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Why do people struggle at crossroads ?

As part of my job I spend a lot of time observing what people do on the road, and have come to the conclusion there is a lot of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge in peoples driving, and this inspired me to blog about certain driving rules to help educate people

Do you know the rules of a crossroads ?

Its an interesting question and when people are faced with dealing with cross roads with traffic lights, there are few errors and the correct procedure is adopted, however remove the traffic lights and approach a crossroads and there is some confusion.

Who has Priority and When can i Go ?

When approaching a crossroads, priority always lies with the traffic on the main road. Traffic on the opposite side of the crossroads is where confusion begins

If you are turning left or continuing ahead you have priority over the oncoming vehicle once the main road is clear. If you are turning right at a crossroads then you must give way and allow them to go first.in a situation where you wish to turn right and the oncoming traffic wish to turn to their right then there is no priority as you are both heading towards each other. In this situation, the vehicle which arrived at the crossroads first should take preference, and this reduces the risk of potential collisions. Never wave a vehicle to go, as this may cause a driver to not check the main road correctly, and lead to an incident.

What do I do at a Yellow Box JunctionA yellow box junction is put in place to help keep the flow of traffic moving freely, without any traffic jams. You must keep the box junction clear at all times, and you are not allowed to stop in the junction. A lot of junctions now have cameras with ANPR (automatic number plate recognition), which will lead to a fixed penalty if you stop inside this junction.

The only time you can stop in the yellow box junction, is when turning right, however before you proceed into the yellow box you must ensure the road you are turning into is clear or flowing, or you could get stuck in the junction when the traffic lights change, which could lead to traffic jams and bad feeling amongst other road users.

click on the link by Gov.uk to see the images which go along with this blog.

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/road-junctions-170-to-183

Disclaimer; this blog is to assist people in compliance with use of the Highway Code to help understand use of crossroads, if unsure we recommend reading the Highway Code or driving the essential skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you aware of changes to your driving licence ?

Did you know you need to renew your photo card driving licence every 10 years ? if not then take a look at your photo card and check the expiry date, and if it is near expiration then you can renew it online very easily, but if you fail to do so and your licence becomes out of date, you could face a hefty fine and also could affect your insurance validity.

As from the 8th of June 2015, the paper counterpart of your driving licence will no longer be valid, as the DVLA will no longer be issuing, however you MUST still keep your photo card licence, all entitlements and the status of your licence will remain the same. All details from the counterpart will be held online and be available to be viewed.

What do I do with my Counterpart after 8th June 2015 ?

After the 8th of June 2015 you can destroy the paper counterpart, please ensure it is shredded and disposed of to avoid any fraud.

If you are a holder of a Paper driving licence and have not updated to the new photo licence this will remain valid. If you have any changes of details which require a change of licence you will automatically have to apply for the new licence, and will receive a photo licence instead of the paper licence.

What about any endorsements I may have on my counterpart ?

As of the 8th of June 2015 any endorsements or points will no longer be shown on a driving licence, however do not think that these have disappeared or you don’t have to declare these,  as they are held on the DVLA database which will be available for businesses, employers or hire companies to view, as will be explained. These can be viewed online, by post or by calling the DVLA, so if you have endorsements you will be required under law to declare.

How will people find out if I have points ?

 

The DVLA are currently putting together a new database for businesses and organisations so they can put in your licence number and find out if you have any endorsements or points. Such businesses could be driving schools, employers or hire companies.

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Why Are There So Many Potholes ?

Have you watched how the roads around you have gradually got worse and wondered why ? or driven to work and almost cried when driven into a pothole.

A pothole is caused when a small gap, crack, crease or dent in the road has water seep into it, and then when it rains or freezes, the water in the hole will freeze and this causes an expanse in the space causing small pieces of the hole underground to become loose. As we drive over these spaces daily the area underneath becomes unstable and collapses in small parts, and if not repaired quickly will mean the hole will get bigger and deeper causing more and more damage and danger on our roads.

Think of the last time you saw a pothole, what did you do ? swerve or steer around it, did you think what could happen ? I doubt it as we react sometimes to quickly and this could lead to an accident.

Think of the damage this does to your vehicle, damage to the wheel tracking, damage to tyres, damage to suspension amongst many other things, but what do you do about it ? we go and get it repaired and think nothing of it, except cry when the bill is presented to us.

Have you heard of Mr Pothole in UK  ? we should follow the example of  Mr Pothole who you will see in the interview on this page. He has started the UK biggest campaign to combat the bad roads, and everyone should get behind him in his quest. Mr Pothole has taken on the councils across the UK to get funding to repair our roads, and he is winning the battle.

In defence to the local councils, they are money strapped, and don’t have hundreds of staff members to constantly tour the roads for damage, however this does not make it right. Drivers can help in advising councils of damage to the roads, and this is discussed below.

Many companies have started mobile phone applications to help record and report dangerous or damaged roads, and this is so easy to do. Stop take a photo, record the road name and report on the website or App, and the company does the reporting to the correct council, which is quicker than councils giving you the run around.

Try this Website and download the free app to report holes, http://streetrepairs.co.uk/ I have used this company and a lot of what has been reported has been repaired, so it does work, also by informing the council of the danger they can do something about it.

Can I claim for damage to my car ?

 

The simple answer is YES you can.  November 2014 I got a cracked windscreen due to a road that had been resurfaced not being cleaned up properly leaving debris, debris that when a car passed me flicked up and smashed my screen, leading to a bill of £85 of my insurance excess. I put a complaint to the council, filled out the forms and sent photo, they tried to not pay but I did not give up until they agreed to pay after I said I would goto small claims court. If you get damage to your car due to bad roads ie potholes, you should name take a photo of the hole, take a photo of the damage and take the name of the road, and report it, and CLAIM for it.

New Drugs tests at the Roadside Introduced

During 2015 there will be new drugs tests introduced for tests at the roadside in England and Wales, to try and combat the ever growing Drug Driving habits. When a vehicle is pulled over by the Police from now on a driver will not know whether they will be tested for drugs, breathalysed or maybe even both.

The new “Drugalyser” which is also known as a “Drugwipe” has been approved by the government, which will mean a sample of saliva taken immediately for cannabis or cocaine. The so called Legal Highs are not detectable as yet, but equipment still being developed to take these checks.

Under the current law the Police have to arrest suspects before taking a blood test which is both costly and time consuming, keeping officers away from their duties, and this has also got to be taken by a medical professional.

The Drugalyser will mean quicker and easier testing and less red tape to cut through. The equipment will support the offence of driving whilst under influence of drugs and rolled out in March 2015. If test positive will be similar to the drink driving ban with a minimum of a 12 month ban, a fine of upto £5000 and 6 months in prison.

Eight illegal drugs set at low limits hope to set a bar over people and tackle the ever increasing drugs use on the roads. 

 

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Is learning to drive in an automatic car cheating

Recently one of the Lendrum’s Driving School pupils – Sophie - had failed a driving test for the second time. Sophie questioned her ability and suddenly lost her confidence, worrying that she would never pass a test. When a student who has tried so hard loses confidence, it is a tough challenge to turn them around and get them to believe in themselves.

It was decided not to book another test straight away to take away the pressure and work on her confidence. We arranged another lesson and after some deep thought, I came up with an idea that I thought could help her.

When I turned up to take Sophie for her lesson with the Mini Automatic, she jumped in the car with her usual big smile and was surprised at the new car. I explained that the idea of the lesson in the Mini Automatic was to build confidence by taking away worry of gears and clutch, but not to turn her to Automatic lessons.

The lessons started by explaining the controls and that the Mini Automatic would go when you want it to and not roll back on a hill. Sophie was a little apprehensive at first but she approached the first junction superbly, so far so good, then the roundabout which would normally make Sophie a little tense, but not that day. Removing the stress of gears and the clutch allowed Sophie to get down to the real business of driving.

As the lesson went on Sophie performed at her best, without any help from me and as the lesson finished she was beaming with confidence and smiling. Sophie was amazed at how well she drove and although I never doubted her, she realised that she would work herself up over changing gear. Sophie loved the car and wanted another Automatic lesson so we did and worked on more roundabouts, hills and reversing with not one error in her driving, which once again took her confidence to the highest level I had seen.

The result was way beyond what I could imagine. After two lessons in the Mini Automatic, Sophie returned to the Mini Manual. Sophie was concerned that she would make the same mistakes, so we discussed what differences she had made in the Automatic, earlier observations, positive thoughts and believing in herself.

As Sophie pulled away, without me making any comments, she seemed to imagine she was still in the Automatic, slowed and dropped a gear, started looking and said "I can go" and from that moment her confidence blossomed and she drove with little effort or error. Sophie has become so much more confident since having a couple lessons in the mini Automatic and is looking forward to her next test.

This inspired me to try the same exercise on some other pupils who were lacking in some confidence due to varying reasons. Over the next few months Sarah, Alan and Ann tried some lessons in the Mini Automatic. Each were amazed at the ease of driving and relaxed into their driving, seeing signs, dealing with junctions and hazards without any help or worry. Each have thrived from the experience and become stronger drivers with better confidence.

There is a lot of stigma in the UK about driving an Automatic car which puts people off and a lot of peer pressure with people saying "Automatic is not real driving and you will regret it after". I have driven a manual car for 20 years and when I bought the Mini Automatic to complement Lendrum's Driving School I was amazed how lovely it was to drive.

Does Automatic stop you being a real driver? No. What makes a good driver? Good awareness, planning, control and hazard perception  control of a vehicle you won’t pass a test or be a good driver. Driving an Automatic is more pleasurable than driving a manual, unless you are driving a high performance car like a Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini and if you have not tried it, I highly recommend it! I even convinced my petrol head of a wife to drive the automatic and now I have to convince her to let me borrow the car!!!!!

Driving is about comfort and enjoyment. Feeling frightened or anxious can lead to accidents, so if you are someone who feels this way while learning, or if you are a driver, don't be afraid to try Automatic - it may be the way to help you enjoy driving more. Why not read our Automatic v Manual blog to discover more

From this exercise it has inspired Lendrum Driving School to let all pupils experience the luxury of the Mini Automatic and to remove the stigma attached to Automatic driving.

 

If you would like to try our beautiful Mini Automatic contact us on the Enquiry form and we will be happy to give you an experience you won’t regret or forget.