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If only drivers received proper training and road safety education, vehicular accidents would significantly reduce. Well-trained drivers can make the road safe for everyone. Aside from that, they also make a good value for businesses and organizations alike. Having up-to-date knowledge on road safety can help prevent the dangers of the road and save the business from damages and liabilities.

 

 

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While you can’t stop a vehicular accident from happening, driving training can make them less likely to happen. This is one of the main reasons why you want to enroll in a driving training program. In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of driving training and why everyone should do it.

 

  1. Well-trained drivers make accidents less likely.

Driving training helps reduce the overall risk in a lot of ways. Drivers are taught the best driving practices while on the road and eliminate bad driving habits. The training will work to identify the bad behaviors of a driver while on the road, and then introduce him/her to proper driving practices.

 

●       Drivers can encounter anything while on the road including irresponsible drivers, faulty vehicle, poor weather conditions, heavy traffic, etc.; they are always at risk. With driving training, however, drivers are made aware of the factors and risks to help them become prepared and react accordingly.

●       Driving training also helps eliminate bad driving behaviors such as drunk driving, using mobile devices, lack of sleep, etc.

●       A well-rounded driving training also gives drivers tips on how to be comfortable while on the road. This will include tips and recommendations that will help reduce fatigue while driving and teach you the importance of looking after your health while on the road.

 

  1. Driving training also improves fleet integrity.

If your business is founded on fleet management, it helps to have well-trained drivers who can operate your vehicles safely on the road. It helps to keep your vehicles in prime condition before they hit the road. With driving training, drivers are taught how to maintain vehicles properly and make sure that they can prevent accidents from happening on the road.

 

●       Well-trained drivers are trained to prevent any road accident from happening such as fender-benders, rear-end collisions, rollovers, etc. People who went through driver training will learn how to handle high-risk driving situations to prevent an accident from happening.

●       Driver training also leads to savings. Businesses, especially, will be able to save a lot on vehicle repairs or replacements. It also helps reduce insurance costs.

●       Business will have fewer headaches to deal with since they know their fleet is in good hand thanks to their well-trained drivers.

 

Well-trained drivers strive hard to avoid accidents as much as possible. As drivers make their best efforts to avoid accidents, they will become a valuable asset to the business. It will help improve the fleet’s reputation and instill a sense of pride in the company.

 

  1. Driving training proves that your business is compliant with road safety protocols.

Businesses are required to take the necessary actions to protect their employees and minimize the risk of accidents. Driving training is one of the most important training they should provide to their workers. It also helps businesses to be fully compliant with the law.

 

●       Since vehicles are already considered as a place of work, and the law requires businesses to give proper training to all their fleet drivers. The training will encourage drivers to abide by the traffic laws at any cost.

●       The training will also help drivers to develop a habit of being more prudent and cautious while on the road to reduce risks great liability.

 

  1. Driving training teaches important skills.

There is more to driving than simply learning how to make a vehicle go forward. When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, there are a lot of elements and factors that you should take into account before you can actually drive the car on the road. Driving training will help you understand all these important elements and factors to ensure your safety when on the road. The training will cover proper driving skills and knowledge so you won’t be at risk.

 

Driving training is necessary for everyone. Any new driver is advised to invest in proper driving training, especially if you’re making a career out of it. Nowadays, most people learn to drive because

 

With driving training, you can expect to learn important driving lessons such as:

 

●       Traffic laws.

●       Turning or changing lanes.

●       Duties and responsibilities of a driver.

●       Rights of the pedestrians.

●       Proper parking.

●       Driving on freeways and highways.

 their friends or family just taught them. Being taught by your friends or family is not bad, but the knowledge they can teach you is at the minimum only. Driving training programs will enrich a driver with the proper driving skills and knowledge so they can acquire a license and continue driving safely on the road.

 

Go Training offers a range of driving training programs for your business fleet. They can educate drivers on their duties and responsibilities in operating a vehicle safely and encourage them to make good decisions when they’re behind the wheel.

Jim Stevenson

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Jim Stevenson has worked in training business staff across 20 years. He’s proud to help business clients push their business further by providing ongoing training and assessment of companies across a broad range of industries. He works for Go Training and has a loving wife and two sons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Things to Remember Legally When Involved in a Car Accident

Disclaimer: The information presented below serves only as a general guide on what you should do when involved in a car accident and mustn’t replace more reliable legal advice. To know more about what legal action you can take in the event that a car accident might happen to you, seeking the services of a licensed attorney is highly recommended.

As much as you might be exercising caution when you’re driving to the point that it comes second nature to you, not all drivers have the same defensive driving mindset as you do. So there’s no telling when you’ll come across another driver who’s less cautious than you are and can collide with your vehicle anytime. Therefore, you would want to read on and start noting some of the key things for you to remember legally in case a car accident happens to you.

What Are Some of the Key Things to Remember When Involved in a Car Accident?

The first reaction that you might have after another crashed into yours is one of shock that can linger for a long time depending on the severity of the car accident itself. However, you’d want to calm yourself down instead and take some comfort in the fact that you can do the following things legally in light of the car accident that happened to you:

  1. Let the other driver’s insurance provider know that you’ll be submitting a personal injury claim to them.

Your medical expenses and lost wages after becoming involved in a car accident can cost you a considerable amount of money. Thus, you’d want to seek compensation for damages that the incident itself had inflicted on your health and finances.

 

       You would have to inform the insurance provider of the other driver involved in the car accident that you’ll be filing a personal injury claim.

       The other driver’s insurance provider would then conduct their own investigation surrounding the car accident that both you and their client got involved in so that they can assess the validity of your claim.

       An initial settlement offer would then be proposed to you by the other driver’s insurance provider once they accept your claim.

 

  1. Consider an out of court settlement between you and the other driver’s insurance provider.

While you’d be forgiven for initially thinking of filing a lawsuit against the other driver involved in the car accident, court proceedings of civil cases such as yours usually take up a lot of time and money that could’ve been better used for your recovery back to full health instead.

       Most car accident cases are usually settled out of court either through mediation or arbitration so that you and the other driver involved won’t have to show up in court, especially as it might get in the way of both of you making a living.

       However, an out of court settlement can only happen if the other driver’s insurance provider would agree as well to it. If they don’t, you would have to skip the rest of this item and move on to the next one instead.

       If you haven’t sought the counsel of an attorney yet, you would want to do so in the event of an out of court settlement so that they can guide you as to whether you should accept the initial amount being offered to you by the other driver’s insurance provider or ask for it to be raised a bit higher to cover your damages.

 

  1. In case you’re still insufficiently compensated despite settling out of court, you can take the other driver to court.

As the final amount decided upon during an out of court settlement either through mediation or arbitration might still not be enough to serve as compensation for the damages that you sustained after being involved in a car accident, you can file a lawsuit against the other driver to make them pay your damages in full.

 

       Filing a lawsuit against the other driver is time-constrained though, so you should check your state’s statute of limitations and make sure to lodge a complaint within the allowed time period.

       You might have to prepare to defend yourself as well in case the other driver or their insurance provider would file a counterclaim against you.

       You would want to avoid taking your car accident case to court as much as possible, though should the need arise, filing a lawsuit must only be used as a last resort measure.

Car accidents are avoidable as long as anyone behind the wheel knows how to drive safely. Still, it isn’t safe to assume that all drivers would exercise caution while operating their vehicles. For every defensive driver, there are at least a couple of negligent drivers out there, one of which can crash into your vehicle when you least expect it.

For that reason alone, you’d want to remember the above-listed things that you’re legally allowed to do in case you become involved in a car accident. And to further discuss any legal technicalities that might arise after being on the receiving end of a car accident, you should consult a lawyer with a strong background on car accident cases who can represent you if ever you or the other driver involved would have to show up and settle your differences either out of or in court.

 

Benjamin Washington

 

Benjamin Washington is a promising young law writer currently writing for Stewart Guss. He hopes to apply his years of study into helping explain legal issues to the public. Benjamin loves cooking and often cooks for his family during weekends.

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Smart Motorway Map Of The UK

As the number of smart motorways grow across the country, it’s important to know how to identify them and how to use them effectively. Therefore we’ve collected together all the important information you need to know – where you can find them, how to use them and what different types of smart motorways there are.

Jump To Our Smart Motorway Map

Smart Motorway Stats and Facts

  • Smart motorway cameras catch around 1000 drivers speeding a week
  • There are 236 miles+ worth of smart motorways in England
  • 200 miles worth of smart motorways are currently planned or under construction
  • Motorway traffic is predicted to increase by up to 60% from 2010 by 2040
  • £1.5 billion has been invested into new smart motorways

What Are Smart Motorways?

Smart motorways make use of real time traffic management techniques to reduce congestion and help traffic move more freely, with techniques including variable speed limits and ‘all lane running’ schemes.

Regional traffic control centres monitor traffic closely to consistently update and amend speed limits and signs on smart motorways, informing users of any upcoming congestion or hazards. This method of reducing congestion means that there is no need for motorways to be widened with extra lanes added.

Smart motorway traffic management was developed by Highways England (previously Highways Agency) to reduce costs, improve journey times and minimise our impact on the environment.

Different Types of Smart Motorways

Controlled

smart motorway variable speed limit

This type of smart motorway has mandatory speed limits with a hard shoulder available for emergencies only.

Hard Shoulder Running

The hard shoulder can be opened during busy, peak times on the motorway when needed, reducing congestion.

All Lanes Running

This type of smart motorway opens all lanes for traffic to use including a former hard shoulder and makes use of variable speed limits.

How To Use Smart Motorways

Speed Limits

Stick to the speed limits indicated, these have been displayed to prevent stop-start traffic from occurring and you could land yourself a fine if you ignore them. If no signs are displayed the national speed limit will apply.

Red Xs

A red X signals that a lane is closed and you must not drive in it. This could be due to a broken down vehicle, a person, an animal or debris in the road. It can also indicate that a hard shoulder is currently closed, so avoid a penalty by obeying the red cross.

Hard Shoulders

Hard shoulders are identifiable by a solid white line separating them from other motorway lanes. On some smart motorways you can use these if there is a speed limit above the lane; if there is no sign or a red cross in the lane this means you should treat it as a regular hard shoulder, leaving it free and not using it unless there is an emergency.

What happens if I break down or have an accident?

With all lane running and hard shoulder running motorways you will notice intermittent refuge areas for use in emergencies. If your vehicle is unfortunate enough to experience a breakdown or get into an accident you should first switch on your hazard lights then make your way to the nearest emergency refuge area. The furthest these are separated by is 1.5 miles and are identifiable by blue signs with orange SOS telephone symbols.

If this is not possible, try to get to the nearest verge if it is safe to do so and exit via the left hand door, waiting behind the safety barriers. If you cannot get to the inside lane, stay inside your vehicle with your seatbelt on and if you are in a dangerous situation unable to leave your car safely phone 999. The traffic control centre will then be able to use their smart roadside technology to manoeuvre traffic around you safely.

What are Hadecs 3 cameras?

The HADECS 3 speed cameras are being used on smart motorways throughout the country. Smaller and less recognisable than usual speed cameras, they are painted grey, are small and don’t rely on film to capture those speeding. They take three snapshots when triggered that are sent to enforcement staff.

Where Are Smart Motorways In The UK? Check Out Our Smart Motorway Map

”Smart”Smart

Smart Motorways in London

All lanes running 
M3 J2-4a
M25 J5-6/7
M25 J23-27

Controlled
M1 J6a-10
M26 J16-23
M25 J10-16
M25 J18-10
M25 J7-8
M20 J4-7
M25 J2-3
M25 J27-30

Hard Shoulder running 
M1 J10-13

Smart Motorways in Birmingham

All Lanes Running
M6 J10a-13

Controlled
M42 J3a-M40 J16

Hard shoulder running
M6 J8-10a
M6 J5-8
M42 J3a-7 (pilot)
M42 J7-9
M6 J4-5

 

Smart Motorways in Manchester

All Lanes Running
M62 J18-20

Controlled
M60 J8-18

Smart Motorways in Bristol

Hard shoulder running
M4 J19-20
M5 J15-17

 

Smart Motorways in the North

All lanes running

M1 J28-31
M1 J32-35a
M1 J39-42

Controlled

M1 J25-28

Hard Shoulder Running

M62 J25-30

 smart motorway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Image source: Unsplash

Road Trip Tips


It’s road trip time! Whether you’re going with your family as a chance to get more driving practice as a learner or venturing independently with just a bunch of mates to keep you company now that you’ve passed your test, there’s something incredibly exciting about heading off on a long journey!

So if you’re planning to visit far-flung family over Christmas, driving from coast to coast, or even just have a long car journey ahead of you for less interesting reasons, follow these top tips for an awesome trip!

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Image source: Unsplash

1 – Pre-trip checks

It goes without saying to give the car a quick check before setting off on a long journey, but in the last-minute rush to cram everything into the boot and fuel up, it’s easy to forget!

If you’ll be going on a really long trip or driving abroad it might be worth taking the car to your local garage for a proper once-over, but there are plenty of useful checks you can do yourself. A lot of them are even part of “Show me, tell me” section of your driving test!

Make sure you take a look at:

·         Brakes and power steering

·         Oil, engine coolant, brake fluid and screen wash levels (including antifreeze in winter!)

·         Headlights and tail lights, indicators, break lights, wipers

·         Tyre pressure and tread depth (when tyres are cold). If you have a spare tyre, remember to check it too!

·         Any warning lights on the dashboard

 

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Image source: Unsplash

2 – Pack


There are a number of things that are always useful to have in the car, especially on longer trips:

·         A hi-vis vest, warning triangle, first aid kit, your insurance details and membership details if you belong to a roadside recovery service

·         A phone charging cable or portable battery (depending on how modern your car is, for the cigarette lighter plug or for your stereo system’s USB port)

·         Bottled water (to drink and for your car radiator in emergencies until you can get to a garage. Make sure it’s not tap water though, because the minerals could damage your engine, and try to mix it with coolant/antifreeze if you do have to do this. It’s a good idea to inform yourself about your car’s specific requirements before you set off in case you can’t get any phone signal to Google it!)

·         A physical atlas/map, in case your GPS runs out of battery or has no signal

·         Spare oil/coolant/screen wash etc.

·         Small change for parking meters (or tolls depending on where you’re driving)


If you’re travelling in winter there are a few extra things to consider:

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 Image source: Pexels

·         Blanket/s, pillows etc. if you get stranded somewhere (also useful for tired passengers!). Foil emergency blankets are also good, not to mention compact!

·         Antifreeze

·         An ice scraper

·         A torch

·         Some non-perishable food (see next tip!)

·          

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Image source: Pexels

3 –  Snacks

It’s technically not illegal to eat and drink while driving in the UK, but be aware that you can still get a fine if it causes you to drive ‘carelessly’ and you aren’t in full control of the vehicle as a result.

That being said, it’s always a good idea to take snacks on a road trip! Good road trip snacks are easy to eat and pass around, for example cereal bars, crackers/oatcakes and fruit.

For the car’s sake it might be worth considering non-crumbly foods, but if crisps are your fuel of choice you can always vacuum when you get back. Let’s face it, by the end of a long drive there will always be rogue crumbs, wrappers and assorted other rubbish like stray coffee cups floating around, so what’s an extra smooshed crisp or two in the grand scheme of things!

As far as drinks are concerned, keep in mind that energy drinks and coffee may mean you’ll need to make more bathroom stops than you would otherwise!

 


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Image source: Pexels

4 –  Route

Planning your route in advance is a no-brainer. But even if you plan to rely on your trusty smartphone or Satnav, make sure you bring backup because technology can let you down at the most inconvenient times –  and you don’t want that to happen when you’re lost in the dark in the middle of nowhere!

It’s also a good idea to designate a navigator who’s in charge of keeping track of where you are and setting up the Satnav, especially if you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar. That leaves you free to concentrate on the road and the other cars rather than where you’re going

Print off your route from Google Maps or your map of choice, bring an atlas and download the areas you need on your smartphone navigation app so that you can use it in offline mode. Sometimes that means that you can still find out exactly where you are if your GPS is working but you can’t get phone signal.

Bonus hack: you can mount your phone on your dashboard without a special holder – just be sure to check this before you drive off to make sure it’s secure. The UK law is very strict on phone use while driving, and even if you’re using your phone to navigate it must be set to hands-free and you can’t touch it while you’re behind the wheel.

 

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Image source: Wordpress.com

5 –  Entertainment

You’ll definitely want to bring some entertainment for a long drive. Instead of relying on the radio, set up a playlist before you go, or even go old-school and make a mixtape/CD! That means you get to listen to songs you actually want to hear rather than the fifteen top chart songs on a loop, because even if you don’t mind those, they’ll get old pretty fast. Some people like listening to audio books on trips, though be aware that they might distract you a bit.

If you’re on an easy stretch of the drive, channel your inner kid and play some road trip games –  just try to avoid “I spy” if you’re currently in the driver’s seat! There are also plenty of fun grown-up road trip games you can try!

 

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Image source: Pexels

6 – Breaks and Exercise

Another no-brainer really, but if you’re trying to get somewhere on schedule it can be easy to neglect this one. Tiredness causes almost 20% of accidents on major roads, so make sure you do take plenty of breaks –  the Department for Transport recommends stopping for at least fifteen minutes every two hours.

Also remember to check the labels of any medications you’re taking (e.g. antihistamines or cough syrups) in case they cause drowsiness.

Anyone who’s done long trips before knows that you also get pretty stiff from sitting so long, and especially stop-and-start traffic can cause your muscles to ache from using the clutch so much. Try some stretches and exercises when you stop for a rest – your body will thank you!

 

Hopefully these tips will make your road trip even better! Safe travels!

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Image source: Pexels

 

 Blog Kindly produced by Spend It Like Beckham at www.silb.co.uk

This article has been kindly donated by Chris Smith http://silb.co.uk/ , hopefully Chris will be a monthy guest Blogger.

 

Are You Aware Of Recent UK Law Changes As A Driver?

As a current learner driver you will no doubt be up to speed on all the rules of the road, thanks to your instructor and all of that theory test studying you’ve been doing. But what about your relatives and friends who perhaps sat their test a little less recently, or some of those rules that may not be as relevant to the Highway Code but which might still affect you once you’re out on the roads by yourself?

Check out and share these five recent changes to help everyone stay up-to-date!

 

1)      Speeding Fines Based On Your Means

Make sure you aren’t among the 80% of drivers unaware of the new speeding fines implemented earlier in the year. These are now calculated based on your weekly earnings (or benefits if you are unemployed), and may be up to 150% depending on the severity of the offence:

Band A: 50% of your weekly pay and 3 penalty points
Band B:  4-6 penalty points or a 7-28 day driving ban and 100% of your weekly pay
Band C: 6 penalty points or a 7-56 day driving ban and 150% of your weekly pay

Remember that new drivers in particular risk losing their licence if they build up six points within the first two years of having passed their test, so although there is a 10% margin of error, do you really want to chance having to re-sit your test for those five minutes of adrenaline?

A Note About European Speeding Fines

Gone are the days of being able to escape a speeding ticket from your holiday on the continent by simply returning home to the UK and quietly forgetting about it. Also gone are the days where motorists from other countries can do the same in the UK…  As a result of a new EU information sharing directive, drivers will now be penalised for their driving offences in the exact same way that a resident of the country they committed them in would be. That means whether you were driving in your own car or a rental car, and stopped in person or caught on camera, your ticket will be delivered to your letterbox when you get home. Don’t let those two weeks in the sun come back to haunt by ensuring you’re aware of the speed limits and driving practices in the countries you visit!

 

2)      Car Tax Now Based On Value AND CO2 Emissions

Since April 2017, cars are not only taxed on their CO2 emissions, but also according to their cost – there are fixed annual bands for petrol/diesel cars (£140) and for hybrid cars (£130), but if your vehicle cost more than £40,000, a “premium supplement” of £310 per year applies for five years.  This includes electric cars, which were previously tax free, but doesn’t affect second hand cars registered before 1st April 2017.

If you’re ready to invest in your own set of wheels in the near future, keep this and the following update in mind.

 

3)      “Toxin Tax” for Diesel Vehicles

Thanks to an order from the European Commission, owners of diesel vehicles may be in for a shock after having enjoyed years of incentives to buy them for the sake of their lower CO2 emissions.

Due to heavy levels of Nitrogen Dioxide air pollution in some UK cities, the number one source of which is diesel vehicles, a daily fee similar to the London emission charges will be introduced in 2019. This is likely to involve  charges of £20 for drivers of diesel vehicles to enter certain high pollution areas, with potential bans during extremely busy times in the worst affected areas.

Currently around 39% of vehicles run on diesel in the UK, so the new charges may significantly reduce their value and increase owners’ costs. If you already own a diesel car or were considering buying one soon this is something to keep in mind, especially if you live near one of the pollution zones.

 

4)      Stricter Phone Laws

Did you know that your reaction time when using a phone while driving is worse than if you had been drinking, quadrupling your chances of being in a crash?

Despite the scary statistics, the temptation still seems to be too much for many drivers.

This year the law has been changed to reflect this, with severe consequences in place to discourage offenders.  The price for those who have recently passed their test is especially high – while the £200 fine would be unpleasant, the accompanying 6 penalty points would mean that your licence would be revoked completely if you have passed within the last two years.

Unless you need to call the emergency services in a situation where it is unsafe for you to stop, it is illegal to use your phone unless safely parked, including:

·         Using the sat-nav function without a hands-free setup

·         At traffic lights and in queues (including fast food drive-thrus – be wary if you are a user of Android or Apple Pay!)

·         Even when you are not in the driving seat when supervising a learner

 

5)      New Booster Seat Rules

As the driver, it is your responsibility to make sure any children in the car are using the appropriate seat, so it’s important to be aware of the rules even if you’re only giving your niece a lift to her swimming club five minutes down the road.

Previously children as young as three could use booster seats rather than the more secure 5-point harness systems, but changes to the rules mean that new booster seats can only be used once the child is 125cm (4’1.6”) or taller and 22kg (3st 6.5lbs) or heavier, or over the age of 12. Existing booster seats that comply with the old regulations can still be used, provided the child meets the minimum requirements stated for these (generally weighing above 15kg/2st 5lbs).

 

Now you’re informed about the changes to driving laws in 2017, here are some more helpful resources to find out more and make sure you don’t get caught out:

Stay informed about speed limits in the UK and in other countries you might be visiting.

Find out more about the new car tax bands.

Learn which UK cities with high pollution areas may be affected by the “Toxin Tax” for diesel vehicles.

Take the THINK! Driving challenge to see for yourself how easily you can get distracted by a phone in the car.

Ensure you know your legal obligations as a driver.

Find out how to fit a child car seat correctly.               

 

Test your knowledge of common driving misconceptions.