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John Lendrum

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Driving and Drowsiness – A Dangerous Combination

 

Being drowsy whilst driving is a major problem in the UK, and it’s enough to test even the safest and most experienced of drivers. Drowsy driving usually happens when you have not slept enough, but can also occur due to untreated sleep disorders, taking medications, or even shift work. It can affect you at any time, as it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when sleep comes over the body. Just as driving while intoxicated is risky and dangerous, not to mention illegal, drowsiness makes you less able to pay attention to the road, slows your reaction time particularly if you need to break or steer abruptly, and affects your ability to make sound driving decisions. We are all aware of the common dangers associated with driving while alert, such as other cars failing to signal and low visibility, but drowsiness is an equally dangerous way to hurt yourself and other drivers around you. A lack of sleep accounts for approximately 20% of all crashes on main roads here in the UK, so don’t be a statistic, pull over to rest or change drivers if you feel any warning signs coming on. 

Legally Responsible

In the UK, if you have a car accident whilst sleep deprived, the law will make you accountable. Although the courts have some deal of flexibility on this matter, if you are charged with dangerous driving, and by definition this means driving in a way that is below the minimum acceptable standard and poses a risk to personal injury or safety, then you will be charged. While a judge’s sentence may vary depending on the amount of damage caused by an accident, at the very minimum your license will be revoked. A prison sentence of up to five years is also possible, even if no serious injury or harm has been done. It is clear to see that the UK judicial system takes driving whilst drowsy very seriously.

 

Is It That Common?

Surprisingly, driving whilst tired is more common than one would think. What would seem as something that is easily avoidable by following a regular pattern of sleep and ensuring your energy levels are stable, driving whilst tired happens more often than imagined. For example, if you are looking forward to an event or a special occasion and are unable to sleep through the night, you may well find yourself sleep deprived in the morning. This poses potential risks to your driving skills, including excessive speeding, or worse, nodding off at the wheel.

Most accidents occur between the hours of 2-6am, even amongst those who are sober. At this time of the day, most people are relaxed and a bit more carefree with their driving as the roads are generally quieter. This is when drivers lose control of their vehicles and crash as their focus is not on other vehicles around them.  

 

Commercial drivers – those who operate tow trucks and buses, for example, are particularly vulnerable during this time of the day, and for two main reasons. Firstly, commercial drivers tend to either be on a delivery deadline or need to return to their base depot, and because of this, they rarely break through the night and get the rest they need. Secondly, and as the Freight Transport Association points out, there is a lack of rest-stop facilities for commercial drivers on UK motorways. The Association describes this shortage as a mistake and an example of how money and business will always win over common sense and personal safety.

The Warning Signs of Drowsy Driving

There is a difference between being tired and being too tired to drive, and it’s something that can hit you at any time. You may start on an all-day car journey perfectly fine and alert, but as the journey progresses you can easily start to feel tired.

The National Sleep Foundation has identified a few symptoms to watch out for which can help you determine when to take a rest break. Some of these symptoms include:

·         - Struggling to focus accompanied by frequent blinking and heavy eyelids

·         - Daydreaming and keeping your focus

·        -  Difficulty remembering the last distances driven

·        -  Missing your exit and drifting from your lane

·        -  Repeated yawning and irritability

 

If it feels as though you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, find a safe place to pull off on the side of the road, such as a resting spot. If you have another person in the vehicle who is licensed and insured to drive, ask them to take over. Just remember not to panic if you feel any of these symptoms as increased fear means there is a generally a higher risk of crash.

Although drinking coffee can help in small doses, it is best not to rely on it as a solution to your drowsiness as too much caffeine can make a driver experience lapses in concentration and slower reaction times. Coffee consumption is only to be used as a quick fix and not as a substitute for regular breaks. The best advice is to stay calm and exercise caution and good judgement so you can get to your destination safely and securely.

Article written and kindly supplied to us by Justin Fox

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Unusual driving laws from around the world

During Road Safety week, road safety charity Brake and insurance firm Aviva brought to light the dangers we face while driving every day. According to a recent survey from Aviva, four in five drivers think they’re a safe driver, although more than a third don’t recognise basic road signs, and a third of drivers still use their phones behind the wheel.

Richard Coteau, Corporate Fundraising Manager from Brake highlighted that: “From our research and surveys, we know that driver distraction affects people, even more with many admitting that the temptation to update social media is too much to resist.”

Aviva conducted some research, looking into road safety around the world, highlighting what the safest countries are doing, such as Sweden and Finland – two countries which have some of the safest roads in the world. With the help of Aviva, we looked at how other countries around the world keep their roads and road users safe, and picked out some of the most unusual road rules.

 

Russia: Keep your car clean

Drivers have to keep up their vehicle’s appearances in Russia, as it could lead to a 2,000 ruble fine. This was originally set up so license plates are always visible.

Mind the gap in Singapore

Watch out for pedestrians, as it’s against the law for drivers to come within 50 metres of them.

In South Africa give way to herds

Herds have as much right to the roads as drivers and other road users. Drivers could face a stiff fine if they don’t give way to passing livestock.

Safety first in Turkey

It’s important drivers carry a fire extinguisher, reflective triangle and first aid kit, otherwise there’s risk of a fine.

Italy’s increased nighttime fines

Drivers caught committing serious driving offences between 10pm and 7am could find themselves being fined an extra third of the daytime fine.

No topless driving in Thailand

Try to keep your clothes on in Thailand! It’s illegal and drivers could face a fine if they don’t have a top on.

France: Slow down when it rains

When the heavens open in France, drivers are required to reduce their speed by 10km/hour on rural and dual carriageways, and a 20km/hour reduction on motorways.

To find out more about road safety around the world, read through Aviva’s Safe Driving hub, with useful guides and expert opinions.

 

Kindly supplied to us by www.performics.com and AVIVA INSURANCE

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We hope you enjoy this Infographic which has been kindly given to us by Insure the Learner, and a link to their website is https://www.insurelearnerdriver.co.uk/

 

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FOMO is influencing dangerous driving on UK roads

kindly supllied by Laura 

Social media and FOMO, which is the Fear Of Missing Out, could be putting road-users at risk, as motorists admit to checking social networking sites and reading messages on their phones while driving.

A recent survey by Aviva unveiled that more than four in 10 drivers admit to using their mobile phones while driving, putting themselves and other road users at risk. Last year, the UK Department for Transport reported that almost 500 incidents involved a driving being distracted by their mobile phones, and the numbers are on the rise.

The results from the survey also revealed bad habits across different age groups. Over two thirds of drivers aged over 55 who use their mobiles answer phone calls without a hands-free kit, compared to 41% aged 18-34. Road users aged between 18-24 - who admit to using their mobiles - are more likely to be using a messenger app (61%), Instagram (32%) and Snapchat (29%).

Aviva’s research also showed us that over half of drivers have typed something, such as a text, email or comment on social media. One in eight drivers have admitted to uploading an image or video to their mobiles behind the wheel. Sgt Neil Dewson-Smyth from Cheshire Police commented on the findings:

“The livestream behaviour, for me, adds additional load on the driver. Holding the phone, reading comments and performing all mean the driver is focused far too much on what they are doing and who they can entertain or impress and not on their driving. That puts them, passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at hugely increased risk.”

“To look away from the road, read a comment, look back and regain full awareness takes about 5 seconds. At 40mph the distance covered is equivalent to the length of a football pitch.. blindfolded.”

Dewson-Smyth also highlighted that “the whole concept of the danger is that the drivers’ attention should be on the road and those around them. When it's half focused on their phone then tragedy is a heartbeat away.” There’s several ways you can reduce the ‘FOMO’ distraction while you’re driving: 

1:Put your mobile phone on silent

2:  Turn off notifications

3;  Pre-plan journeys if it’s somewhere new  - so you know where you’re going 

4:  Keep you mobile out of sight

Britain’s a nation of angry drivers

Every week, 30 million car drivers are left raging on the roads, according to research conducted on behalf of Ocean Finance.

With as many as 10 million Brits getting agitated behind the wheel every day, it would seem the streets of the UK are a major cause of anger.

Those living in Wales were most likely to keep their cool when faced with driving annoyances. Comparatively, the North East comes out as the hotspot for hotheads, with 92% admitting to losing their rag on the road at least once a week.

Furthermore, men (88%) were marginally more likely to see red than women (84%).

Tailgating, people not indicating and people who use their mobile phone behind the wheel came out as the top pet peeves for most drivers. Other common irritations include:

Bad habits on the road  Number of people who say they get annoyed by others doing this

Not indicating

6.6m

Tailgaters

6.6m

Using a mobile phone

6.5m

Being cut-up

2.6m

Speeding

2.6m

Not saying ‘thank you’

2.4m

Driving below the speed limit

2m

Blocking junctions

2m

Jumping traffic lights

1.2m

Drifting out of lanes

0.9m

 

When faced with people who annoy them on the road, 8 million Brits swear to release their frustration and a further 4.5 million use hand gestures to make their anger known.

As many as half a million Brits say that they would go to the length of following the car until it stops so they can tell the driver off – 18 to 24-year-olds were twice as likely to do this than any other age group.

Worryingly, one in three drivers say they have been in an incident as a result of someone’s careless, bad driving habits. While most (8 million) got away with just a minor incident, 2.5 million were caught up in a more serious accident.

Ian Williams, Ocean’s spokesperson, said: “The vast majority of drivers are careful, polite and considerate.  However, when we do encounter one that isn’t it seems that many of us struggle to keep our cool.  We’d urge drivers who encounter some dodgy driving to stay calm – getting stressed isn’t going to help.”

Editors’ notes

* Red Dot questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 14th March 2016 – 17th March 2016, of whom 636 were Scottish residents. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.

About Ocean Finance

Established in 1991, Ocean Finance is one of the UK’s leading loan and mortgage brokers. The company works with many of the UK’s leading loan and mortgage lenders to help people find the right deal.

Website: www.oceanfinance.co.uk

For further information please contact:

Ian Williams

Ian.williams@thinkmoneygroup.com

@iwill41

 

Tel: 0161 605 6005 / Mob: 07855 214851

The information below was kindly sent to us for publication by Derek Eastwood, who is the  Business Development Manager at Hussey Fraser Solicitors in Dublin http://www.injury-solicitors.ie/

 

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This is a contributed post kindly written by Emma Wortley

Top 5 Cars For Young Drivers

Looking for your first car can be an incredibly exciting experience! However, many young drivers face the difficult challenge of choosing a suitable vehicle that will suit their style preferences and bank balance. So regardless of whether you are currently learning to drive, or if you have just passed your test and are looking for a new car to hone your motoring skills, here are some of our top recommendations on the best cars for young drivers;

1 - Hyundai i10

Since 2014, the Hyundai i10 has been hailed as the Best City Car in the What Car? Car Of The Year awards. The same traits which make the Hyundai i10 an exceptional city car also make it an ideal first car for young drivers. It is easy to park, affordable to run (with its 1.2 litre engine edition offering a fuel efficiency of 57.6mpg) and comes equipped with a wide range of technological additions alongside ample storage space.

2 - Fiat 500

For many decades the Fiat 500 has been a popular automotive choice for young drivers and city motorists alike. This is due to the fact that the standard 1.2lite 68bhp engine edition emits less than 90g/km of CO2 emissions and a fuel efficiency of 74.3mpg combined. As such , you will be able to benefit from road tax exemptions and cost-effective fuel prices as you refine your driving skills on the open roads. What's more, the Fiat 500 is constantly reinventing itself with new trim levels, such as 'Pop', 'Pop Star' and 'Lounge', which offer new colours, start/stop technology, six-speaker audio systems and steering wheel mounted controls amongst other stylish and practical additions. What more could you ask for?

3 - Ford Fiesta ST

When it comes to selecting a reliable yet stylish first car you cannot go wrong with a Ford Fiesta ST. Popular amongst young drivers and motoring critics alike, the 2014 model of the Ford Fiesta ST is officially Britain's biggest selling car of all time and accrued over 22 awards in its debut season for its exceptional performance, compact dimensions and affordability. Opt for the 1.0 EcoBoost engine edition and you will benefit from a fuel efficiency of 65.7mpg; perfect for testing your driving capabilities without draining your bank balance!

4 - Vauxhall Corsa

The new Vauxhall Corsa has been designed with young drivers in mind. Not only will you benefit from low running costs, but Vauxhall also offer promotions for young drivers including discounts off the dealership listing price and reduced insurance costs. You can also rest assured that you will be safe and secure within this spacious city car because the Vauxhall Corsa has been accredited with five stars following its European NCAP crash tests.

 5 - Toyota Aygo X-Play

If you want your first car to be cost-effective whilst still retaining an air of personalisation then the second generation Toyota Aygo X-Play is the ideal first car for you. The rear bumper inserts, wing mirror caps, nose cone and even the signature 'X' on the front can be finished in your choice of black, white or silver. You can also personalise the interior with stylish revisions to the dashboard trim, centre console and steering wheel. Combine these customisation properties with a fuel efficiency of 68.9mpg, and a 4.8m turning circle which ideal for getting to grips with parallel parking and 3-point-turns, and you have yourself a great first car!

Purchasing Advice & Industry Insights

Once you've decided which vehicle you'd like to own as your first car you can begin to shop around for it! First and foremost, it is important that you ascertain the exact make and model of vehicle that you would like to buy and that you investigate the different avenues from which you can purchase it. Whether you intend to buy a new or used car, you should contact all manner of local private sellers, car auctions, franchised and independent dealers as well as online vehicle dealerships and automotive discussion forums. Carrying out this essential research will enable you to assess an average price for your chosen vehicle. By doing so, you can pay a fair and reasonable price for your first car and set aside the remainder of your budget for covering road tax, maintenance costs, insurance coverage and all the other expensive additions that accompany buying your first car.

Furthermore, it is also crucial that you arrange a test drive to check the general condition of the vehicle you intend to buy. If you do not feel confident assessing the mechanics of a vehicle on your own then it can prove extremely helpful to have a close friend or relative accompany you in order to offer their objective opinion. During this test drive you should scrutinise the condition of the vehicle's engine, brakes, its handling and acceleration capabilities, as well as the general condition of its exterior and interior.

 

If you plan to purchase a used car then you should also take this opportunity to check with the seller when it was last serviced. Every vehicle manufactured has a recommended servicing schedule that owners should follow. Automotive mechanics advise that if a car has not been serviced in the last 12 months then it could be masking an undiagnosed problem that will cost you substantially in the long term. If you are satisfied with these vehicular checks then all that is left to do is verify the information on the vehicle's V5C registration document is in order, certify that the vehicle carries an official MOT certificate, and you will be able to take legal ownership of your first car!

https://www.aviva.co.uk/car-insurance/motor-advice/safe-driving/

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Additional stats

·         24,582 people were killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads in 2014 alone.  

·         According to a report from the Department for Transport, in 2014 there were a staggering 194,477 casualties in reported road traffic accidents in Britain.

80% of all respondents rated themselves as an 8/10 or above in terms of road safety.

·         63.9% of the self-proclaimed safe drivers admit to eating or drinking when driving, 57.4% confess to texting or talking on the phone while behind the wheel, 53.4% admit to struggling to stay awake, 7.2% said they smoke.

·         80% said that they do their best to follow the rules of the road, and 79% expressed that stiffer penalties should be enforced for people caught using mobile phones whilst driving.

·         Only 7% of respondents believe mobile phones have the most negative effect on their driving safety.

·         Texting can increase our reaction times by 37%, and reaction times can increase by up to 50% when talking on the phone.

·         99% of UK drivers don’t think smoking makes their driving less safe.

·         According to the Thames Valley Police, “95% of all road crashes are due to human error.”

The survey revealed that only 7% of drivers think their own emotional state has the most negative effect on how they drive.

·         Nearly two thirds of respondents believe anger has the worst influence on driving safety.

·         A staggering 92% admit to feeling angry with other road users at some point when driving.

·         Just over a quarter of us sometimes get stressed when driving.

·         Only 19% of people believe that stress has the worst influence on driving safety.

The survey exposed that nearly 1 in 10 admitted that they often get nervous or fearful whilst driving, with only 4% believing it had the worst influence on driving safety.

 

Interview with Nick Lloyd, Road Safety Manager at Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)

According to you, what’s the worst type of distraction and why?

Objects, events, or activities both inside and outside the vehicle can cause distraction. In-vehicle distractions can be caused by technology, or by other sources inside the vehicle such as passengers. External distractions may be when a driver concentrates on unimportant events or objects, or when another person does something unusual.

It is difficult to say which is the most distracting as this may be determined by the distractive activity being undertaken and the cognitive complexity of the task. It is also important to recognise that some activities such as using a hand held mobile phone (which is obviously illegal) can create multiple types of distraction, in this case biomechanical, auditory and cognitive distraction. Using a hands-free phone whilst eliminating the biomechanical distraction will still involve an auditory distraction, and potentially a significant cognitive distraction, depending upon the subject of the conversation.

All driver distraction is potentially dangerous and RoSPA is not in a position to say which the worst is. However, it is vital that drivers realise that cognitive distraction occurs when a driver is thinking about something not related to driving the vehicle. Whilst performing a demanding cognitive task a driver’s visual field narrows both vertically and horizontally – meaning that rather than scanning the road for hazards, much more time is spent staring ahead than usual; in other words, tunnel vision. This means that drivers who are cognitively impaired will spend less time checking mirrors or looking around for hazards.

Do you think some people are more easily distracted than others? 

There is no evidence to prove whether some people are more easily distracted than others. It may be more linked to individual personal awareness of the danger of distraction, levels of self control and willingness to break the law (in relation to using a handheld mobile phone which is a major form of driver distraction).

Pedestrian failed to look properly was the most common contributory factor allocated to pedestrian injuries (59%) in 2014. In a YouGov survey carried out in September 2014, 31% of those interviewed said that they have been distracted from looking for traffic as they were using their mobile phone. Anecdotally, this seems to be a particular issue associated with teenagers and young adults. 

Interview with Mike Fisher, founder of The British Association of Anger Management and author of ‘Beating Anger’

What might cause someone to feel angry when in their car?

Many things cause people to be angry when in their car, whilst driving or as a passenger.

 

Usually the person who becomes angry is already feeling some form of irritation or stressor. All that happens in our vehicles is that everything becomes exaggerated and amplified. This often happens when some insensitive driver or person puts your life in danger, and this leads to you to justify being angry or expressing anger in that moment.

 

I often suggest that I did not become angry when someone cut me off, but perhaps it started a week ago when I argued with my wife or was told off by my boss, and this reflects an accumulation of stress and anger that’s often the main cause. 

Interview with Neil Shah, director of The Stress Management Society and author of ‘The 10-Step Stress Solution’

What might cause someone to feel stressed when in their car?

There’s a broad variety of things which cause us to feel stressed – whether it’s spilling coffee down ourselves, being stuck in traffic, thinking about something that happened last night, or even driving to an interview or presentation.

Feeling stressed is a reaction to modern life. Nowadays we are overloaded with an overwhelming excess of demands, and if we reach a pressure point, it may be a case of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’. 

Technology is one cause of this; with a constant flow of communication and information. Work used to start when you arrived at work and stop when you left, however due to our current use of technology, work begins the moment you open your eyes and check your device, through to when you go to sleep.

We have so much to absorb and think about during our time stuck in the car, and can feel stressed by the external factors of a commute, on top of everything else. 

Interview with Laura Whitehurst at Anxiety UK

What might cause someone to feel anxious when in their car?

There are many reasons why somebody may feel anxious when in their car. For some, they may have had a negative experience when driving in the past – perhaps an accident – and as such the anxiety is caused by the notion of getting in another accident, or brings up frightening flashbacks of the accident whenever they go to get behind the wheel again.

Some people who are already living with a panic disorder, or have experienced panic attacks in the past, may be anxious about having a panic attack behind the wheel. Some may experience agoraphobia, and therefore may feel anxious about getting lost whilst driving, and driving outside of their ‘safe zone’, or some people may experience claustrophobia and find being stuck in traffic whilst driving very triggering of their own phobia.

There are a variety of different reasons why somebody may experience anxiety, and they will all experience their anxiety differently, however ultimately what it means for this person is that their anxiety could be interfering with their daily life, and this is when it needs to be addressed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 How to make a learner THINK for themselves

Teaching is an art and a skill, which not everyone has the ability to do, as we are all good at different things in life, and teaching people to drive is rewarding aswell as having challenges along the way.

I recently undertook a small study with some of my clients, watching how they respond to the instructions I give them, how they process the information, and finally how they put that information into practice. Most of the pupils would process the information and speak out loud, some would be thinking quietly in their minds, but on the whole they both successfully completed the basic tasks. One of the area’s each pupil seemed to lack was forward planning, Observations of the new road they were entering and not taking in signs, which is quite a vital part of driving, for safety of everyone.

I put some thought into this, in my own private practice, wondering how they can miss such large signs when entering new roads or when approaching roundabouts. I listened to what I was hearing in my own head, and when approaching a roundabout I could hear in my sub conscious mind, “Where is the sign”, “What exit am I going to”, “What lane do I need”, “Can I go” and so on. It dawned on me I was self instructing in my head, all be it my subconscious mind. I wondered what would it be like to not have any questions in your mind or a quiet mind. After some thought the conclusion was clear, if you don’t talk through things you don’t get the answers, and then PANIC or get STRESSED.

In general there are 3 levels of learning,  Cognitive, Associative then Autonomous, and as a Driving Instructor we start by using command style teaching, then to Questioning and finally to letting the pupil do everything automatically with very little input from us, making them drive for life ready.

The Command style is straight forwards, as they do everything in a sequence that is given to them, therefore controlling what they do. The second stage is questioning using leading questions to help the think  “What gear will you need”, “what signs do you see up ahead” “What lane is…..” “What signs do you see” etc. Approaching a junction one day I asked my pupil what was coming up ahead, and she replied “A give way T Junction where would you like me to go” so I gave her the instruction to turn left, which was onto a 40 mph road. She approached the junction well, and looked and then drove out onto the main road safely making progress upto 30 mph!!!, but not to 40mph, and seemed to stop actively thinking, once she had entered the new road. I asked her “What is the speed limit on this road ?” and she replied “30mph” but there were signs at the end of the road, and repeaters frequently, so why was she not seeing them. After some thought it was clear that the pupil would think about what was needed to be done, as soon as they had heard an instruction, doing all the things they needed, but once they had done all the different parts and entering a new road, would be thinking the job was done until another instruction was given, so did not have to think anymore, so I asked myself, “How do I get them to think all of the time ?”


LEARNER TAKE CONTROL EXERCISE

This exercise has worked very well, but has to be carefully controlled, as the pupil will be nervous on the outset, so try on quieter roads first.

At the start of a driving lessons with one of the pupils, I said that today, she would inform me of what was approaching ie traffic lights, roundabouts or end of the road junctions, and once they tell me what was approaching,  I would then tell them which direction to go, which is similar to the independent driving, but with a twist. I asked her not to tell me about junctions approaching on the left or right as would be continually saying Junction, Junction & Junction. All she had to do was say “Roundabout” or “Traffic lights” or “End of Road” and a direction would then be given. As mentioned the pupil will feel a little nervous as they are worried they don’t know where they are going, however it is no different to you saying “Pull away when safe to do so and follow the road ahead”. My pupil prepared the car, did all the checks and pulled onto the road and drove the car in a nice fashion, about 200 metres ahead were some traffic lights and she immediately told me “Traffic lights” so I gave her an instruction to turn left at them, and did not say anything further, leaving her in control. On approaching the lights I was watching her, and she was looking everywhere, her eyes were dancing from the road ahead and in to the new road, and she told me “It’s a 40mph road and the road is clear” she continued upto 40 mph and I could see her continually looking everywhere, she then informed me “Roundabout” so I told her to follow the sign for X, she approached the junction nicely, spoke out loud it was the 2nd exit ahead, then saying “I can go” she entered the roundabout and then told me the road she was entering was a 30mph. After 20 minutes we stopped for a chat, and she was very tired.

I asked her how she felt the exercise had gone and did it help, she informed me that she was tired due to  actively thinking all of the time, in case anything was missed, and felt that in control of the drive, feeling as though she was alone in the car, even though knowing I was there. It was clear that in their mind they were 100% responsible for the car and all of the thinking, not waiting for instructions, therefore no Lull points between one junction and another, so not switching off, or relying on the instructor.

Over the next month this has been tasked onto most of the pupils even earlier stage drivers, and the result is quite amazing, resulting in  very few signs or junctions being missed, because they are “Actively” THINKING. The exercise is also an excellent tool for the independent drive, as one pupil was in an area on his test which he did not recognise , however he was looking for the “Traffic Lights”, “Roundabouts” and “Junctions” before the examiner was giving the instructions, so had already thought through where he was positioned and what was ahead, this gave him advantage, so when the examiner gave the instruction, all he had to do was put into action everything, look at the sign which had already been seen and do the activity. The stress on tests seems to have been reduced, and  a lot of the pupils are feeling more in control, and not relying on the instructor/examiner, which is exactly what they need to drive when they pass the test.

 

Try it for yourself and see, and feedback to me would be really appreciated.

It has been debated for many years whether to allow LEARNER DRIVERS on the motorway with a qualified driving instructor.

There are many thoughts from both sides of the argument, which have meant this ruling being held up for the last 4 years.

The traffic on the UK roads is getting busier year on year with new drivers from all over the world being able to use our roads, and this is getting to breaking point with an increase in accidents and deaths.

For many years you have had to do your driving test and as soon as you pass, bingo you can go straight to the motorway without any training and very little knowledge is this SAFE for our future ?

There is also the argument that certain parts of the UK do not have a motorway close to them, so how would this affect the learner ? would it mean an introduction to a staged style of licence similar to the motorbike licence ?, so you have a P plate on your car allowing you to drive on roads but exclude motorway, and then a M once you have passed the motorway test.

Only qualified driving instructors who hold the ADI Licence (Approved Driving Instructor) would be allowed to take pupils onto the motorway not school of Mum and Dad.

How would it be regulated ? How many lessons would they have had to have had before they could be taken on the motorway ? a difficult question as everyone learns at a different pace.

 

Below is an article from #TheGuardian which discusses the full review.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/21/learner-drivers-motorways-department-for-transport

 

Motorway training would also limit the amount of close shaves as per this short clip on #YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A very interesting Infographic sent to us by http://www.tyre-shopper.co.uk 

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The Day in the Life of a Driving Instructor with Lendrums Driving School - Southampton!!!

Have you ever considered changing your career ?  bored of what you do ?  fed up working for others and being told what to do ? well this maybe the option for you.

In 2008 John Lendrum of Lendrums Driving School was exactly all of the above, even though he had a successful career with prospects and great salary, but this was not enough, this didn’t scratch the itch that he had, and he felt a new challenge was needed. Money and status is not everything and certainly does not bring happiness.

In 1997 John Lendrum  considered the path of becoming a driving instructor ,but decided to work overseas. John used to sit in the back of another driving instructors car and watch how it was done, and thought to himself “Wow that’s easy, all you do is drive around all day long and tell people what to do and get paid for it “ it’s that easy Right ? Not a chance. It is easy when you have people knowing what they are doing, they make it look like the easiest thing in the world.

In 2008 a National brand jumped on the back of the recession when many were being made redundant, and adverts were out there “Become a Driving Instructor and earn upto £30k, be your own boss, work your own hours” this led to the market being saturated by people training to be instructors, however this was short lived as many did not have the ability and sadly did not qualify and were left jobless. Lendrums are selective and only take on the people whom they know will pass the tests, not just take the money.

Below I will explain the role of a Driving Instructor and list the pros and cons before considering, but I would not change becoming a driving instructor and 8 years on am still loving it and the freedom it has given to me.

A typical day as a driving instructor can involve some early starts, evenings and weekends, however if your sensible with your diary you can work your week to make sure you get enjoyment to do the things you love, ie going out, going to the gym, spending time with the kids, time with family just to name a few.

The people you meet on the journey are varied and make the job interesting. Im asked frequently whether I get bored driving around the same places all day long, the simple answer is, it is not about the area’s it’s the people who are different on every lesson, and each have their own personality and needs, and everyone learns differently. Life would be so boring if we were all the same. Think of the excitement of being able to teach someone a skill that will change their life, and in some cases open up wider prospects and possibilities, just try to remember when you passed your test.

Your diary is key to a good day, as nothing worse than starting your day miles from home, and then the next lesson having to come back near home, we try to make sure that our working wee is logical and the less time travelling between lessons is the best, as you get time for the all important loo stop and coffee break.

The day sometimes starts about 0830 and sometimes finishes at 7pm and sometimes starts later or finishes earlier. I schedule into my day things I want to do, walk the dog, go for a run, watch the Tennis etc. I have spent many a year working flat out and wearing myself out, however you learn pretty quickly.

Lendrums Driving School believe in quality instruction to clients, and that should be paramount in any business right ? not always im afraid, some business are more interested in profits than they are customer satisfaction or happy instructors. The clients at Lendrums are looked after by a dedicated team of professionals of varying ages and experiences. Lendrums believe the instructor is an important asset and should be treated like it, they charge a low weekly franchise, they supply the graphics, pupils, roofbox, support and make the working life of an instructor stress free and enjoyable, with a key on the instructor making money, instead of the business being rich and instructor being poor, which is all to often in some of the big franchises. No limit on students and if you don’t want one, or don’t want a particular area, you just say and your not penalised or made to feel you’re a pain. Remember you work for a franchise but your self-employed it’s your business within a business.

A lot of franchises tie you into lengthly one sided contracts that don’t benefit the instructor, and also they charge a serious amount. The national brand John Lendrum worked for charged £339 per week meaning he paid just over £15k franchise in the year, meaning he had to work 20 hours a week before he made any money, that’s not good. At Lendrums it works out at just over 1.5 hrs a week for your franchise, why would you want to go anywhere else, and there is no contract. It is felt at Lendrums your treated like someone important and as a friend, and there are the get togethers which help all instructors bounce idea’s around and have a sense of well being.

The day is varied and can be very tiring, however rewarding as you have the best job in the world watching how you help novices develop into drivers, and the feeling when someone passes the test is the best, as you helped that happen, and they wont forget you as they recommend you for years.

There is a lack of driving instructors in the UK at present, in 2012 there were just over 46000 and now there is just over 40000 a massive drop. The market is booming and it is possible to make some good  money. Last year some of the Instructors made £45000, yes there were expenses but still a take home of just over £35k and based on a 35 hour week, got your attention now ?

Lendrums Driving School is expanding across the UK and by 2023 aims to have over 100 driving instructors in 10 cities nationwide, you want to be part of that don’t you ? of course you do.

Read the following link on how to become a driving instructor and contact Lendrums as your journey and career change could start right now, life is too short.

http://www.lendrums-driving-school.co.uk/index.php/driving-instructor-training-southampton.html

 

 

DON’T PUT OFF CHANGING YOUR LIFE – CONTACT US AND START THE JOURNEY TO A NEW CAREER

Do you have your Practical Driving Test soon ?

Do you know about the questions you may be asked which are called the "Show Me / Tell Me" if not then you can check out the questions on our website as there are 20 in total, of which you will be asked 2. The 2 questions may consist of 2 show me, 2 tell me or a mix.

The questions are not difficult and just need practicing, if your learning with Parents ask them to go through them with you in your car, or if with a driving instructor ask them to help you which im sure they will cover this topic closer to test.

If you get a question wrong you get a minor so it is not the end of the world, however with some study it is avoidable and you leave the centre with a clean sheet, it also sets you up for your recommended weekly checks, which you can also find on our blog page.

This blog covers what to do if asked what is under you bonnet, and shows you what the engine looks like aswell as the items you maybe asked, for example you may be asked to identify one of the following and explain how you check it is correct:

1; Engine Oil

2; Engine coolant

3; Windscreen wash

4; Brake fluid

 

Watch the short video below which shows the Mini Cooper D 2014

Please let us know what you think and if we can help any further.

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When you pass your driving test, there’s an awful lot to think about. Obviously, finding a new car, getting used to the rules of the road and building confidence in your motoring capabilities are going to be at the top of your list. However, you’re probably also going to want to take advantage of the very reason you learnt to drive in the first place – complete freedom.

The likelihood is that you’re feeling ambitious, right? You want to get out there and take on the road. The world is your oyster. You’re probably looking to plan a road trip here and a road trip there. There’s no doubting it, it’s a great way of seeing the world. However, before you take on the roads of faraway lands, you should consider that the rules of the road are different the world over. Even in Europe. Carspring is an online dealership, based in both London and Berlin. Their experiences of the differences between England and Germany have clearly formed the basis of this intriguing infographic. It shows us how driving habits are different all over the continent. Not just when it comes to the rules of the road, but which cars people are likely to drive and what each car means for bumping up your social status.

  

 

 

Before you get planning your own tour of Europe, it might be a good idea to get yourself a car sorted that’s going to get you where you need to be. For your first car, it makes a lot of sense buying used. If you do, it’s well worth taking a look at the Carspring website to check out their new approach to used car sales. Simply log-on, browse their models, find your ideal car and choose how you want to pay. The company will deliver your new car to your door. For that added peace of mind, all the cars they sell on their site are inspected by the AA and come fully-guaranteed. Then, it’s time to book your ferry tickets, fill the boot and get exploring.

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Drink Driving at Christmas in the UK

Did you know that alcohol consumption in Britain increases by 40% during the month of December? It is a dangerous time of year for drivers on Britain’s roads over the festive holiday period. Tragically, one in six deaths on UK roads are as a result of drink drivers who are over the legal limit for alcohol consumption.

Interestingly, nearly one in six convicted drink drivers are actually caught the morning after the night before when they thought that they might be fine to drive, but were not. 19% of drivers admit to driving the morning after a night of heavy drinking and 6% of drivers are doing this monthly or more.

If you are one of the many people out and about in the UK this Christmas, think before you accept a drive from someone who has been drinking. What is a particularly worrying statistic is that 63% of people would be willing to get a lift with a designated driver who had been drinking alcohol in certain circumstances. Equally worrying is that 30% of people would put themselves at risk by getting a lift with someone who had two drinks or more, providing they ‘seemed safe’.

 

Have a look at this infographic created by CR Allen & Sons for more information and be safe, not sorry, this Christmas.

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It is well known that the prices of driving lessons have increased over the years, and this is down to the general cost to the driving instructors for running their business, ie fuel, franchises and car costs, aswell as the cost for a driving instructor to qualify as they are professionals who have had to pass rigorous exams.

We have all looked at driving schools and thought "wow thats expensive, i shall go with a cheaper company" only to find that cheaper is not always better as you get what you pay for. Always go by reviews on independent sites like http://www.freeindex.co.uk/profile(lendrums-driving-school)_276423.htm where you can check out reviews for any business in any part of the UK.

Most people want to be helpful and try to teach their loved ones, which can sometimes be useful, however have you ever tried to do this, and found you have fallen out with the person you have been trying to teach as things get heated in the car. Have you ever asked yourself WHY this is ? The main reason is because your not trained to be a driving instructor and are teaching what you know, ie Slow Down, Change Gear, Stop at the junction, Dont get so close to parked cars do these sound familiar ? the only part that is wrong here is you have not told the person WHY or HOW to correct, as they do not know they are doing these faults, and this is why people fall out. 

Driving Instructors have been highly trained in What, When, Why, Where and HOW to do these things and also how to break everything down into small pieces, and they are upto date on modern techniques. How many of you have told the person your helping to indicate to go around cyclists, parked cars, and buses because you were taught that way ? well that does not get taught anymore since about 15 years ago, as an indication can give a false indication to others, and the road position gives clear indication to others from behind and approaching. There are lots of changes. 

How many of you have picked up the most recent HIGHWAY CODE since passing your test ? I can hear you groaning and mumbling to yourself that you haven't, well if your going to help loved ones you need to know what your talking about for their safety.

The person your trying or considering helping is precious to you, well if thats the case then you should leave to the professionals. By all means help with private practice, but why not do this as a team effort and talk to the instructor so you know how you can help and also how to help the instructor, this will reduce time in lessons but ensuring quality driving practices. 

Learning to drive is an investment and needs to be done properly.

I hope you enjoyed the little video clip and wish you well. If you would like any advice please ask us http://www.lendrums-driving-school.co.uk/index.php/contact.html and also take a look at some of the useful products you can purchase to assist your own knowledge esepcially Driving the Essential Skills.

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Driving Tests Around the World – Infographic

Having the ability to get behind a wheel and drive from A to B is a privilege. What also needs to be remembered is that it is also a responsibility as you are in charge of a fully moveable vehicle which has the capability to injure yourself and other people if not used and operated correctly.

That is why here in the UK we have controls in place whereby people have to apply for a licence, pass a test and so on. Driving lessons are also vital in instilling good habits and awareness from the very outset.

Drivers need to build skills up such as awareness and specific rules of the road in order to become a good driver. Of course practice makes perfect but being aware is something that a driver can never lose sight of.

 

This infographic from FA Wheels in the UK covers some interesting facts about driving tests here in the UK but also what is the state of play worldwide. Some of the facts about attaining a licence around the world are sure to shock...check it out below! 

 

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