Road safety

Weirdest world records with cars

weirdest world records
Pogo champ Dalton Smith in action jumping three cars (Picture Nissan)

The fastest speed going backwards, pulling cars with your teeth and even kissing them. There seems to be no end to the lengths people will go to in order to get their name in lights with Guinness World Records.

After American Scott Burner recently grabbed the record for the fastest ever drive in reverse, we thought we’d hunt down some of the weirdest world records involving cars.

Pogo-ing into the record books

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Proof of why tired drivers pose a threat to other road users

tired drivers
Being tired at the wheel can have potentially lethal consequences (Picture iStock/LSOPhoto)

It’s obvious driving and sleepiness don’t mix. But some new research shows just how much of a threat tired drivers can pose to other road users.

It’s not only nodding off at the wheel that can be dangerous. Tired drivers struggle to anticipate hazards, drive too quickly and aren’t as aware of other road users. They’re all the traits we associate with drink driving. Hardly surprising that statistics show driver fatigue may play its part in up to one in five road crashes.

How was the study carried out?

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The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower is here for vehicles

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard is a discrete way to show that you have some form of disability (that may not be immediately obvious). This could be any condition, impairment, illness, or disability that impacts day-to-day life.

The lanyard has been a great help for people all over the country, as it lets others know that they may need some extra help, support, or even just a bit more time in certain situations. And now, National Highways has announced the Sunflower is here for vehicles.

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Test how well you know the Highway Code with our road safety quiz

The government is considering changing the priorities drivers enjoy on the road. It wants to improve road safety by protecting vulnerable road users such as cyclists.

However, safety charity IAM RoadSmart surveyed drivers. This revealed drivers didn’t like the idea. Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) think giving more priority to cyclists and pedestrians over cars will cause more arguments.

IAM RoadSmart policy director Neil Greig claimed if the rules are changed, drivers need to be educated properly. He said: “The Department for Transport needs to be realistic about the impact simply changing a seldom-read document will have on the behaviour and safety of road users.” Take our quiz to find out how well you know the Highway Code.

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Law changes wanted to crack down on drivers not wearing seat belts

Around a quarter of people killed in car crashes aren’t wearing seatbelts (Picture iStock/Skynesher)

Chances are, every time you get into a car you put your seat belt on. More than nine out of 10 of us do. But the small number of drivers who incredibly don’t buckle up in case they crease their clothes are dramatically increasing their chances of dying in a car crash.

The risks of not belting yourself into a car are revealed in a new report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) in association with Direct Line. The panel of MPs wants the government to increase the penalties for not wearing safety belts.

The most high-profile victim not properly restrained in a car was Diana, Princess of Wales. But she died in 1997 and road safety campaigners believe drivers need to be reminded of the dangers of driving without seat belts.

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Expert advice: try my car cold weather hacks on freezing mornings

cold weather hacks

Follow our tips below and this need not be you (Picture iStock/sonsam)

Standing outside on freezing cold mornings scraping ice off your car has to be down there with visits to the dentist and paying tax. All are necessary for very good reasons but that doesn’t make them enjoyable.

I can’t help you with your teeth or tax, but I can give you some pointers to make it easier to get your car ready for the road in the mornings.

Air-con’s your friend

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MOT changes reveal how many ‘dangerous’ cars are on Britain’s roads

MOT changes

Changes to Britain’s MOT test prove an alarming number of cars are on our roads in a potentially lethal state. Official figures show that nearly a third (32 per cent) of MOT failures were due to a dangerous defect.

In numbers, that’s 1.13m cars categorised as ‘dangerous’ after failing their MOT between the introduction of the revised test in May 2018 and the end of the year. This means the car is considered an immediate risk to road safety. The owner is then banned from driving the car until it’s been made road legal again.

However, the Government’s Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) says more than half of MOT failures are preventable. Drivers, it says, could avoid the money and aggravation that an MOT failure can cause by conducting simple maintenance.

What are the MOT changes?

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Expert comment: our New Year’s resolutions will help prevent breakdowns

New Year's resolutions

Do you keep to your New Year’s resolutions? Or do you forget them as soon as you’ve made them? No matter how quickly you give up going to the gym three times a week, I hope you’ll stick to the five resolutions here. Not only might they save you a heap of money before the year’s out; they could also prevent you having to sit at the roadside in a conked-out car.

Some recent research found that millions of drivers don’t even perform the most rudimentary maintenance to prepare their motor for winter. Here’s a handful of checks that will keep your car motoring long after memories of New Year’s parties have faded.

New Year’s resolution 1: check the oil

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Quiz: 12 tasty motoring teasers from 2018

Quiz 2018

How well do you remember 2018? Our fun quiz looks at some of the news from the year just gone. Laws to do with car tax, the MOT test and learner drivers all changed. And there was plenty of eyebrow-raising research too.

How much attention were you paying? Take our test to find out. And don’t worry if you get any of them wrong: our questions have been designed to help you become a better, safer driver. Here we pose 12 teasers – one from every month of the year – to see how much you remember.

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