Crashes in the UK that involved a driver being distracted by a mobile phone has risen by 20% over the past 3 years. It has increased by 5% from 2012 to 2013 with the RAC stating that something needs to be done. RAC chief engineer David Bizley said that it needs to become ‘as unacceptable as drink-driving,
‘We are … calling on the police to enforce the current laws on the use of hand-held phones while driving more effectively.
‘This must be supported by a high-profile, government-funded road safety campaign that makes using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
Mr Bizley said: ‘A report by the Transport Research Laboratory in June this year demonstrated that talking on a hand-held phone while driving causes a 46 per cent reduction in reaction speeds, compared to 13 per cent for drivers drinking to the legal limit. This is extremely compelling and puts into perspective the dangers of using a phone while driving.’
He added: ‘We feel there is currently a high level of acceptability which is something both this government, and the next administration that takes over in May 2015, needs to address as a matter of urgency if we are to prevent the number of accidents continuing to rise.’
Three quarters of motorists say that they regularly see motorists using a mobile phone when driving, but 8% admit to doing it themselves.
You currently get 3 points and a £100 fine for using your phone behind the wheel, but the significant rise from 378 accidents to 422 means that this will have to get stricter.
Last updated: 21 March 2017
You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone.
Police are enforcing stricter rules on motorists ‘crashing for cash’. There has been a significant increase in the amount of convictions made over the past months, with
Three men receiving convictions from Reading, for targeting motorists in a bid to receive compensation as part of the crash for cash scam. Two men were also jailed and a further two given a suspended sentence at Liverpool crown court.
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) insurance fraud rose by 18% in 2013, with a record £1.3billion claimed by motorists.
Although some of the claims are legit and motorists are entitled to compensation post accident, some of the money has been given too generously as motorists increase the claim by adding items such as stolen phones, damaged goods or exaggerated injury.
On the other scale there is organised gangs that put motorists in danger by causing accidents so they can claim off the insurance. The trend known as ‘crash for cash’ is a growing trend that is increasing at a worrying rate, meaning police are trying to put a stop to it.
There was an increase of 51% on the claims for whiplash as ‘crash for cash’ costs the industry more than £10 million a year .
‘Crash for cash’ fraud happens when innocent drivers are forced to collide with a car by the motorist in front slamming on their breaks for no reason or having their break lights disabled. The motorist behind receives a claim on their insurance for both whiplash, damage and other injuries.
As a bid to clamp down on the fraud The Ministry of Justice is taking a number of steps. These include courts being able to refuse compensation to people found to be exaggerating claims, panels of independent medical practitioners will be introduced to diagnose victims of whiplash to ensure their claim is legit and lawyers will be banned from giving out incentives such as ipads to cover a claim.
Hopefully these first steps will help combat the problem and save the industry millions of pounds over the coming years.
When on the road be aware of the dangers you could face and look out for drivers indicating to turn right or left as they may continue to drive when you pull out.
Also always keep a safe distance behind the car in front to ensure you always have enough room to perform an emergency break when needed.
11 years from now cars will be more developed than ever before. Even though we still won’t have the ever anticipated hoover car, we will have a few ‘cool’ and welcomed extras to make driving safer for motorists.
Although this is already a feature available in some new cars, it is believed in 6 years time rear-view cameras will be a standard accessory of all new cars. The added safety allows drivers to have a full view of what is behind them, minimising accidents as the blind spot is no longer a problem. Currently the system can cost around £100 however will be a customary feature in upcoming years.
Collision avoidance systems and pedestrian detection
Again a few models currently on the road provide this feature or one similar. The Volvo S60 offers ‘City Safety’ which automatically stops the car if an object or obstacle is detected. On more expensive models on sale from Mercedes, Lexus and Hyundai, cars detect a potential collision and can tighten seatbelts, apply brakes or again stop the car.This system will develop over the next 11 years and it is believed that it will be as significant as detecting car indicators when oncoming cars are going to move into your lane to automatically steering the car around a hazard.
Using advanced WiFi technology, companies like Ford are already developing clever systems as an added feature for their vehicles.Cars will be able to broadcast their current and expected location vehicles using the same system. The hope for the future is that all cars will have the system, and interaction will take place warning drivers of traffic, obstructions and even detect crashes and manoeuvre when needed. it is believed that if all clever cars are talking to each other, none should have an accident.
To ensure that your hands never leave the steering wheel, voice control will be fully integrated into vehicles. From being able to ‘call home’ or ‘skip song’ you will not have to push any buttons or reach for your phone as it will all be synced to your vehicle.
Adaptive cruise control
This feature is just a slightly cleverer cruise control. It uses radar to keep you a safe distance from the car ahead, meaning you don’t have to slam on the breaks when the driver in front decides to slow down.
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Research has shown that new drivers, aged between 18 and 24 prefer to consult a dealership rather than shopping online for a new car.
Experian’s research highlighted that only one third of younger drivers suggested internet surfing for information on a car. They also stated that they would rather talk to a family member, friend or dealership sales person to get the best advice.
From the 1000 UK drivers that were surveyed a massive 74% made their car purchase through a dealership with 1 in 20 buying their car from a car supermarket.
The main reason people prefer to buy their car from a dealership was due to risk being eliminated as they could see and try the car first hand. 46% of these people also stated that being able to go back to the dealer if there was any problems with the car was also a major factor.
The principal consultant for Experian’s Automotive business, Andrew Ballard said: “Our research shows that the vast majority of those who bought from a dealer in the past would go back to a dealer for their future purchase. Clearly reputation and trust have a key role to play and the steps taken over the years by many motor retailers to build that trust are paying off.”
The realisation that a dealership could miss a telephone call from a selection of the 74% that prefer to use dealerships, highlights the amount of business that could be lost. Dealerships must make sure that they are always available to answer the phone even before and after opening hours.
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Offering more that 130,000 individual products, Halfords will target a UK market worth £2bn. Car Parts Direct offers customers the option to order any product in their local store, online or on the Halfords App and guarantees next day delivery. Further more, 66% of those that ordered in-store will receive their product within 90 mins of purchase.
Tomlison had this to say about the relaunch. “With an aging UK car fleet stimulating demand for replacement parts, the timing is right for Halfords to reassert itself in the marketplace as part of our commitment to helping our customers with their life on the move.
“The average age of cars on UK roads is at a thirty year high – which we anticipate will drive demand from owners of older vehicles for major replacement parts such as steering, suspension and clutch components – whilst cars around 3 years old sustain demand for consumable items like filters, spark plugs, brake pads and discs and alike.”
“Car Parts Direct has components and consumables for many more models than you may think, including older and less common marques. And, because there’s a Halfords store within 20 minutes for 90% of the UK population – whether you drive a Ford or a Ferrari it is worth checking out our stock and prices before undertaking a repair.”
The introduction of the new safety measure, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), being hailed as ‘the next seat belt’, could save 17,000 lives by 2025, if made a compulsory feature in all vehicles by 2015.
AEB has the technological capability to stop and slow vehicle that are driving at speeds of up to 50 mph, before a collision occurs. It uses radar and lasers that are able to detect uncertainties in the roads if there is no response from the driver. Such as another vehicle that is too close, if someone walks out in front of the car or if there are obstacles obstructing the path
The chief executive of Thatcham, Peter Shaw, told What Car magazine that it could be as significant as the introduction of seat belts. Since the introduction of seat belts in 1983 the number of motorists killed or injured in an accident was cut by 50%.
There’s hope that the AEB will be as successful in terms of the reduction of deaths with an estimated number of 17,000 less accidents by 2025. It has been suggested that as well as reducing deaths and accidents insurance premiums could fall by at least 10%.
According to official government figures last year the UK had 1,713 deaths and 21,657 people seriously injured due to car collisions. This number will be expected to drop significantly if AEB becomes a feature of new vehicles.
In a bid to kick start the process and introduce the technology to more cars, Mr Shaw has called for the Treasury to offer an incentive in the sum of £500 for cars fitted with this mechanism. He has said that this ‘has the potential to be as important a breakthrough as the seat belt in terms of vehicle safety’.
Even though it has been compared to the seat-belt AEB is actually from a new breed of ‘active safety’ that prevents accidents from occurring. Seat-belts are a form of ‘passive safety’ as they were introduced as a cautionary measure to reduce damage in the case of an accident.
On the market today AEB is available in an average of a quarter of new cars. Ford has fitted AEB in some of their Focus models however only 10% of these are sold. Volvo however is believed to be offering AEB as a standard feature on every model and they are the only manufacturer to be doing so.
With an increase in technology in the modern vehicle, owners are finding it more difficult to judge what the problem is when their car breaks down. Years ago it could be put down to a tank low in fuel, a faulty battery or a problem aided by the trusty jump lead. However now problems need to be identified by hi-spec mechanics which can charge a hi-spec price.
Research from Warranty Direct showed hourly costs hitting £92 in some areas of the UK.
With these increasing prices, what can drivers do to make sure they are getting the best deal?
Shop around for the best garage
Check the internet for the best deals and make sure you have left no stone unturned. You could be surprised at the prices you find online. Online shopping sites such as groupon also have deals on occasion for car garages so keep an eye out.
Buy a Haynes Manual for the model and make of your car. It can highlight faults and let you know if that fault needs to been taken to a garage. It could save you a lot of money and time if you can fix the problem yourself.
When you are quoted a price investigate and find out if that is everything included. Will you have to pay extra for parts? Added costs could shock you so make sure you know everything before shaking hands.
Are you guaranteed
It is vital you find out if your are guaranteed. Negotiate a one year guarantee for your car so its there fault is there is a problem and you can be sure it will be fixed.
Ask the mechanic to talk you through what they are going to do. If you know exactly what’s happening you can research and make sure you are not being ripped off. Mechanics won’t mind you asking questions if they are legit and if they won’t tell you take your business elsewhere.