Monthly Archives: June 2012

June 29, 2012

Insurance premiums… we all know the feeling when the renewal letter comes through the post. But what about the extra costs involved.

Just recently my car needed a replacement windscreen, so I got on the phone to my insurers and asked about the cover on my policy. They said I was covered and it would cost an excess of just £75. I wasn’t so sure on their wording ‘just £75’ but started the process of organising someone to come and replace the glass.

I was put through to various departments before somebody could help me and was told I would need to wait 4 days before someone could come out. Any driver knows that 4 days without a car is torture, so I took to calling around for some private quotes.

I got various prices all rather high so went back to my insurers. I had spoken to friends who warned me that claiming for the replacement windscreen would affect my future premiums so thought I would double check. The surprisingly pleasant lady on the phone (I have not had great experience before) said: “no, no, it won’t affect your premium”. I asked her if she was sure and could send me something in writing quoting this, so she said she would double check. She came back apologising for misleading me and said it has to go down as a claim for the next 5 years, but shouldn’t affect the price greatly.

As you can imagine I got straight back on the phone and called one of the private companies again. So I guess the point to this article is to warn drivers to check their policy carefully, to ask questions if you are not sure and to not be afraid to ask for a second opinion.

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June 28, 2012
Babies on Board

For those of us who had our babies before we took to the road and had a car, you will remember the times we were waiting at bus stops, in the rain, fighting against the masses of people to get a place on the bus. It’s these memories that makes us feel so utterly happy when we have our car. Even if we have to face the traffic, the fact that we have the kids tucked away in the car away from the horrid weather, buckled up and with the radio on, it makes us feel so happy.

That doesn’t mean we are always in a peaceful mind though. As we all know, children can get bored when you are driving and they need attention. It’s important to remember that although children need attention you need to be fully aware and be able to concentrate when driving.

If you have to travel with children often and the drives are often long distant, it is well worth preparing for these journeys. For younger kids, ensure you have the right booster seats, there are cushions you can haveto attach to the seat belts so it is more comfortable for them. You may also think about having some story book cds in the car to play to keep them occupied whilst you are driving. Assure them that you need to be able to concentrate when driving and it’s important to keep calm. When on a long journey plan to have regular toilet breaks. A quick freshen up can work wonders.

We hope that you find these tips useful.


June 27, 2012

An elderly man from Burton-on-Trent suffered serious injuries and died in hospital after he was hit by a bus whilst driving a mobility scooter.

The man was airlifted to hospital and despite best efforts from the trauma team at the hospital died shortly after arriving.

The bus driver along with all passengers on board, were not injured in the collision.

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June 26, 2012
Temper Temper

It’s fair to say that we all get annoyed at some point when we are driving. You’ve just been cut up, you were over taken dangerously, the person behind is driving too close, or that silly person did not indicate. These are all things that drive us a little barmy. The thing we need to remember though is that these things will always happen. There’s always going to be silly drivers on the road. Remember though, the majority of people on the road are safe drivers. Just think of each time you drive, there are a lot of people who, when they drive, do so carefully and safely.

We have all been there, on our way to work  and had to deal with someone acting dangerously. The best thing to do is stay calm. Remember that you are always in control of yourself, it’s never worth ruining your day because of someone else’s bad driving. The best way to deal with these drivers is to be prepared. Just by driving safely and been aware you can prepare for yourself for bad drivers and avoid accidents. If someone cuts you up, ease back a little. If someone is driving erratically let them carry on. And with that, we wish you a really good day of driving.

Keep calm. Keep driving.


June 25, 2012

VIP Olympic lanes are for athletes and their families only, even in severe gridlock. The lanes leading up to Blackwall Tunnel will not be opened to the public under any circumstances.

TFL’s director of borough partnerships Alex Williams said: “Blackwall Tunnel is a critical link…we have done refurbishment and have more police on standby so if someone’s broken down they will be removed as soon as possible.”

Many roads approaching the tunnel will have VIP lanes and the Olympic Route Network is due to be put in place two days before the games begin.

Painters from across the country will be helping with this huge process.

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June 22, 2012

Downing Street has disclosed that the union flag will sit alongside the European flag on British driving licences. The new licences are hoped to be phased in from 2015.

Other countries have symbols, for instance Belgians have a bear on their licence. It is thought that the British people will welcome the change with a No 10 spokesman saying “People in this country are proud of our national symbol.”

There is some hesitation on having the symbol on all licences, with Northern Ireland drivers possible being exempt from having the symbol on their licence.

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June 21, 2012
Let’s Drive.

So you’ve passed your test got your car and ready to hit the road. You have your eyes sent on the white cliffs of dover the castles of Scotland, venturing through the Safari park and going down to Bournmouth. How exciting. It’s certainly the type of things we did when we first got our car.

There’s a few things you need to remember though when doing long distant travelling, here are a few. Get to know your car, do you know how to change a wheel and check the water levels? Get to know what buttons are where. Where is the indicator? Are you familiar with your fog lights? Do you have a note of your insurance company’s number as well your recovery company? It’s always good to be prepared for any situation. Should you break down, ensure you’ve got a blanket in the back of the car to keep you warm.

It’s worth planning your journey. These days it is so easy, all you have to print off a route map via google and have someone talk you through it, or use a satnav. If you are going to use a satnav, ensure you have a holder so that the satnav doesn’t drop when you are driving. Have it in a position so you can see it clearly but make sure it doesn’t obstruct your view.

With these simple things your driving should be a treat.


June 20, 2012

Angelique Griffin, 25 of Massachusetts, appeared in court after being arrested for drink driving, resulting in the passenger of her car dying.

The local stripper had been drinking that night and claimed she didn’t want to drive but friends had persuaded her as she was the least drunk, so she escorted Mr Renard home.

A security camera picked up the crash, when the passenger side of the car smashed into the back of a parked truck. Mr Renard, 19, died at the scene.

Griffin, told the courts that she was crashed because Mr Renard was trying to fondle her as she drove. However, Mr Renard’s family disputed that claim.

In court, a coven of witches came to support Ms Griffin, with her uncle, a self-professed warlock, threatening to ‘hex’ anyone who tried to ‘harm’ his niece. He said: “I call upon everything in the heavens and hells to both protect her and to strike down anyone who would capitalize on this tragedy for their own gain.”

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June 19, 2012
Learning is for Life.

Once you’ve passed you may be able to drive but the learning never stops. We always have to keep ourselves clued up. We need to be aware of the roads, road signs, our cars and changes in the law.

It’s well worth keeping a copy of the highway code and glancing at it every so often and seeing if you have forgotten anything. Things like country road signs, speed limits, new laws, which lights to use and how to best navigate country roads, are all things that the highway code covers. When you are out on the roads you can practice these things as well. Remember that when you drive it’s best to always be in a calm state of mind. Of course, this is always easier said than done when you’re late picking up the kids and running to a dentist appointment. But you can, just by taking a few seconds to take deep breaths, help stay calm and improve your driving experience.

A lot of people tend to lose focus after driving for a while, thinking that they don’t need to be as cautious. Whilst it’s great to be confident you have to make sure you are a safe driver. Stick to the speed limits, don’t ever use your phone whilst driving and make sure you always wear a seatbelt. If you have young children be sure to get the correct seating for them so they are as safe as possible.

There are lots of other things you can do too: never throw litter outside your car, keep your tires pumped to the correct levels, remember to always check your blind spots, stick to the speed limits.


June 18, 2012

Around this time last year, women in Saudi Arabia protested against the ban on women driving. In the past year, many women have lost jobs, friends, social standing and reputations along with being imprisoned and receiving death threats.

Najla Hariri, 45 decided in May 2011 to take to the roads herself rather than relying on male relatives to ferry her around. Manal al-Sharif, 33a divorced mother heard about Hariri via Facebook and decided to risk driving, even posting a video on YouTube. Both are founders of the movement ‘Women2Drive’.

Campaigners asked women to not only apply for their licence and to drive but asked men to support their female relatives and sit in the car as a passenger.

They have posted a letter to King Abdullah with 600 signatures asking for the ban to be lifted. They say: “Our initiative is not aimed at violating laws… but we hope that our country will be a supportive community for women, where men and women are treated equally.”

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