Blogs and Comment

Highways England’s new tailgating campaign hasn’t been invading my space

Highways England has launched its campaign to reduce the amount of tailgating on our roads. Called ‘Don’t be a space invader’ their research suggests that tailgating is ‘the biggest single bugbear drivers have about other road users’ and I wouldn’t disagree. We all know that someone driving dangerously close can be intimidating, unsettling and threatening. From E-Training World’s driver risk and training activity in the insurance sector, we also know that ‘hitting 3rd party in the rear’ contributes up to 30% of claims. But is this campaign high profile enough for people to take notice and change their ways? While…

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Is unsafe driving down to bad habits?

There’s a fascinating book by Charles Duhigg called ‘The Power of Habit’, which looks at ‘why we do what we do’ and why we live our lives in a certain way. To summarise, a habit is formed of three key elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Take the example of arriving home after a long day at work. The cue is walking into the house and putting tea on. The habit is opening a bottle of wine and pouring a glass. The reward – a sense of relaxation and closure on the working day. On a healthier note,…

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Pavement parking – is it time to impose a UK-wide ban?

The Department for Transport has been considering putting a UK-wide end to pavement parking, bringing the rest of the nation into line with the capital. Pavement parking creates danger for many people including the blind and partially sighted, wheelchair users, the elderly and mothers with prams. As most London drivers should already know, it has been law in the capital since 1974 that drivers ‘must not park partially or wholly on the pavement in London and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it’. (Highway Code rule 244). You can get a fine for parking on the pavement in…

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Drivers admit it! Half of them break the law when driving!

Recent research has shown that almost half (49%) of British motorists admit to breaking traffic laws, which equates to 10.5 million drivers based on DVLA records for the UK. The survey by Whocanfixmycar.com reveals the staggering number of drivers who knowingly break the law but don’t believe they’ll be caught, reflecting an incredibly poor attitude towards driving by many motorists. Considering the high numbers of drivers identified through our online driver profiling systems who also have a glaring lack of knowledge, it makes me wonder how many others are breaking the law without realising they’re doing it. Attitude and knowledge…

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What’s more dangerous? An unsafe vehicle or an unsafe driver?

The 20 May sees the new MOT come into force, with vehicle defects being placed in one of three categories; dangerous, major or minor. Dangerous means ‘do not drive until the vehicle is repaired’. Major means ‘repair it immediately’. Minor means ‘repair as soon as possible’. When I look at our driver profiling system, it feels to me that the MOT is starting to mirror the way we have always categorised drivers. We put them into one of three categories too; high, medium or low risk. Reading about the new MOT it struck me, not for the first time, how…

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Collision caught on BBC news report shows how easy it is to be distracted at the wheel

If you watched the BBC news report regarding Ant McPartlin’s trial for drink driving, you may have noticed how easily drivers can become distracted. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-43790415/car-collision-outside-ant-mcpartlin-sentencing As a mass of news reporters gathered outside the courtroom, clearly causing passing motorists to look, it resulted in a collision on live TV. Many drivers still seem to believe its worth the risk to take their eyes off the road to glance at a text, change their playlist, alter their SatNav or look at what’s happening around them – such as rubbernecking on the motorway. Yet, this BBC footage just goes to show how…

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Are we passing on deadly habits to the next generation of drivers?

Many people reading this will have kids. If they’re not yet 17 it probably hasn’t crossed your mind that every time they’re in the car they’re observing what you do. Lets face it, the way you driver now will influence their habits later. After all, kids learn from their parents. So, can you say ‘hand-on-heart’ that you’re setting a good example to your children or any other young passengers in your vehicle? You haven’t sent a quick text while they’re in the car with you? Made the occasional phone call without being hands free? Set the SatNav on the move,…

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Does a lack of knowledge really matter?

A survey by Halfords revealed that more than half of UK drivers do not know the basic rules of driving. 10 questions posed to 4,500 drivers ranged from road signs to the drink driving laws, with 59% of participants failing the test and only 11% answering all questions correctly. This may come as a shock to many people but I’m not surprised at all. E-Training World’s online driver risk assessment is broken down into 4 sections; namely ‘Attitude’, ‘Knowledge’, ‘Concentration/Observation’ and ‘Hazard Perception’. The section that repeatedly causes drivers the biggest problem is the knowledge section, with more than a…

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Will we ever see the use of mobile phones banned in vehicles?

It’s been an offence to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving for years, yet every day we see drivers using their mobiles. If we accept that driving whilst on the phone is a dangerous thing to do, you’d have thought the Government would have just decided to ban the use of mobile phones altogether (whether hand held or hands free). Maybe the Government doesn’t think it is dangerous to make and receive calls when driving which is why they haven’t imposed the ban. Well that’s clearly not the case because The Department for Transport’s Think! Website states, ‘Drivers…

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Why do drivers rarely learn from their mistakes?

Lets look at some common phrases you’re likely to hear regarding a collision. ‘Accidents happen’ ‘Never admit liability’ ‘It wasn’t my fault’ ‘The car in front slammed its brakes on’ ‘He came out of nowhere’ Now lets consider some others. ‘I got it wrong’ ‘I was driving too close’ ‘I wasn’t paying attention’ ‘My driving was very poor’ ‘I caused the collision’. I’m sure all fleet managers would agree that they hear far more of the first set of phrases than the second. Its part of a much greater problem that most drivers still believe that accidents can’t be avoided…

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Mobile phone obsession could lead to problems down the line

If, like me, you have kids you’re probably exasperated by their obsession with mobile phones. In their lives, the phone is the number one priority. Nothing else comes close. You can be in the middle of an important conversation, the phone beeps and their shutters go down. Whatever you were talking about is, effectively, over – replaced by the message or notification that’s arrived. Even if, during a family meal, you ban them from looking at their phones, you know that if one goes off in a child’s pocket their attention is gone. They may not be allowed to look,…

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Posthumous whole life costs could pinpoint where the problems lie

Whole life costs, which include a vehicle’s depreciation, SMR (service, maintenance and repair), fuel and road fund tax, are commonplace in establishing company car policies and budget setting. Yet, these pre-event costs can only include current and forecasted data, which leaves a few things out. A vehicle’s true cost will depend on how it’s driven. The number of accident repairs, actual fuel usage, the real maintenance cost caused by poor or aggressive driving and its use of tyres and brakes. I’m sure many contract hire and fleet management companies can report on most of this when the vehicle is returned,…

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