This is what the Christmas break will mean for more than half a million drivers
Driving home for Xmas with the family is waning in popularity. But of the millions of car owners who do make the trip home for Christmas, 510,000 will be delayed on the way by a conked out car. According to Green Flag research, between December 24th and 29th, there will be a breakdown every six seconds.
Throughout December and January, Green Flag warns there will be 900,000 breakdowns. Despite that, only 23 per cent of drivers now carry a tool kit in their car. However, 41 per cent do have a first aid kit; 44 per cent will be carrying water and 74 per cent of British drivers will be armed with their trusty ice scraper.
It’s a scenario familiar to many drivers: the phone rings and it’s your wife asking to be collected from the train station. But you’ve drunk more than one glass of wine with dinner and you’re not really sure whether it’s a good idea to get behind the wheel.
It isn’t. At least, that’s the message from Think!, the road safety campaigning arm of the Department for Transport (DfT). Its seasonal Christmas driver safety adverts remind drivers that they mustn’t give in to peer pressure to drink and drive.It also tells drinkers that they shouldn’t pressure drivers into joining them for ‘just one more’ before they hit the road. It comes in response to DfT figures that show the number of casualties in the UK caused by drink drivers increased in 2014 compared to the previous year. Continue reading →
Even if you’re as handy behind the wheel as Lewis Hamilton, Britain’s three-time Formula One World Champion, and drive one of the most sophisticated supercars money can buy, accidents can happen. Fortunately for Hamilton, no one else was involved in his slightly embarrassing car crash in Monte Carlo. But it shows that a moment’s loss of concentration could lead to a costly crunch. In such an event, which are the safest family cars in an accident?
Euro NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) is an independent, not-for-profit car safety organisation that subjects most new cars to simulated accidents and measures how well they’ll protect passengers and pedestrians.
Drivers think texting at the wheel is a bigger safety threat than drink driving
Did you know that being a regular driver can make your reaction times quicker than not driving? Or that for some people, not having enough sleep has as much of a negative effect on their ability at the wheel as having too much to drink? The startling results come after a new internet game was released to give drivers the chance to test their reactions.
With distressing video footage released from a young driver crash, the importance of driving courses for novices was once again highlighted.
The film was released when the parents of two young drivers killed in a drug-driving accident gave police their permission. It was salvaged from 21 year-old Michael Owen’s smartphone after his Renault Clio was crashed by friend Kyle Careford, 20. The pair from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, veered off the road and crashed through a church wall. They were under the influence of drugs and had been driving at speeds of up 90mph along narrow lanes near Crowborough, Sussex.
Owen’s mother Kat said: “If all this stops one person from making the same mistake, then some good has come from showing this video.” Young or inexperienced drivers can also put themselves forward for additional driving courses that can help make them safer, more observant drivers. Here are four courses that should do the job. Continue reading →
Regular oil and filter changes should be a routine part of car ownership
When it comes to finding out whether drivers should use engine flush products or fuel additives, the internet will send you round in circles. Some say the products, added to a car’s oil or fuel to clean the engine’s internal moving parts and boost performance, are worth their weight in motor-protecting gold. Others claim they’re not worth the time or the effort.
The basic theory behind both these kinds of products is that by running them through the engine, you’ll clean out any deposits left by the engine’s combustion process. Proving whether they work is easier said than done. Here’s what the experts say. Continue reading →
Stress experts say deep breaths could stop drivers getting angry at the wheel
Stressed out drivers seem to be a fundamental part of modern motoring. Whether the anxiety shows itself through rude gestures, driving aggressively or ignoring basic good manners and the rules of the road it’s there, eating away at many of us.
In 2015, the UK government’s Health and Safety Executive claims that more than 105 million work days a year are lost in the UK through stress, costing employers £1.24 billion. Stress is such a problem that in 2015 Jaguar Land Rover revealed it’s developing a range of in-car technologies aimed at reducing the number of stressed and distracted drivers. Unfortunately, they’re still a number of years away from being fitted to cars we can buy. So to help drivers stay chilled behind the wheel, here are some stress busting tips that can be put to good use today. Continue reading →
Confusing? Our roadsides are becoming increasingly cluttered with signs
If you’ve seen a pointless road sign near you, its days could be numbered. The government wants to get to grips with the increasingly confusing number of signs that are sprouting at the side of our roads. It is planning new-look signs and wants to give councils the power to cull confusing and pointless road signs.
A road sign review was ordered after it emerged that the number of road signs has doubled over the last 20 years. It wants to help drivers focus on what’s important by removing any pointless road signs – what road safety experts call ‘visual noise’ – from the road side. The fear is that the growing number of pointless road signs is contributing to an increasing number of road deaths. Department for Transport (DfT) figures for 2014 show that the number of road fatalities increased by four per cent compared to the year before. Continue reading →
Rugby World Cup matches equal large crowds which means congested roads around grounds
The roads worth avoiding during the Rugby World Cup have been revealed by Green Flag – and surprisingly they’re not all in London. In fact the analysis, carried out during September 2015, revealed that Elland Road in Leeds is expected to be the most congested rugby ground in the country.
The Rugby World Cup climaxes at Twickenham on the outskirts of London on Saturday October 31. Green Flag data reveals that more than half a million breakdowns will take place in the UK during the course of the tournament. That’s a breakdown every seven seconds. Continue reading →
Traffic jams across the UK are causing drivers to lose an average of 30 hours a year. Monitoring service Inrix claims that London is Europe’s most congested city with the average driver squandering 96 hours a year because of traffic jams. Next up was Greater Manchester with 52 hours followed by Merseyside with 37 hours, the data released in August 2015 said.
However, it’s in the Midlands where the biggest increases have been seen, with congestion up by 37 per cent (to 30 hours) in North Staffordshire and 33 per cent (to 28 hours) in Coventry. Continue reading →