Monthly Archives: July 2017

July 26, 2017
Be Kind To Learners

Qualified drivers are often disrespectful to learners and will often tailgate them, which can be an unsettling experience for the learner and a potential distraction. Remember, you were a learner once and therefore understand the pressures involved, so be kind and patient with newcomers on the road! By doing so, you will set the right example to new drivers and reduce the likelihood of accidents and road rage.

If it is safe to do so, overtake the learner so as to get on your way; do not intimidate them by driving close, honking the horn or flashing your lights at them. Exercising a little common courtesy when behind the wheel can really go a long way.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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July 25, 2017
Listening To The Radio While Driving

Listening to the radio while driving can be bad for your concentration – so much so it could lead to an accident. Let’s face it, when you hear your favourite song come on the radio you’re likely to ramp up the volume, which can potentially cause even further distraction.

While listening to music in your car is perfectly acceptable, it is important to bear in mind the potential risks of getting too carried away, not only with your favourite tunes but traffic news reports, sports and/or radio interviews. Also, when attempting to tune in to a particular station you will take your hand off the wheel and very likely take your eyes off the road, and even for a split second doing so can be dangerous while driving.

It’s best to make sure your radio is properly tuned before pulling away, and don’t have the volume too loud. Also ensure you’re not too close to the vehicle in front, in case they break suddenly and you’re not looking or have limited concentration to be able to stop in time. It is possible to enjoy your radio and be safe when driving!

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July 24, 2017
Parallel Parking

Parallel parking is quite possibly one of the most tricky driving test manoeuvres, thus fails a great many driving tests in the UK. For this reason, it’s highly advisable to learn a structured technique and practice until a level of proficiency is reached, so that each and every parallel park is achieved successfully. Remember, it doesn’t have to be done in one manoeuvre; it is perfectly acceptable to move forward and make adjustments throughout the procedure.

Using reference points helps as part of practising a structured technique; such as lining up your wing mirrors with certain points on the cars that you are going to park between. Drive slowly and smoothly and don’t get in a flap, and above all, keep observing the road around you.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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July 21, 2017
Using the Wrong Fuel

Putting the incorrect fuel in your tank can cause turmoil to your journey and potentially severe damage to your car engine. It’s important to not panic and certainly don’t feel embarrassed, it’s quite an easy mistake to make! If you accidentally put petrol in your diesel car, do not under any circumstances try and start your ignition, as this will circulate the mixed fuel around the engine and cause further damage.

If you put diesel into a petrol-run car, you’ll be relieved to know there’ll be no major damage to your engine. While diesel fuel has to be compressed to ignite, petrol is ignited by a spark generated by the spark plugs. When the ignition is started the diesel would potentially clog up your fuel system, causing your vehicle to misfire, produce smoke and possibly cut out. Once the incorrect fuel has been flushed from the system, your vehicle should start fairly quickly. You might see smoke whilst the diesel residue is being burnt off, but after that your car should run as well as it did before. Just be mindful in future and double check before filling up!

Safe driving from Brittania!

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July 20, 2017
Crossroads

When taking your driving test you will most certainly come upon a crossroads, which like all junctions, should be thoroughly practised and taken very seriously. Crossroads provide an intersection not only for motorists, but cyclists and pedestrians as well. When all of these come together in one small area, it’s understandable that accidents can occur. By acknowledging and understanding the risks, you can help to reduce the likelihood of accidents at crossroads.

Crossroads can often be confusing not only to learners, but even experienced fully licensed drivers as well, purely because of the different types that all depend on the type of area you are driving in. For example, unmarked crossroads – typically found in quieter residential areas or rural roads – have no road marking or signs to let drivers know who to give way to. In this case, no one has priority so motorist must work collaboratively to promote safe driving.

Controlled crossroads, which are monitored with traffic lights, are usually found in busy urban areas and are commonly much safer junctions. That said, not all motorists will respect the rules and you may encounter someone who chances a red light, which can result in an accident. Be mindful of motorists and cyclist who may do this and by absolutely no means should you attempt this yourself.

Safe driving from Brittania!

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July 19, 2017
Eating and Drinking Behind the Wheel

Eating and drinking behind the wheel is not actually against the law, but it can be a distraction to the driver, therefore it can be classed as careless driving – which can result in a fine of up to £100 and three penalty points on your licence.

Distracted driving is one of the most dangerous behaviours that police are aiming to prevent, for even a short disruption to your concentration when driving can have serious consequences, not just for you but other road users. Studies reveal that drivers who eat or drink while driving are 3.6 times more likely to be in an accident than their more attentive counterparts.

Before deciding to eat or drink when you are driving, ask yourself “can it not wait until I have arrived at my destination?” If you are extremely hungry or thirsty, it would be wise to find a safe place to pull over and do so there.

Safe driving from Brittania!

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July 18, 2017
Breaking Down on the Motorway

There really is nothing worse that breaking down on the motorway – it can be a rather unsettling, sometimes alarming experience. If your vehicle develops a problem while you are driving on the motorway, leave the motorway at the next exit or pull into a nearby service area. If neither of these options are possible, pull over on to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as possible, and preferably close to an emergency telephone; these are free of charge and connect directly to the Highways Agency or the police.

Under no circumstances should you leave your vehicle unattended. When getting out, always do so on the left hand side. When speaking on the phone, always face the oncoming traffic.

If you are able to re-join the carriageway after a breakdown, you must do so safely by first building up speed along the hard shoulder and waiting for a safe gap to join in the traffic. Also be aware that other vehicles might be stationary on the hard shoulder.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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July 17, 2017
Horses on the Road

Horses are big strong animals, but they can be quite easily spooked and may rear up or bolt unexpectedly, the consequences of which can be very serious if on the road – not just for the horse and rider but for motorists too. If you are out driving and need to overtake a horse and rider, it is wise to slow down to about 15mph and drive cautiously, allowing plenty of space. Watch out for sudden movements, as horses can be easily startled and unpredictable. Don’t sound your horn, flash your lights or rev your engine as this may frighten the horse, and certainly don’t accelerate as soon as you have passed the horse.

If another vehicle is coming towards you on a narrow road, things can get a little tricky, which is why it’s essential to minimise your speed particularly when on rural roads, and pull over if and when it is safe to do so, to let impatient drivers pass by. By no means let them intimidate you.

Between 2010 and 2015, 11 horse riders were killed and 116 were seriously injured in collisions with vehicles. By understanding the risks and knowing how to drive safely when overtaking horse riders, we can reduce these numbers significantly.

Safe driving from Brittania!

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July 14, 2017
Driving When Tired

Statistics show that almost 20% of car accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel – the majority of which are men under the age of 30. To prevent this from happening, it’s wise to plan your journey to include a 15-minute break every couple of hours. If you’re already tired, it’s not ideal to start a long trip if you’re already tired. Bear in mind the risks if you have to get up unusually early to start a long drive.

If you start to feel sleepy when driving, find a safe place to pull over – do not stop on not the hard shoulder of the motorway! Drink a couple of cups of coffee or a high-caffeinated drink and rest up for about 15 minutes, to allow time for the caffeine to kick in. Although this should help, a caffeine drink is really only a short-term solution that will help you on your way; the one and only effective cure for sleepiness is proper sleep!

Safe driving with Brittania!

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July 13, 2017
Getting Lost When Driving

There is absolutely no shame is winding up lost when on the road; it happens to us all at some point! The important thing to do is remain calm and pull over when possible. The pressure of having someone close behind you could result in you becoming even more lost, and frustrate other motorists who know where they’re going.

If you have access to a phone, don’t be embarrassed to call someone for help – but be sure that you have pulled over safely beforehand. It’s also a good idea to carry a map or book of maps in your vehicle for such situations. If you have a sat nav, give it time to acquire satellite connection and don’t attempt to reconfigure it while driving.

If there’s anyone around, pull over in a safe place and ask for directions! You’ll be glad you acted accordingly and so long as you remain calm and abide to road safety, you’ll soon be on your way again.

Safe driving from Britannia!

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