying for a licence and the theory test is likely to encourage more young people to learn to drive. Recent years have seen the number of young learners fall and the cost of learning to drive could be a reason for this.

Other fees being considered in the DVLA review include vehicle first registrations and duplicate registration certificates.

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October 24, 2014
Teen Driving Tips

Whilst most teenagers will be very nervous about learning to drive and taking their driving test, once they have passed they are more often than not ecstatic at finally passing and earning the freedom to drive their own cars.

It is precisely at this stage that the nerves begin to set in for the parents.

Many parents openly admit to anxiety about the idea of their children driving around in their own cars, especially in the early stages. But with our top tips for teen driving, you can reduce the likelihood of any driving accidents significantly for your children.

1.) Never use a mobile. Mobile phones are proven to distract drivers attention from the road, so ensure that your children never text or call (or even use social media) when behind the wheel.

2.) Be wary of extra passengers. Drivers with more passengers in their car are more likely to get up to motoring misdemeanour’s such as speeding, tailgating or general erratic driving. Perhaps limit the amount of passengers for the first year.

3.) No alcohol. Although this seems to go without saying, drink-drivers are still one of the biggest threats on the roads. Not a drop when driving.

4.) Use your seat belts. This is more than a safety procedure, this is the law. Buckling up will not only reduce your risk of driving fines, but it could also save your life.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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October 23, 2014
Top Tips To Stay Safe This Winter

Winter is fast-approaching so it is important to remember how to stay safe when driving in winter. Here are Britannia’s top tips:

The sun sits lower in the sky in winter, which can result in glare, as can snow, so don’t put away your sunglasses just yet!

Keep a winter ready kit in your car including: blanket, bottled water, coat, scarf and gloves, first aid kit, ice scraper, de-icer, torch and extra screen wash, ensuring you are ready for all eventualities

Check your tyres are inflated correctly and have an adequate tread depth. Tyre pressures should be checked at least fortnightly.

Putting water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help to stop them freezing

Ensure you have got enough petrol or diesel in case of unexpected delays

When the road is wet, it can take up to twice as long to stop. Slow down and ensure the correct distance is kept from the vehicle in front.

Clear snow off the whole vehicle before you start your journey: it is illegal to drive with poor visibility, so just clearing a little space on your windscreen isn’t enough

Safe driving from Britannia! Let us know your thoughts by using the comments link below:

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October 22, 2014
Failing To Wear Glasses On The Road

Drivers are required to wear glasses or contact lenses every time they drive if they need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’. The standards of vision for driving is that you must be able to read a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. Despite this, millions of motorists are driving blind on Britain’s roads, because they are too vain to wear their glasses.

A survey conducted has found that one in eight motorists who should wear glasses when behind the wheel admits to driving without them.

According to the survey, those under 44 were 15 times more likely to leave their glasses at home than the over-55s, and 43 per cent of those who admitted to not wearing glasses when driving when they should said it was down to vanity. Other said it was either too much hassle or they regularly forgot their glasses before getting in the car.

Drivers caught not wearing their classes risk heavy fines and even losing their licence.

Safe driving from Britannia! Let us know your thoughts by using the comments link below:

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October 20, 2014
Audi’s Self-Driving Racing Car

Audi has let its self-driving car model loose on the road.

The Audi RS 7 appears like any other racing car, making split second decisions and navigating a track at 150mph. However, its difference from racing cars is that it is also a self-driving car.

The model completed a lap on the Grand Prix track in Hockenheim at 150mph without a driver. As with other self-driving cars, it operates without a driver being driven entirely by software.

It took the Audi RS 7 two minutes to complete a lap on the track. The car uses specially corrected GPS signals which are transmitted to the vehicle via WIFI. 3D cameras in the car film the track, and a computer program compares the cameras’ image information against a data set stored on board.

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

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October 17, 2014
Drivers Warned of Cyclist Dangers

When we are driving, one of the main things to look out for is other cars – whether they are overtaking, undertaking, or any other manoeuvre that could cause danger to yourself, other auto mobiles are probably at the top of the list when it comes to dangers you might face behind the wheel.

One that is surprisingly rarely mentioned however, is that of cyclists. Despite figures suggesting that cyclists have increased in number by 1.2 % in just 3 years, as well as the devastating statistic that the amount of cyclists killed on UK roads has increased by a shocking 10% in the same period, many do not seem to consider bicycle users as a hazard that they need to keep an eye out for.

The truth is that cyclists are perhaps even more of a hazard to motorists – their relatively small stature makes them much harder to see than a car, however they are still capable of reaching speeds on a bicycle that mean they could appear suddenly and without warning, if you do not perform your checks thoroughly enough.

Be aware of cyclists around you, and we can bring the number of cyclist-related tragedies down for the future.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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