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Uncategorized

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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An infographic by the team at Hussey Fraser","width":"400","height":"225"}[/embed]

 

 

Posted by on in Uncategorized

 

 

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!

 http://www.aviva.co.uk/car/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.