Posts filed under 'speeding'
Ministers are considering plans to introduce a ‘graduate licence’ scheme under which learner drivers will need to drive under supervision for at least 12 months, and they could be restricted from driving at night. swiftcover.com has said that if this scheme was introduced we could see insurance premiums for younger drivers reduce by at least 10%.
Younger drivers tend to pay higher premiums for their car insurance as they are the riskiest drivers on the road. The Daily Mail recently reported that 1000 people a year are killed in crashes involving drivers aged 17 – 25
Craig Staniland, underwriting director for swiftcover.com “Introducing a scheme that would limit the time young and newly qualified drivers spend on the road, particular during potentially dangerous periods such as at night, would enable teenaged drivers to get valuable road experience under safer conditions and help instil a great sense of responsibility and safety. If this also cuts the number of road accidents involving young people, not only would it save lives it would also bring down the cost of insurance premiums for younger drivers.”
November 9th, 2010
The number of car insurance scams is on the rise. The insurance fraud bureau estimated that around 30000 accidents were staged last year, costing insurance companies millions.
According to the Guardian, Birmingham is now the UK’s top fraud hotspot. Fraudsters usually brake suddenly on a clear road or on a roundabout causing the driver behind them to crash into the back of their car. The fraudster ends up claiming for personal injury and for the car damage, and it often looks like the innocent person who crashed into the back of them is at fault. The fraudsters tend to target single mums or the elderly who are less likely to cause any issues.
Police and insurance companies are continually investigating insurance scams and aiming to cut down the amount of fraudulent claims.
Click here to watch BBC’s recent documentary on crash for cash claims.
September 10th, 2010
There is now a new way to help slow down speeding motorists and it’s an environmentally friendly way too.
A scheme in the village of Martham recently revealed that speeding can be reduced by planting trees. Rows of trees and hedges were planted along side the road in the village to create a more crowded effect, and as a result the average speed of drivers reduced by two or three miles per hour.
Mike Huke, Chairman of Martham Parish Council said:
I would say the whole thing is first class and has been a double bonus for Martham. Not only has it reduced speeding it has softened the landscape and has attracted more wildlife.
September 9th, 2010
A common debate which has been going on as long as I can remember is whether woman or men are better drivers. If you ask a group of men what they think they are likely to say men are better drivers, however many organisations and insurance provides are specialising in products for female drivers.
A recent survey done by confused.com found that women take longer to pass their driving tests. The average women needs 21 lessons before they are able to pass the test, whilst men take 17 lessons on average. Females were also found to be more nervous before a test so this fact could be down to nerves rather than bad driving.
A study which came up last year found that women take 20 seconds longer to park than men. However it is thought that this is because men have greater spatial awareness and coordination which helps them better assess where the car is moving to.
When it comes to road safety it seems that men have a bit to learn according to figures from the road safety charity Brake. More than 80 per cent of all drunk or drug charges, careless driving convictions, speeding offences and convictions for neglecting traffic signs were brought against men in 2008.
This is probably a debate which will never end but all these facts show that its not just females who need to shop around for car insurance, males should also think about shopping around for the cheapest cover.
July 19th, 2010
Recent research by swiftcover.com found that 40% of people would choose to drive route 66 as their dream holiday driving experience, making it the most popular motoring experience among UK drivers. The route, which is 2,500 miles, starts in Chicago on the East Coast and runs through a number of states before ending in Los Angeles.
The research also found that:
40% of people would choose to drive Route 66 as their dream driving adventure
14% of people would love to drive a supercar like a Ferrari or Lamborghini
14% would like to have a 4×4 off-road adventure
8% would choose to drive the winding mountain roads of Switzerland or Italy
So why not live your driving dreams this summer! Just make sure you use a reputable experience provider such as Red Letter Days.
July 2nd, 2010
For all those speed camera haters it brings me great pleasure to announce that more of the dreaded Yellow boxes could be switched off - Bournemouth are considering following in Swindon’s footsteps and removing its fixed speed cameras according to a recent report by the Bournemouth Daily Echo.
A committee has been set up to discuss the necessity of the cameras just two weeks after Swindon became the first town in the UK to turn off five of them because the council claimed the £320,000 maintenance bill was too high.
There are 20 speed cameras in the south coast town of Bournemouth - which has a Conservative council - and the committee are said to be investigating whether or not the cameras actually help prevent accidents or reduce car speeds.
So it could only be a matter of time before Bournemouth’s motorists start celebrating the demise of the speed camera.
August 18th, 2009
We all know the risks of driving while under the influence of alcohol and now a new study has shown that texting while driving is even worse.
The RAC Foundation has found that the average reaction times for driving slowed by a third (35%) while the driver was writing or reading a text. This compares to 12% for those who drank alcohol and 21% who had taken cannabis. The study was carried out in simulators using drivers aged between 17 and 24.
Apparently as many as 50% of drivers aged between 17 and 24 admit to texting while driving. The study showed that when texting the drivers lost concentration and drifted out of lanes and had poorer steering control. The Times reports that the steering control of texters was 91% poorer than those drivers concentrating fully on the road.
There has also been more recent call to ban smoking when driving. This was highlighted back in 2007 when there were concerns that the ban on smoking in public places may encourage people to smoke more in their cars. Like drinking, eating and using your mobile phone, smoking is a very dangerous distraction. If you are trying to light a cigarette or if you drop a cigarette when you are driving your attention is immediately taken off of the road and this makes you much more likely to have an accident.
Unfortunately some innocent people have lost their lives due to these kinds of distractions. There are new laws coming in that could see drivers being jailed for up to five years if they cause a death while using their mobile phone, applying make up or eating and drinking. If you need to have a cigarette, have something to eat or need to contact someone on your phone, then pull over and do it safely, don’t put other innocent people and yourself in danger.
September 24th, 2008
The Telegraph has reported that men behave like Cavemen when behind the wheel.
Personally I’m a bit fed up with drivers who think that they own the road. Speed limits are there for a reason, particularly in certain built up areas, and whilst I admit that I don’t stick exactly to the speed limit, I try not to exceed it too badly. It really annoys me when other drivers feel the need to drive within 2 inches of my rear bumper trying to either make me drive faster or move out of their way. People have absolutely no patience or manners on the roads.
In a report for the Commons transport committee, Professor Geoffrey Beattie of Manchester University puts this down to our men’s caveman routes. He concluded: “Our 21st-century skulls contain essentially ’stone-age’ brains and this can help to explain the differences between the sexes in terms of their risk-proneness while driving.” He said: “Stone-age man did not drive. But the legacy of his hunting, aggressive and risk-taking past - qualities that enabled him to survive and mate, thereby passing on his genes to future generations - are still evident in the way in which he typically drives his car.”
However, I am not sure that it is just men that drive like Cavemen. I am constantly shocked to see some women driving like complete maniacs on our roads and often being verbally abusive. And it is often the younger drivers that feel that they own the road and have more to prove. Unfortunately it is this behaviour that leads to many tragic accidents on our roads today.
April 22nd, 2008
New government plans revealed recently could mean that speeding motorists get six points (and a £100 fine) instead of the current three points (and a £60 fine). This increased tariff could mean drivers being banned after just two instances of driving over the speed limit - having duly accumulated 12 points.
Is this a good thing? Will it help drive home the message that ‘thou shalt not speed’? Or, are we just going to see thousands of perfectly safe drivers banned, fined and forced to pay increased insurance premiums?
It’s a hard one to answer: on one hand there is the argument - forwarded by motoring campaign group Safe Speed -that going over the speed limit does not automatically make you a dangerous driver, yet, on the other hand there is the simple arguement that rules are rules - break them and pay the consequences.
It is worth noting that amidst the furore, and ahead of the planned government consultation, Jim Fitzpatrick the Transport Minister did note that the six point punishment was intended only for those who are excessively speeding - not just drifting over the limit, but way beyond it, so say 45mph in a 30mph zone, 70mph in a 50 zone, and 94mph in a 70mph zone. On this basis, the proposal does seem to have merit: at these speeds we are surely not talking about careful drivers but ones with no heed for the legal limits, who presumably believe it to be safe, or else a worthwhile or acceptable risk, to drive way over the limit. Surely, were this to be introduced, this could only help make our roads safer? Let’s see what emerges from the consultation…
November 9th, 2007
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the speed limit on residential roads. First, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) came out last week and said they were in favour of dropping the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph, and that this would halve the number of road deaths.
Then London Mayor Ken Livingstone reiterated that he would like to see 20mph limit introduced in every residential street in London - and said that trials would begin next year using wireless cameras - a move that will mean less time and money spent on road humps. Money aside, there are other potential benefits too, since roads should be safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
So far so good, unless you are the Association of British Drivers (ABD) who claim that 20mph will see more accidents.
The reason? Well, according to Nigel Humphries, ABD spokesperson: “Concentration, alertness, and observation are fundamental factors required for safe driving, which are maximised by the driver setting a speed appropriate for the prevailing road conditions. Forcing drivers to travel below an appropriate speed is therefore detrimental to road safety.” Apparently, the concern is that drivers will spend so much more time reading their speedometer to ensure that they are not breaking the 20mph limit that they will be more likely to not be looking at the road ahead.
Opposing these views, some might argue that drivers get a feel for the speed they are travelling at and will quickly know what 20mph feels like or that it only takes a fraction of a second to glance at one’s speed. Others might argue that the ticketing process can allow for a 2-3mph margin of error, and that in any case statistics show that at 20mph, the results of being hit by a car are far less likely to be serious as at 30mph (serious injury likely) or 40mph (death likely). Yet then, ABD come back with more concerns namely that “a 20 mph speed limit will cause more congestion and increase vehicle emissions” and that (anti-speed cam lobbyists) “Safe Speed has already pointed out that DfT figures for 2006 show that there were more killed or seriously injured casualties in 20 mph zones than in 30 mph zones.”
They say that in war, the first casualty is the truth - and as the residential speed limit debate rages it will be interesting to see what issues are drawn into the battleground. Saving lives and money sounds good, but will this be at the expense of the environment? Doubtless we are likely to see all manner of statistics bandied about in the coming months. Before it gets too out of hand though, it might be worth noting that average car speeds in the UK have just been are reported to be amongst the slowest in Europe (London at 11.8mph is the slowest with Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Belfast all averaging under 20mph).
In this scenario, you have to wonder whether an official reduction from 30 to 20mph would actually make much difference!
October 25th, 2007