Car Safety Tips

Here are some basic tips for car safety, that everyone who gets behind the wheel should be adhering to. Firstly, we have the well-known rule of not talking on the phone while driving. However many accidents occur, people still do this and it is very dangerous. When you talk on the phone while driving, your concentration is instantly compromised and your reaction times are lengthened. The same goes for reading or writing text messages, and your phone should be kept firmly away from you.

For the same reason, you should not eat or or drink any liquids while you are driving. If you must drink or eat something, then pull over and park in a safe place. However, it is also important that no matter how careful you are, you insure your car with someone like Aviva. That way if anything does happen, especially if it is not your fault, then you will be protected. Being aware of your surroundings while driving in a car is the best way of ensuring that you do not have an accident, so keep this in mind at all times.

Another important factor that will go a long way to keeping you, and your passengers safe, is to carry out regular checks on your car. This includes making sure that it always has enough petrol, checking the oil and tires regularly and taking it in for any necessary repairs whenever it needs them. Maintaining your car properly is essential to staying safe and preventing accidents, so ensure that you do this often. Always obey road signs and never speed, making sure that you drive sensibly and carefully at all times. If you adhere to these tips, then you should have an enjoyable driving experience, so get out on the road and enjoy your trip.

Christmas drink drive figures released

AccidentsFigures released today have shown that 7,124 drivers were arrested during a month-long drink-drive crackdown over the Christmas period*.   Across all age groups 4.55% of those tested were then arrested, but unfortunately this figure increased in the under 25’s, to 5.73%.

The effects of alcohol

Even a small amount of alcohol (such as half a pint of lager) can affect your reaction times, judgement and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for you to assess your own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means you are more inclined to take risks and believe you are in control when in fact you are not. For these reasons, the only way for drivers to be safe is to not drink anything at all before driving.

It is also impossible to calculate how much alcohol you have in your blood (even if you know exactly how much you have consumed), or how long it will stay in your system. The speed at which alcohol is absorbed into your system (and how quickly your system gets rid of it) depends on a large number of factors, including your sex, weight, metabolism, health and when you last ate. Visit the Brake website to read about the alcohol content of different drinks.

There’s no way of knowing exactly how long it takes to sober up completely after drinking, but it’s longer than many people think. As a rough guide you should allow at least one hour to absorb alcohol, plus at least one hour for each unit consumed – but it could take longer, so you should always leave extra time to be safe. For example, if you finish drinking three pints of strong lager or one bottle of 12% ABV wine (both nine units) at 11pm, you may not be rid of alcohol until at least 9am, but it could take much longer depending on factors such as your weight.

Drug Driving

540 field impairment tests were conducted over the Christmas period (1 December 2011 and the 1 January 2012), with 16.85% of those tested were then arrested.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “It is extremely disappointing but sadly not surprising that, despite three decades of drink-drive education and enforcement, thousands of drivers were caught drinking and driving in just one month.

“Drink driving kills and maims. Provisional figures show that 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents on Great Britain’s roads in 2010 – accounting for 14 per cent of all road fatalities. In addition, 1,230 people were seriously injured and 8,220 people were slightly injured in accidents involving someone who was over the legal alcohol limit. These casualty figures plus today’s Christmas campaign figures from ACPO illustrate the fact that we cannot ease up on the fight to keep drink drivers off our roads.

“On drug driving, we welcome the increase in the number of field impairment tests conducted. However, the number of people arrested on suspicion of drug driving compared to the number of people arrested on suspicion of drink driving shows the need for the expert panel recently announced by the Department for Transport to produce recommendations that will make it easier to detect drivers who are under the influence of illegal drugs.”

Sources: *Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

Dangerous Driving Habits of Learner Drivers Revealed

Dangerous Driving Habits of Learner Drivers Revealed

A revolutionary new test that could save the lives of young drivers has been launched by Driving Test Success. The Safe Driver Test highlights individual personality traits that could trigger dangerous driving habits and, crucially, it can be taken before a learner driver has even set foot in a car.

Free Download

The Safe Driver Test, which has been created for Driving Test Success by Imagitech, in conjunction with psychometric profiling experts at Swansea University, is now available as a free download. It measures key abilities, attitudes and personality traits to detect behaviours that tend to result in elevated driving risk. The pupil is then offered personal advice on what actions they can take to reduce their chances of driving dangerously.

The Facts

In the UK, road deaths are the single biggest killer of young people aged between 15 and 24, with 1 in 5 new drivers having a crash within the first six months of passing their test*.

According to the charity Brake Road Safety, some of the most common factors that adversely affect the driving skills of a new licence holder include:

  • Over-confidence
  • Feeling invincible
  • Poor risk assessment
  • Inability to spot, or react to, developing hazards
  • Peer pressure

About the Safe Driver Test

The Safe Driver Test raises awareness of how an individual’s personality traits, for example being stressed by their work, easily distracted, angry, impulsive or thrill seeking – can directly influence their behaviour behind the wheel. It supports Brake’s call for all young drivers to “have a heart at the wheel” and “drive sober, slow and secure”.

The 35-question test is completely anonymous, no personal data is required and only the test candidate will see the results. It’s also important to stress that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers and no score is given.

Grant Hughes, Brand Director for Driving Test Success, commented: “The Safe Driver Test helps inexperienced drivers recognise that when they step into a car they should be concentrating 100% on being a good driver at all times. We urge schools, road safety officers, driving instructors and parents to ask learner drivers to take this free test. Not only could it change a young person’s driving behaviour for the better, but it could also save their life – and the life of someone close to them.”

Martin Howard, spokesperson at Brake, says: “It is fantastic that Driving Test Success are investing in a product which aims to raise awareness of the impact that a young driver’s personality can have on their driving behaviour. Road crashes are the single biggest killer of young people in the UK, and all efforts to remind young drivers to ‘have a heart’ and stay safe behind the wheel should be applauded.”

It’s important to remember that not all young licence holders drive irresponsibly, but for those who do, their lives could one day change forever – unless they take action now.

For further information, and to take the Safe Driver Test, please visit http://www.drivingtestsuccess.com/safe-driver-test

Please feel free to link to this article and share it with others. For further information please contact Emma Bagnall on 01889 571226 or email e.bagnall@focusmm.co.uk.

(1) DSA, Learning to Drive: a consultation paper (2008)

DfT shows concerns about local road safety delivery

Independent research into local road safety, commissionedby the Department for Transport (DfT), highlights concerns over staff and funding cuts, data analysis and co-ordination between stakeholders (LocalGov.co.uk).

LocalGov.co.uk says that the 3 year project, carried out by AECOM in association with the Tavistock Institute, also found ‘a shift towards route  and area-based treatments, and increasing consideration of specific groups such as motorcyclists, through targeted interventions’.

The report, Delivery of Local Road Safety, says that ‘staff reductions and restructuring are leading to the loss of established core functions and skills, and management input’, and that ‘staff turnover and a lack of succession planning continue to be central threats to effective delivery’.

Mike Penning, road safety minister, said: “We hope the report will be of interest to local authorities who are responsible for decisions on local road safety delivery and evaluation.”

Richard Redfern, AECOM’s regional director for transportation, said: “The evaluation demonstrated that road safety is a complex matter that requires the involvement of numerous agencies, such as the police, fire and rescue services, the Highways Agency, health authorities and other stakeholders.”

Data analysis concerns were raised over the ‘heavy reliance on external or centralised support’, a lack of ‘awareness and expertise in evaluation methodologies and their value’ and the ‘limited capacity to design and undertake a robust evaluation programme’ in local authority education, training and publicity teams.

The report also found the dispersal of road safety activities across regions and departments can lead to lack of co-ordination – in road safety interventions for school-age children, for example.

Focus Multimedia guarantees online Theory Test Success

Driving Test Success has been a familiar brand on UK shop shelves for the last 14 years, but now software publisher Focus Multimedia is looking to the future with a new online Theory Test website.

Following the launch of its Theory Test mobile app in December 2010, Focus is now granting learners online access to everything that can be found on the best-selling  PC DVD-ROM disc. All the official DSA Theory Test questions and answers are available for practice, complete with realistic random mock tests. There’s even a pass guarantee. The second part of the the Theory Test, Hazard Perception, is also covered in depth online, with hundreds of interactive video clips and more mock tests.

Another unique aspect of Driving Test Success Online, is the ability for driving instructors to get involved. The e-learning service can be plugged into the website of any driving school, large or small, allowing them to earn a commission from sales made through their site.

Visit Driving Test Success Online to view the guided tour, or why not take a Theory Test free trial?

1 in 4 British motorists admit to using a mobile phone whilst driving

More than 1 in 4 (27%) of British motorists have admitted to using a mobile phone without a hands free kit whilst out driving. It was also revealed that a shocking 24% of young drivers use social media sites such as Facebook while at the wheel.

1,002 British drivers were surveyed in the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2011 which also revealed that 89% of drivers want stricter application of current laws. The idea of a higher speed limit on motorways also continues to attract support, with 75% wanting a motorway speed limit of more than 70mph.

The report shows that drivers want local roads improved, particularly those they use regularly. This includes potholes repaired properly and better preparation for the increasingly extreme weather conditions we now face most winters.

The report also reveals that motorists are not against alternatives such as electric cars; provided they cost the same or less to buy as existing options and reduce their ongoing cost of motoring.

Road Safety GB Conference 2011

The agenda for the 2011 Road Safety GB conference is now almost complete and includes a number of popular speakers and potentially fascinating presentations.  This year, the conference is titled ‘Road safety in changing times’ and will take place in Chester on the 15 and 16 November.

Professor Stephen Stradling is always a popular conference speaker and his presentation, ‘Diversion from prosecution: returning the crash magnets’, is scheduled for the opening afternoon.

Professor Stradling will share the findings of a study that will be published at around the time of the conference, which is evaluating the re-jigged Speed Awareness Course, the revamped Driver Improvement (now Driver Alertness) Course, and the new RIDE course for errant P2W riders.

Also on the first afternoon, Alun Humphrey, research director at the National Centre for Social Research, will discuss ‘Attitudes to Road Safety’. Alun will present findings from a national survey of people’s attitudes to road safety, and their behaviour, and investigate the relationship between the two.

For further information please visit the Road Safety GB website  or contact Sally Bartrum on 01379 650112 for more details about attending, exhibiting or sponsoring the event.

Men are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a collision than women

Men are more likely than women to be involved in crashes because of bad driving habits, according to a report published by the IAM earlier this year.

Men are nearly twice as likely to be involved in a collision due to being careless, reckless or in a hurry, ‘Licensed to skill: Contributory factors in road accidents’ reveals. They are also more likely to crash because of poor behaviour or inexperience.

However, the study also shows that in some areas women and men aren’t so different when it comes to driving behaviour and attitudes: The majority of men and women enjoy driving, and rate themselves to be confident, considerate and safe. However, almost twice as many men as women claim to be ‘very confident’ drivers.

Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “These results show that we need to look at the psychology of male drivers to reduce risky behaviour and over-confidence, but for both sexes accidents could be easily reduced by improving driver skills and lives could be saved.

“The government is moving towards this by introducing driver training for careless driving offences but all drivers should consider training. Driving is a life-long skill that requires life-long learning.”

Free hi-vis rucksacks for bikers in Leicestershire

If you’re a biker and live in Leicestershire you may be entitled to a free hi-res rucksac that will help reduce accidents and raise motorcycle awareness.  The rucksacks are being given away by Leicestershire County Council and can be collected from any of the county’s 16 police stations and three libraries that are stocking the bags. For more information visit Leicestershire County Council website.

Drivers can escape fines at 86mph

Drivers caught speeding at up to 86mph will be able to avoid penalty points under a new scheme to be adopted by most police forces.

Under the new guidelines ministers will raise the limit at which drivers can escape prosecution, provided they pay to attend a speed awareness course  which costs about £100.  The courses have so far been limited to drivers caught travelling up to ten per cent plus 5mph above the speed limit, but this is being raised to ten per cent plus 9mph.

This means that in a 70mph area, where drivers travelling faster than 79mph should expect to be prosecuted, a driver caught at 86mph can keep a clean license by taking a course – higher than the previous limit of 82mph.

In a 50mph area, where speeds above 57mph usually result in fines, the option of a course will still be available at 64mph, rather than the previous level of 60mph.

Drivers in a 30mph area would usually be prosecuted at 35mph, but the ceiling for those who take courses will be lifted from 38mph to 42mph.

The courses can only be taken by the same driver once every three years, to prevent repeat offenders from abusing the system.

Officials said the guidelines were not fixed and that police chiefs were free to set their own levels.

Read the full story at The Telegraph