Monthly Archives: January 2014

January 31, 2014
Confidence in Driving Skills

Do you think you would pass your driving test?

Studies have shown that most drivers who pass their tests are more confident that those who fail at first- suggesting that a there is a strong dependence on your own assumptions of your ability.

If you consider yourself to be a good driver, you are less likely to make mistakes, as you will be more likely to concentrate on your positive driving skills, whereas a nervous driver will be constantly thinking about potential mistakes they could make, leading to them being more likely to make said mistakes and therefore to fail their test.

Other than learner drivers preparing to take their tests, another study has shown that many legal drivers are still concerned about the level of their driving ability, with a large proportion being unsure that they would pass their test if they were to take it again.

What are your thoughts? Are you a good driver, or do you need a couple of refresher lessons?

Let us know in the comments section below!

Safe driving this weekend from Britannia!


January 30, 2014
Are Driving Tests Getting Harder?

Learners and new drivers would argue that the driving test is getting harder, but do experienced drivers agree? The number of first time passes is certainly dropping as is the number of young drivers, with many people leaving learning to drive until later on in life. A reason for this could be that the route to obtaining a full driver’s licence is getting harder.

Britannia looks at the history of the driving test in order to consider this question.

– Voluntary testing was introduced in March 1935 with a Mr J Beene being the first person to pass his driving test, at a cost of seven shillings and sixpence – £22 in today’s money. Compulsory testing began in June the same year. That year the pass rate stood at 63 per cent.

– In 1963, the voluntary register of approved driving instructors (ADIs) was set up meaning that in order to become an ADI, stringent written and practical test must be passed and in 1970, all instructors had to be officially registered.

– In 1975, the requirement of candidates to demonstrate arm signals was removed.

– From 1990, examiners were required to give candidates a brief explanation of faults committed during the test, plus advice on areas for improvement.

– The theory test was introduced in 1996 with the hazard perception test being introduced in 2002.

– Show me, tell me vehicle safety questions were added to the beginning of the practical test in 2003 and in 2010 independent driving became part of the test, with candidates having to drive for 10 minutes making their own decisions.

It is clear, therefore, that further assessments are now required of learners, but also both what is required of instructors and examiners has also developed as well perhaps allowing learners to become more and more prepared for their test in recent years.

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


January 29, 2014
The Development of Smart Motorways

Smart motorways are designed to make use of the hard shoulder and are managed by the Highways Agency regional control centres. They use CCTV so that Highways Agency traffic officers can be deployed to incidents if they occur and help to keep traffic moving.

Different types of smart motorway include:

– Controlled motorway – Controlled motorways have three or more lanes with variable speed limits. The hard shoulder should only be used in a genuine emergency.

– Hard shoulder running – The hard shoulder will be opened at busy times and the speed limit will be reduced. Drivers cannot use the hard shoulder unless overhead signs show that you can do so.

– All Lane running – There is no hard shoulder on these sections of motorway. Variable speed limits must be obeyed and no stopping is to be allowed on the motorway. If a motorists needs to stop in an emergency, they must use an emergency refuge area, motorway service area or leave at the next junction.

– A red X symbol will show that a lane is closed because of an incident or people working in the road.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School says, ‘Making use of the hard shoulder is a great idea overall since traffic will flow better with four lanes instead of three.’

However, Jane Hunt of Britannia Driving School argues, ‘I totally disagree with completely removing the hard shoulder – in the event of an accident, it is going to make people harder to stop and how are emergency services meant to get through?’

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


January 28, 2014
Young Drivers on the Slow-Down

Young drivers seem less likely now to learn to drive, a new study has revealed.

During the peak times of 1995-1997, more than half of males aged 17-20 were driving their own cars. However it seems that this figure has taken a drastic plunge in more recent years, now at a slump just a little over the one-third mark.

The main reasons for this decline are attributed to be the rising costs of learning to drive, as well as the infamous costs of insurance premiums, buying a car, and the general costs of keeping a car on the road.

Another factor prevalent in modern-day travel is the use of mobile phones. Whereas driving your own car requires the driver to maintain focus on the roads at all times, using public travel as an alternative can prove to be more cost-effective, as well as allowing the traveller to spend some quality time on the internet.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Is driving less attractive for young people now than ever? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Safe driving from Britannia!


January 27, 2014
Snow And Flooding To Hit UK

Ice, Snow and Rain is expected across the country whilst much of the South-West are still tackling recent floods. Of all weather conditions, snow and ice require the most care and preparation for driving.

Here are Britannia’s top tips for driving in this weather:

Antifreeze: Check the handbook or ask the dealer for the right type of antifreeze for your car. Some types of antifreeze may need to be changed after two years, check the manufacturer’s service schedule.

Clear snow: Clear all windows and the roof of snow and ice using a de-icer and scraper. Use air conditioning for faster demisting

Visibility: you must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. You may also use front or rear fog lights but these must be switched off when visibility improves as they can dazzle other road users and obscure your brake lights.

Preparation: Give yourself at least 10 minutes extra time to prepare your car, plan routes to favour major roads and allow extra time for your journeys.

Wear comfortable dry shoes for driving.

Pull away: in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch gently.

Speed: Reduce your risk of skidding by reducing your speed.

Brakes: Always apply your brakes gently.

Safe Driving from Britannia!

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


January 24, 2014
Driving After 100

An East Midlands man has shown that good driving is all down to experience… by continuing to drive past the age of 100.

Dennis Garratt, from Uppingham in Rutland, has been driving for over seven decades, and has entered an elite group of less than 200 centenarians in the UK still driving past this landmark.

Dennis learnt to drive back in 1943 whilst serving as a Squadron Leader in the RAF in Italy during the Second World War, and learnt to drive in a small Army truck.

Mr Garratt also employed his newfound driving skills later in the war whilst serving in North Africa, the Middle East and the Sub-Sahara.

Mr Garratt has witnesses a variety of changes in motoring over the years, and despite having to renew his license every three years since being 70, he rejects claims that he is too old to drive, saying “Only I know how I feel and it’s up to me when I want to give up.”

Britannia would like to wish Mr Garratt a very happy future of driving!

What are your thoughts on this article? Let us know your opinions in the comments section below!


January 23, 2014
Court For Driving Through A Puddle

Generally when a driver drives through a puddle, soaking pedestrians in the process, this goes unreported. Not in Essex, however.

A 22-year-old driver in Colchester reportedly failed to slow down after creating a ‘large wave’ that drenched children and their parents on the way to school.

Unluckily for him, there was a police offer in the car behind him who witnessed the incident. The motorist has now been reported for careless driving under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, meaning he could receive a court summons and a £5,000 fine or be ordered to attend a driver awareness course.

The driver was seen going at a relatively fast speed through the puddle resulting in children and parents walking to St George’s Junior School in Colchester getting soaked in cold, dirty rain water.

The police officer who stopped the motorist, PC Mark Hercules, said that the driver’s ‘actions caused distress to the young children’.

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


January 22, 2014
Tax Disc To Be Axed

It has been announced that the tax disc which shows that motorists have paid vehicle excise duty is to be replaced with an electronic system.

The disc, introduced in 1921, is said to be no longer needed with the DVLA and police now relying on an electronic register.

A new option of paying monthly by direct debit will also be introduced and is expected to cost 5% more than paying for a full year in one go.

These changes are expected to come into effect in October 2014.

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


January 21, 2014
Driving Lesson Tips

Learning to drive can be a daunting experience for many, and it is necessary to find the right process for yourself. All pupil’s experiences of learning to drive will be different- some will learn faster than others simply through natural skill, whereas others may take longer to perfect their driving ability. When it comes to your driving lessons, it is best to plan ahead.

First you should consider how you will learn; if you are in a rush to get on the roads, it may be wise to consider an Intensive Course. However beware, the clue is in the name – if you aren’t the best at handling high-pressure learning, then you may want to think twice about this. Also take a moment to consider if you would prefer to learn in an Automatic or Manual car – and consider what options this will leave you with in the future.

Secondly you should find yourself the right driving instructor for you. Whilst you can learn to drive from anyone over 21 years old who has been driving for three years or more, you may want to go for a more experienced and reputable instructor to maximise your chances. Studies have shown that nine out of ten pupils that pass first time were taught to drive by an Advanced Driving Instructor.

Finally, try to multi task – remember to revise for you Theory Test well in advance to give yourself the best chance of passing. Combine your theory knowledge into your practical driving lessons and you will have an advantage above most others!

Safe driving from Britannia!

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


January 20, 2014
First Motorway Pub

Britain’s first motorway pub will be opened by JD Wetherspoon tomorrow. The Hope and Champion, named after the stagecoaches that passed through to and from London, will be opened at the Extra service station next to junction 2 of the M40 near Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

It will be open seven days a week, only closing between 1am and 4am, and is licensed from 9am. It promises not to run any drinks promotions.

There will be hot food until 11pm every day, free tea and coffee refills until 2pm, and soft drinks and real ale from local brewers. Wetherspoons says that it will display drink-driving awareness signs.

Service areas that can be reached only from motorways are still banned from serving alcohol, but this is the first time alcohol will be sold from an outlet signposted to motorway drivers.

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