Friday, 26 October 2012

IAM comment on government response to transport select committee

The IAM is continuing its call for post-test training for young drivers in the light of the government's response to the transport select committee.1

IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said:  "We welcome the MPs' call for more central government responsibility.  We want to see national targets to reduce death and injuries on Britain's roads.  Getting rid of them was a mistake."

"We support a review of driver training, especially for young drivers.  The current system of learning to drive abandons them when they need help most – in the first six months of solo driving. Post-test training in the first 12 to 18 months after passing the driving test would save lives. Having analysed systems of post-test training from other countries, we know that the best examples have reduced young male deaths by almost 30 per cent2*."

The IAM wants to see accredited training offered to young drivers in the first 12 to 18 months after passing the basic driving test.

This would include:

  • Training by qualified instructors. 
  • An initial on-road assessment to gain knowledge of their experience and to highlight any deficiencies. 
  • Off-road practice in handling in the wet, speed into corners and the impact of speed on stopping distances. 
  • Benefits such as cheaper insurance for young drivers who complete the training.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Darkness descends

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, with the clocks going back this weekend, he is advising on driving in the dark.

  • To improve your view as far as possible, keep your lights and windscreen clean.
  • Use main beam, but when other drivers are approaching make sure you dip your lights to avoid dazzling the oncoming traffic.
  • Make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.
  • If you're feeling tired, caffeine alone is not a fix. Take a break and have a 20 minute nap.
  • If an approaching car forgets to dip its lights, look beyond the lights, but to their left to avoid being dazzled as much.
  • Look at how the traffic ahead behaves for clues to possible problems you can't see yet.
  • If it's gloomy in the morning, don't forget to put your lights on. 

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "The risk of fatal accidents increases in the dark as visibility is reduced1.  Have regular eye examinations to ensure you are wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need to."

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched its winter driving campaign which includes a dedicated website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect during a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.

 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Bring me sunshine

22 October 2012

Bring me sunshine

The IAM is calling for changes to British Summer Time (BST), to give us more daylight hours in the evening.

Bringing the British time zone forward by an hour in both winter and summer, would mean lighter evenings, when crashes are more likely. Figures from the Department for Transport show that changing the daylight hours could prevent about 80 deaths and at least 200 serious injuries on our roads each year.It would also align the hours of daylight to the waking and working hours of the vast majority of the population.

Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings. In 2011:

  • The number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in November was 14 per cent more than the monthly average.
  • The number of cyclist casualties was 5 per cent higher.
  • The rate of motorcycle casualties per vehicle mile was 28 per cent higher.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Making evenings lighter would save lives.  While an extra hour of daylight would help to make the commute home much safer for all road users, children, cyclists and motorcyclists would benefit most."

"We want to see a three-year trial of the new daylight system. If the trial period proves the new daylight hours have a positive effect on road safety, it is clear that it is the system we should keep. With convincing evidence of the potential benefits, it is only right that we pilot a new system."

 

Make your way safely through fog

22 October 2012

Make your way safely through fog

With the Met Office issuing yellow warnings for fog in areas across the country, the IAM is advising motorists on how to drive in treacherous foggy conditions:

  • Before setting off, clean your windows and windscreen and ensure all your lights are working. 
  • When you're ready to leave, switch on the dipped headlights. Use front and rear fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres.
  • Use your windscreen wipers on an intermittent setting to clear condensation.
  • Switch the heater or air conditioning on and leave it running to keep the inside of the glass clear.
  • Slow down and keep enough distance between yourself and the vehicle in front. Make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see clearly.
  • Fog is not the same density all the time, it may get thicker - slow down if it does.
  • Brake gently but earlier than usual so your brake lights warn drivers behind.
  • At junctions, wind the window down and listen for traffic.
  • Take high-viz clothing in case you have to leave the car. 

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: "Fog is one of the most difficult conditions to drive in, so if you can avoid travelling, do. Ensure you are prepared so that you can carry out your journey safely, and allow lots of extra time for the trip."

To help drivers stay safe this winter, the IAM has launched its winter driving campaign which includes a dedicated website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.

Tips cover rain, snow, ice, fog and wind – everything you can expect in a typically unpredictable British winter. Check it out before you travel.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Learn More About Bad Weather Driving.

16th October, 8pm. Free event for anyone who can drive and wants to learn more about driving during those winter months.

We have some top experts who will be speaking during the evening and those who wish, demonstration drives and assessment drives are available.

Bring yourself along, nothing to pay 8pm at Grove Green Community Centre (opposite Tescos Grove Green) on 16th October.

Looking forward to seeing you.