Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 31, 2013
2 in 3 Motorists Uses Their Phone Whilst Driving

It’s official; Drivers that use mobile phones whilst on the road are more dangerous drivers, a new survey reveals.

The US-based AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has suggested from its research that over 2 in 3 drivers often hold phone call conversations whilst driving.

However despite this shocking figure, a large proportion of those questioned have admitted that they consider other drivers on the phone to be dangerous, regardless of their own infidelity.

Whilst almost 90% of those questioned believe that using a mobile phone whilst driving is a dangerous activity and should be discouraged, this does not seem to have had any impact on their own actions.

The research also suggests that drivers who use a mobile phone regularly whilst driving are also more likely to take other driving-related risks, such as:

Driving above the speed limit: 65% admitted to this.
Driving whilst tired: 44% admitted to this.
Sending a text or email: 53% admitted to this.
Driving without wearing a safety belt: 29% admitted to this.

In stark contrast, motorists who do not use a mobile phone whilst driving,

Just 31% reported speeding.
Just 14% reported driving drowsy.
Just 3% reported sending a text or email.
Just 16% drove without a safety belt.

A vast majority slated drivers operating a mobile and a vehicle at the same time, with 95% voicing disapproval. However two out of three young drivers admitted to this behaviour, with over a quarter even admitting to updating their social media whilst behind the wheel!

A study conducted by the University of Utah in 2006 provided proof that driving whilst using a mobile phone renders the driver as incapable a motorist as a highly intoxicated driver due to the extreme levels of distraction it evokes in the driver.

If you need to answer the phone whilst driving, simply find a safe and convenient place to pull over, or wait to call them back; Surely this is a preferable option than crashing your car, wrecking your pride and joy, and potentially injuring yourself or others?

Safe driving from Britannia!


January 30, 2013

Research has shown that drivers take their eyes of the road and look at other things, on average, every 9 seconds.

The study found that clouds and scenery, mirrors, road signs, advertising and oncoming traffic were the main distractions. They monitored drivers’ eye movements using the latest eye tracking technology.

Even more alarming were the results found by drivers who had satnavs. They were found to spend 22% of the time ignoring the road and looking at the devise.

Don’t get distracted, keep your eyes on the road and keep safe.

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


January 29, 2013
Driving Test Nerves

So the day has arrived for your driving test, you’re all nervous and filled with anxiety.

This is the case for many people who take their test. It varies from person to person; we know those who thrive under a little pressure and we also know of many who can’t handle their nerves on their test day.

So what do you do about it? Here are our top tips.

1) Practice. Yes, practice and practice. You build your confidence through practice.
2) Do mock tests. Your instructor might do them with you but ask for more. Knowing the routes will give you more confidence.
3) Try and take your driving test in the car that you have been practising in.
4) Remember that the examiner is there to do their job, you need to prove to them that you are a safe driver. Be confident, show them that you are a driver that they would want to see on the road.
5) Get a good nights sleep the day before. Feeling fresh rather than groggy will be much better for you. Remember to have all of your documents ready, wear some comfortable shoes and have your glasses/contact lenses to hand if you wear them.
6) I did all of these things and I failed. Remember, if you fail it’s not the end of the world. You just have to do it again and practice some more. The important thing is that you keep going.

Good luck.


January 28, 2013

The new Ford Fiesta now comes with parental child lock features such as limiting the top speed they drive at.

The technology comes with what’s known as MyKey, this allows parents to place restrictions on young drivers though their car key.

Chris Burgess, a psychology lecturer at Exeter University said: “Young drivers may want to drive safely, but are perhaps less inclined to do so because they feel pressure from their friends or other drivers. MyKey can remove the influence of personal control on the vehicle’s top speed and maximum volume.”

MyKey will allow young people the freedom to drive but allow the parents peace of mind that they are minimising risks attributed to accidents.

Some of the key features will include:

Limiting the top speed

Reducing maximum audio volume

Until seatbelts are fastened the radio will be disabled

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


January 25, 2013

The DVLA saw a new law come into effect on the 19th January that will allow 16 year olds to drive lightweight microcars

Teens that pass CBT Compulsory Basic Training, including theory and practical tests, will under the new laws be eligible to drive both mopeds and a quadricycles.

So what classes as a quadricycle? A vehicle that weighs less than 350kg and has a maximum speed of 28mph. This will bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe.

One manufacturer keen to sell to the UK is a French quadricycle firm called Aixam. Justin Bond, UK manager for Aixam Mega said: “People need to see it as an alternative to a moped, rather than comparing it to car.”

They don’t come cheap mind you and many 16 year olds will not be able to afford the £10,000 quadricycles. But this didn’t stop Jamie Coley, the UK’s first 16 year old to drive an Aixam under the new rules. He said: “I’ve seen people of any age that should not be on the road, and a 17 year old can be driving at 70 or 80mph whereas this is much slower.”

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


January 24, 2013
Unbeaten by The Snow

We know that for a lot of us, the snow is a complete nightamre when it comes to driving; it causes our cars to skid and can make you feel unsafe when driving.

However, when the snows starts to melt away, we are left with ice, and ice as we know is very slippy. So how do we cope with this when driving? Here are a few tips:

1) If you can try and avoid driving in icy conditions opt for public transport
2) Have a can of de-icer in your car, this stuff works great when your car has been parked up for a while and it is iced over
3) Wear shoes with a good grip. If you can, carry a spare pair of shoes in the car that aren’t covered in snow.
4) Make sure that all of your windows are clear before you set off, even if this means sitting in the car for a little while. Reduced vision can affect your severly
5) Try and stick to major roads.

Good luck, and we look forward to the ice going away just as much as you do!


January 23, 2013

Drivers could face fines of £60 and even points on their licence if their windows are not completely clear of snow.

Rule 229 of the Highway Code states that drivers should: “remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users.”

Police forces are using their discretion and not targeting drivers but can take action if they feel necessary.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “There is no specific legislation on driving with snow on the roof of a vehicle however, if it slips over the windscreen or flies into the path of another car it could leave the driver open to being penalised for driving without due care and attention or careless or inconsiderate driving.”

Yet, what motorists know about this? With no public awareness providing information for drivers, everybody muddles through the snow and does the best they can.

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


January 22, 2013
1 in 10 Festive Drivers Fail Booze Test

More than one in ten motorists subjected to a roadside breath test to determine blood-alcohol levels failed the test over the Christmas 2012 period in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire Police carried out a total of 1,721 roadside breath tests throughout December and early January, and of this number 192 were arrested on suspicion of drink-driving; An 11.2% failure rate.

Compare this figure to the rate of Christmas 2011, when out of 2,320 drivers tested, only 150 proved positive- a failure rate of just 6.47%- and the cause for concern becomes clear.

Staffordshire Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis has praised the efforts of the police force, and called the operation a success, saying: “There has been a big drive to encourage people to tell the police when they believe someone is drink driving. This has been massively successful. Better intelligence has led to more people being caught… I am content with that.”

Of this total figure, it is unclear how many passed the secondary test at the Police Station, or how many simply refused to take the test, which is classed as as much of an offence as being over the legal limit of 35 BAC (Blood-Alcohol Content). However the dramatic rise in failed tests should act as a warning to all drivers to never consider drink-driving, especially during the Christmas period when a crack-down is in operation on drink-drivers.

More than half a million breath tests are carried out each year, and an average of 100,000 are found to be positive. The most responsible group are men aged 17-29. On average 3,000 people are killed or seriously injured each year in alcohol-related vehicle collisions, and nearly 1 in 6 of all deaths on the road involve drivers who are over the legal alcohol limit. If you are caught driving or attempting to drive under the influence, you could be subject to a £5,000 fine, a minimum 12 months driving ban, and 6 months imprisonment. And that is without even a collision; causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, at least 2 years driving ban, and a requirement to pass an extended driving test before being legally allowed to drive a car again.

So if you’re going to have a drink, leave the keys at home. Make the choice; Not a mistake.

Safe driving from Britannia!


January 21, 2013

Most people will have experienced some sort of travel disruption, whether you are a walker, catch public transport or drive.

With more than 4inches settling in parts of the country, car break down services are expecting a high call volume.

So if you need to drive, what should you do:

Firstly make sure your car is up to it. Ensure you have enough screen-wash (strong enough that it won’t freeze), you have good wipers without cracks (as they will have heavy duty usage during this period) and that your tyres on the car are safe. Many people will invest in winter tyres which is a good idea however, if you have regular ones, then you need to ensure they have good tread and are not damaged in any way.

Drive at speeds that seem safe and sensible. Even on motorway, cars have been seen travelling as low as 10mph as the roads are extremely icy.

People will tend to rev the engine like crazy when they are stuck on ice/snow, this does not help! Instead put the car in a higher gear. You may also find it useful to carry a small piece of carpet and if the wheels start spinning, put the carpet under the wheels and this will give the car extra traction.

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


January 18, 2013

With flights cancelled, warnings on the news and hospitals on red alert, it can only mean one thing…snow!

I have had numerous phone calls today, with pupils asking if their lessons are still going ahead or if their driving test has been cancelled.

Although most test centres have closed and tests have been cancelled this is more due to allowing the pupil the best possible chance to pass. So any adverse weather conditions, poor lighting, or faulty car will be refused on the grounds it’s not fair on the pupil.

Yet what about driving lessons? As long as you are not a complete beginner needing to use the side roads which of course are very slippery, there is no reason why your driving lesson can’t go ahead.

Imagine you hold your full driving licence, have had your car a few months and you drive to work, when you finish its snowing and you need to drive home. Having never experienced driving in the snow will create problems for you, so let your instructor use this opportunity today to teach you how to drive safely in the snow.

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