Nov 192018
 

Even for confident and experienced drivers, fog can be one of the most daunting (and dangerous!) weather conditions to drive in. With limited visibility, it’s vital that you’re prepared in order to keep you and those you’re sharing the road with safe.

While standard rules of the road of course apply, these 10 tips will help you navigate even extremely dense fog to avoid an accident.

  1. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you. While it’s always important to keep a bit of distance, amid fog, it’s an absolute must. We recommend allowing 3-4 seconds between your car and the car in front of you, giving yourself extra time to brake.
  2. Look and listen. When visibility is low, use your sense of hearing in addition to sight. For example, at a foggy junction, roll down your window to listen to traffic. With this in mind, it’s also wise to turn down – or even turn off – your radio to allow you to focus your attention completely on the road.
  3. Turn your headlights on. This should go without saying. Make sure you turn on your headlights or your fog-lights if visibility is reduced to 100 metres. Also, bear in mind that automatic lights might not turn on in foggy conditions and you can’t rely on them all the time.
  4. Use windshield wipers and defrosters. Foggy conditions often go hand-in-hand with cold or damp conditions and a build-up of moisture and ice can create a glare, making it even more difficult to see. Use your defroster and windshield wipers to make your view of the road as clear as possible.
  5. Slow down! It can be extremely dangerous to drive the speed limit or faster when it’s foggy. Slow down to allow extra time to react to potentially hazardous situations. This will also help enable others on the road to drive more safely.
  6. Don’t use the taillights from the vehicle in front of you as a guide. This is an easy trap to fall in to but using the taillights from the vehicle in front of you could give you a false sense of security. It also acts as a distraction, limiting your awareness of the road and landscape in front of you.
  7. Be aware of the car behind you. Constantly check your mirrors so that you know how close the car behind you is and brake accordingly. If the car behind you is following too closely, resist the urge to speed off. Without being able to see very far ahead, you run the risk of causing an accident. Stick with a safe speed, even if the driver behind you doesn’t seem to want to.
  8. Expect delays. As is the case with other unfavourable weather conditions, fog could cause delays. Wait patiently and don’t attempt to ‘make up time’ by speeding.
  9. Minimise distractions. You should never attempt to multi-task when driving in foggy conditions. Put your phone away, keep conversations with passengers to a minimum, and give your full attention to the road in front of you.
  10. Don’t be afraid to pull over. Only you can determine how comfortable you feel and, if you don’t feel right about being on the road, pull over! But, make sure you pull as far off the road as possible and turn on your hazard lights. Remember that everyone on the road is struggling to see, so make sure you’re well out of the way and do your best to make sure other drivers know where you are. If possible, pull into a service station or car park.

 

Aug 232018
 

Driving LawsIt’s been over a year since the new laws for speeding and mobile phone use behind the wheel were introduced, but have they really made a difference?

Leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct has analysed Department of Justice data from over the past five years, to reveal what impact the new laws have had on the driving behaviours of the general public.

While it might seem extreme that driving laws are becoming increasingly stricter, research has shown how important it is for laws to be in place to prevent reckless driving.

Road safety site, Think, found you’re 4 times more likely to be in a crash if you’re using a mobile phone while driving, and also 4 times more likely to crash while travelling at 40mph than 30mph.

With alarming statistics on the rise, March 2017, saw higher fines issued to people caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel. Punishments were doubled from three points to six points on your licence and a fine of £200 up from £100.

Laws against speeding were also updated on 24 April 2017. Fines increased from a minimum of £100 to up to 150% of a person’s weekly wage. You could also expect to receive up to 6 points on your licence, depending on how much over the speed limit you are caught driving.

To find out how successful these new laws have been at reducing dangerous activity behind the wheel, Warranty Direct compared the number of fines issued before and after the updates were introduced.

The tables below show the number of fines issued from May to December 2017, compared with the number of fines issued in the same period in previous years.

Date range Quantity of fines for speeding
May- Dec 2013 75428
May- Dec 2014 101823
May- Dec 2015 111067
May- Dec 2016 110863
May- Dec 2017 101654

The number of speeding fines issued annually between 2013-2015 increased up to 68%. Although there was a slight reduction in 2016, after the new fines were introduced, not only did the number of fines continue to decrease but they dropped by 8.5%.

2017 data recorded the lowest number of fines for 4 years, and if this drop continues next year, the number issued for speeding will drop below 100,000 for the first time since 2013 (to 93,000).

Date range Quantity of fines for mobile usage
Mar- Dec 2013 14974
Mar- Dec 2014 14970
Mar- Dec 2015 14027
Mar- Dec 2016 11052
Mar- Dec 2017 6175

Fines for using a mobile phone while driving decreased even more dramatically. The number issued dropped 44% in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, and by 59% compared to 5 years prior in 2013.

It’s clear from this steep decline, drivers have taken note of the updated punishments for breaking the latest driving laws and being more cautious on the roads.

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct commented on the findings:

“It’s great to see these updated driving laws have had a significant, positive impact on driving behaviours, in such a short space of time.

“I don’t believe it’s just the increased financial penalties influencing people’s driving behaviour either, as motoring authorities have increased their efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving.

“We fully support any new measures which make our roads safer for both drivers and pedestrians. I believe more motorists are truly beginning to understand the consequences of speeding and using their mobile phones at the wheel.

Apr 122018
 

Warranty Direct examines DVSA data revealing findings linked to UK driving test changes

April, 2018 – A leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, has analysed over 10 years’ worth of test data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), to reveal the most common reasons people fail their driving tests, with some interesting results:

# The top 5 reasons for test candidates failing driving tests 2006-2017
1 Observation at junctions
2 Use of mirrors (when changing direction)
3 Reverse park/left reverse
4 Control (steering)
5 Junctions (turning right)

It’s interesting to see reverse manoeuvres were two of the most common reasons people failed their tests, as the ‘reverse around a corner’ and ‘turn-in-the road’ are no longer being examined in the practical driving test.

While the DVSA states you should still be taught these in lessons, some instructors have warned replacing them with more real-life scenarios, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking bay, will make it easier for learners to pass and won’t teach them ‘real-life dangers’.

This reasoning may not be as far-fetched as it sounds. 2017 had the highest pass rate out of 11 years’ worth of DVSA data. The UK pass rate is currently at 47 percent and has risen by 4 percent since 2006, when the national pass rate was only 43 percent.

The number of tests passed with 0 faults has also gone up massively in the last year. Back in 2006, this figure was only at 3,329. However, the DVSA results from 2016/2017 show this has gone up over 400 percent, with 17,950 people passing tests with 0 faults.

However, professionals in the industry have defended the new test changes saying it now reflects real life driving and people who pass it will have more confidence when driving solo.

While the DVSA has listed five driving tasks learners clearly struggle with, there were also a number which they completed with more success.

The majority of candidates seemed to fair well when being tested on how they responded to signals and road markings and had general, good road positioning, when assessed under test conditions.

Simon Ackers, Warranty Direct’s Chief Executive Officer commented on the results:

“Looking over the last ten years’ worth of DVSA driving test data has been particularly insightful and it’s surprising to see some of the biggest reasons for failing are for less complex driving tasks. It will be interesting to discover the 2018/2019 pass rate and what impact the new changes have on future test results.”


Warranty Direct is a trading style of BNP Paribas Cardif Limited. BNP Paribas Cardif Limited is a company, registered in England and Wales No. 3233010 at Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 2XX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Register No.309075.

Jul 012016
 

 Stop

Three new models recently launched by European manufacturers have been independently tested for safety by Euro NCAP. The Alfa Romeo Giulia, the SEAT Ateca and the VW Tiguan all reached five stars with safety equipment which is fitted as standard throughout the European Union.

From the beginning of this year, Euro NCAP applies a Dual Rating scheme where the default rating issued is based on standard safety equipment available throughout the range. Manufacturers may apply for a second rating, showing the additional safety provided by an optional pack, however, the Giulia, Ateca and Tiguan come with superior standard safety equipment as standard throughout Europe.

All three vehicles offer autonomous emergency braking (AEB) systems that help to avoid or mitigate collisions between cars and with pedestrians. Testing of this important safety technology was introduced by Euro NCAP in 2014 for car crashes and this year for pedestrian crashes. The car industry has responded quickly and is fitting an increasing number of models with these life-saving systems.

Secretary General, Michiel van Ratingen, said: ‘Euro NCAP shows what can be achieved when governments, consumer groups and motoring clubs from across Europe collaborate. Together, we can exert an influence on the car industry that would be hard to achieve otherwise. We are glad to see some of the major manufacturers making safety equipment standard across EU28, although we know that markets outside the Eurozone are sometimes less well served.’

Feb 252015
 

P1090618 copyRoad safety charity, Brake and Direct Line released data on drivers’ attitudes when it comes to vehicle safety checks and basic maintenance.  Almost half of respondents admitted to driving with at least one risky vehicle problem or defect.  So what they need is the reassurance of a warranty.

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the professional body for the motor industry which is campaigning for the licensing of the retail motor trade, believes fears of being over-charged or given poor service by garages are probably contributing to motorists’ attitudes.

Over a quarter (26%) of motorists surveyed** by the IMI last year said that they wouldn’t feel confident challenging a bill because of technical jargon used and 1 in 10 said they don’t like visiting a garage because they feel they are not treated with respect.

Here is the best reason for having a warranty where the claims procedure will protect the motorist and ensure that the repairs are carried out properly. If you would like to learn more visit Warranty Direct or call us on 0800 731 7001 to see how much you could save with a warranty!