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Automotive Non-Technical topics... Just anything car related for the gear head in all of us

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Postby wagon r » July 2nd, 2007, 8:19 am

FLOODS: Advice for drivers


Advice for motorists considering driving in flood conditions:

1. Don’t go in if it’s obviously too deep: consider an alternative route

2. If you have to drive through water try to drive in the highest section of the road and don’t set off if a vehicle is travelling in the opposite direction. Leave time and space for each other, so you don’t swamp someone else.

3. Drive only fast enough to create a small bow wave in front of the vehicle - driving at speed may be dangerous to other vehicles or pedestrians.

4. Keep going once you have started - make sure you have a clear run, put the car into first gear, keep the rev’s high and set off. Don’t go in if you can’t see a way out on the other side.

5. Under no circumstances take your foot even slightly off the accelerator, as this will allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe. As you go through the water, slip the clutch if you can. After you come out, dry brakes gently before you need them - the best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds. This is particularly important if your car has drum brakes.

At the other side, keep moving, continue to rev the engine to clear any water from the exhaust.



Taken from the I.A.M

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Postby wagon r » July 2nd, 2007, 8:35 am

Watch your heels at the wheel


News that women are risking losing control of the car because they are wearing high-heeled shoes while driving may seem far fetched, but a survey by Sheila’s Wheels, the insurer, has backed it up.

Apparently 65 per cent of women want “better guidelinesâ€

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Postby wagon r » July 2nd, 2007, 8:37 am

Stay sharp on bends



Have you ever found yourself braking in a bend simply because it was sharper than you originally thought? If you have then you should consider how you actually go about assessing the severity of bends, because if you get it wrong, the consequences are potentially serious.

It is not just novice drivers who get caught out on the bends though in the jargon, it is here that most "single vehicle accidents" take place.

There are a number of clues we can take from the environment to help us. The most obvious are the road signs and markings, but there are other less obvious ones: the line of the trees, hedges, buildings, street lights or telegraph poles (although remember that sometimes telegraph poles run through fields, so don’t follow them!).

The actual width of the road can be a factor because the narrower it is, the less space you have to manoeuvre. Skid marks on the road are an indication of past mistakes. The position and speed of other traffic can also provide you with valuable information. Another particularly useful way of assessing a bend is to use the limit point analysis. The limit point is the furthest point which you can see, i.e. where the left and right hand sides of the road meet.

To use this technique simply ask yourself is it getting further away? If it is and you can see further ahead, then your speed should be fine. On the other hand if it is getting closer, then you could continue to reduce speed until the limit point begins to move with you and your view opens up again.

This technique takes a bit of practice but it will help you to link your speed with your range of vision and allow you to stop in the distance seen to be clear.



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Postby wagon r » September 18th, 2007, 7:49 am

Car Rental Success


Driving a rented car can be just as easy and safe as driving your own automobile—with the right preparation. How can you be sure that you're properly prepared each time you drive a rental? Here are some National Safety Council suggestions that can help to put you on the road to car rental success, especially where your safety is concerned.

Getting to Know You

- Don't rent a vehicle larger than you are physically capable of controlling.

- Spend a few minutes getting acquainted with your rental car.

- Take a look at the dashboard. Note the location of the speedometer, the temperature gauge, the gas gauge and so on.

- Locate the air conditioner, heater, windshield wiper and washer, defroster, and light switches. Turn them on and off to make sure that you know how they work.

- Test the brakes—with the engine running—to get the "feel" of them. Some brakes are "softer" than others, and you don't want to discover this when you're stopping for the first red light. At the same time, get the "feel of the wheel" by testing the "play" in the steering wheel. And make sure the hand brake works.


Check It Out

It's a good idea to inspect the rented car to make sure that everything's in working order.

- Be sure the tires are properly inflated. Underinflated or overinflated tires can greatly affect your safety, especially at high speeds.

- Check the headlights. Know where the switch is even if you'll only be driving during daylight hours—you might suddenly find yourself driving through a tunnel or facing a weather front in which you would want to turn on your lights. Do the lights work on bright and dim?

- Test the turn signals, windshield wipers and horn for any operating problems.

- Inspect the contents of the trunk. It should have a spare tire and a jack in it. Inquire about the availability of an emergency road kit if you're interested in extra protection, or provide your own.

- If you need special equipment, such as chains for driving on ice or child restraint seats, be sure to ask for it before you leave the rental lot.

- Check for any scratches or dents and report them to the rental agency before you leave the premises. Although these will probably not affect the car's performance, you do not want to be held responsible for them when you return the automobile.


Some Things are "More Different" Than Others

The differences between the rented car and the car you own may be more significant than simply the layout of the dashboard or the positioning of the gear shift. Following are some examples.

A Stick-y situation

If you're used to driving an automatic and the rented car is a stick shift—or vice-versa, it's important to reacquaint yourself with handling the new transmission before you begin driving.

More power to you!

Power steering and power brakes require a light touch. If you're not used to driving with them, you may want to get a "feel" for them before moving into heavy traffic.

Sizing things up

You may be used to a big car and the extra power that it affords you. Or, you may be used to squeezing your little compact into the smallest of parking spaces. In any case, if your rental car is significantly larger or smaller than the car you usually drive, be aware of its limitations.

Another alternative

If you're concerned about the differences between the car you rent and the car you own, you might want to request a rental that is similar to the make and model of your own automobile. Most rental agencies will be happy to oblige if they carry that model.


A Few Minor Adjustments, Please

Now it's time to customize the rented car to your personal driving habits.

Position the driver's seat so that you feel comfortable and at ease behind the wheel. Be sure you are seated at least 10"-12" from the steering wheel to allow airbags to inflate if necessary.

Be sure the headrest is level with the top of your ears.
Adjust the rearview and sideview mirrors so that they're in the right positions for you.


Getting the Hang of It

Take the rented car for a simple trial run, especially before you head for the freeways or a crowded downtown area. You may be more comfortable if you drive across the parking lot once or twice, or around the block, to become even more familiar with it. If you've got any questions, or if the car isn't performing up to par, go back to the rental agency immediately.


In Case of Emergency

Be prepared to deal with a crash or other emergency situation while on the road.

Review your insurance options with the clerk when you sign out the car. Know what your personal insurance will cover, and use that information to determine what additional coverage, if any, you may need to purchase.
Be aware of the rental agency's emergency road service provisions.

If they have no specific road service available, inquire as to whom you can contact in the event of an overheated engine, a tire blowout, or similar emergency situations. A good company will give you an information sheet with an 800 number to call in an emergency.


Taken from the National Safety Council.

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Postby wagon r » September 18th, 2007, 8:00 am

The True Meaning of Green


Next time you are approaching a junction with traffic lights, ask yourself what a green light means.

If your answer is "go", you are only half right!

For full marks, you need to remind yourself that a green light at the junction does indeed mean go, but only if it is safe to do so.

Then ask yourself how long has it been green and what colour will it go to next? The longer it has been green, the sooner it will change. And there is only one colour next: amber. And amber doesn’t mean "speed up to get across the lights before they change". It means stop. And amber only goes to red next.

These days, especially with congestion the way it is, we see more and more drivers prepared to risk an amber light (we used to call them "amber gamblers") or even a red light to get across a junction.

That in turn means that we need an extra "defensive driving" technique to use. Even though the lights are "with you", always glance both ways as you approach the junction, to satisfy yourself that you can get across in safety.

By taking a moment to look both ways, even when your light is green, you might be able to spot early somebody who is prepared to risk their safety – and yours – by ignoring the traffic signals.

Even if the light is green in your favour, keep using your rear mirror as well.

It may be that you have somebody following you too closely. In which case, you spotting the that the green light is about to be amber in good time means that you will be able to slow down early, brake more gently and so reduce the chances of a rear-end shunt.


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Postby wagon r » September 18th, 2007, 8:03 am

Reading the Road Ahead


A good, safe drive is about a mixture of techniques, but high on the list must be the need to use your car's brakes in a smooth and progressive way.

To do so you need to develop observation and anticipation, so that you begin your braking at an early stage and always leave a decent margin for braking more heavily if the need arises.

Many drivers tend to brake too late and too hard. Or arguably less dangerous, but equally annoying, some drivers have the habit of "comfort braking " - touching the brakes to enable themselves feel better, even if they have no intention of slowing the car to any measurable degree. They do so in the belief that they are being careful drivers.

It is better by far to learn to read the road ahead. Not only do you get early warning of developing hazards, you can respond by adjusting your speed using only your throttle.

Have you ever seen a "cascade" of brake lights ahead of you? An advanced driver will judge the speed and distances involved and, having left a decent gap, be able to follow in safety by letting the speed "fall away" and so avoiding the need to brake.

Think too about your positioning on the road - can you maximise your forward view by putting the vehicle in a slightly different position on the carriageway?

This should not be an abrupt repositioning, but a smooth change in your line to enable you to see ahead that little bit better. Careful adjustment of road position improves the view ahead, particularly through corners.


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Postby wagon r » October 15th, 2007, 9:29 am

Their life in your hands: Kids in cars


Parents with small children in the car are used to a degree of distraction and by and large cope.

A comfortable child is more likely to enjoy the trip, and less likely to disrupt it, distracting the driver.

So before setting off, check that the shoulder belt is across the middle of the chest and shoulder, not the neck or throat.

Then, each time the child is strapped in, check again that the seat belt securing the seat is still fastened and hasn’t been accidentally tampered with.

Never tuck the shoulder belt under the children’s arm or behind their back. Where you have a lap belt fitted, it should be low and snug across the thighs, not the stomach. Also try to ensure that your child is small enough to sit against the seat back with the legs bent at the knees and feet hanging down; they should be able to stay in this position comfortably throughout the trip.

Small babies should be placed in an appropriate size baby seat beginning with the first ride home from the hospital. Due to the risk of serious injuries, or even death, it is essential that the rear facing car safety seat is never used in the front seat of a car that has a passenger airbag.

Generally the safest place for a child to be is in the back seat.

Children should never be left alone in a car, whether they are in their car safety seats or not.

Temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes and children have died of heat stroke while locked in the car.

Child locks on the rear doors are a good idea when the children are young and provide you with additional reassurance.



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Postby wagon r » January 14th, 2008, 8:58 am

[size=150][u][b]How long between “bottleâ€

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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:24 am

They're black, they're round, how do you wear them...??


Although most tyres are made to very high quality standards, there are still variations in the thickness of the rubber, the steel belts and the radial webbing that form the structure. One consequence of the variations is a slight weight difference around the tyre. This is well known and easily cured by balancing the wheel and tyre.

A less well known effect of the variability is something called run-out – a measure of how straight the tyre will run if fitted to a wheel and allowed to roll along a flat level surface. Some will run straight and true, others will veer to the left or right in varying degrees. You will see an indication of this on most new tyres – have you ever noticed coloured lines running around the tread on your new tyre? Some of these are to give the tyre distributors easy to read information about where the tyre should be shipped to, but one of them will be a run-out indicator – usually red or blue, and the extreme left or right hand line. The nearer to the centre it is, the straighter the tyre will run, and which side of the centre it is denotes the direction of the run-out.

A steering problem can arise if both tyres on the front axle happen to run out significantly in the same direction. Ideally, when you’re next buying new tyres you should select two with run-out of about the same amount, but in opposite directions – in other words, with the coloured lines both to the inside of the centre of the tyre, or both to the outside. That way the two will cancel each other out and you’ll get straight steering.

Regardless of the tyre combination, a regular weekly check of the tyre pressure – when they are cold – is the best way to avoid premature wear.You will feel the improvement in the fuel consumption as well.And a quick check for condition (no cuts, bulges, or screws sticking out of the rubber!) at the same time is good practice, too



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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:28 am

One eyed monster


Dark afternoons and nights have seen the reappearance of the “one eyed monsterâ€

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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:33 am

Are you "too laid back"?


One of the most important aspects of driving a modern vehicle is achieving a perfect driving position every time you get behind the wheel.

This is especially important if you share the driving: using somebody else’s settings for the mirrors and seats can quickly leave you tired and at needless risk of a nagging muscular pain as you find yourself “strainingâ€

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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:38 am

You Little Belter!


It wasn’t until 1983 that it became compulsory for front seat passengers to use seatbelts, and road safety campaigners have marked the 25th anniversary of this important law.

Right from the start, compliance rates were high for front seat drivers, with over nine out of ten drivers and front seat passengers using their belts.

Yet when the law was extended to include rear seat passengers in 1991, the take up wasn’t nearly as good – and even now, more than a third of adults still decline to “belt up in the backâ€

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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:41 am

Give and take


Being prepared mentally for what may happen next when you are on the road, rather than relying on reactions to sort out a problem when it has already arisen, is a key factor in safe driving and riding.

By doing that you can also be prepared for what other road users around you might get wrong. Be ready to keep things safe by what you do to allow for them.

A bit of give and take goes a long way.

This is the opposite of the "blame culture".Instead of mentally complaining because "that white van man just cut me up", have a think about what you were doing before hand and what you could have done, if anything, in a different way to prevent that near miss happening.

The IAM researched this approach with Brunel University two years ago. Using two control groups of drivers, plus a third coached to IAM standards, Brunel were able to evaluate the difference this approach made.

Those drivers who were prepared to see themselves as part of the potential hazard were less likely to be involved in a crash or a near miss than the drivers who just "blamed" other road users around them.

Being alert to the possible mistakes of others may feel like a low priority when you are under pressure, or on a bad Monday morning perhaps. It's easier to expect others to do what they should do, all the time.

But there is no such thing as the perfect driver.Do your bit by allowing for their errors. And, if that feel too onerous, think about this: haven’t you, at some stage when you were driving made an error which someone else then made safe? Be honest - we all have.

So make a point of helping out the other road users who might do the same for you.



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Postby wagon r » March 4th, 2008, 8:44 am

Kids in cars: the ultimate distraction


In an ideal world, we would all give our driving 100 per cent of our concentration, 100 per cent of the time. But of course that doesn’t happen.

Driving experts acknowledge that internal distractions can be every bit as dangerous as the external distractions. Both are compounded by drivers simply letting their concentration slip, to the point when they are on “auto pilotâ€

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Postby wagon r » April 21st, 2008, 10:18 am

Time for a clean sweep?


A recent innovation has excited some in the car design business – a move that could see the end to windscreen wipers.

Apparently, using “nanotechnologyâ€

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Postby wagon r » April 21st, 2008, 10:30 am

Lower fuel bills, despite the budget?


Driving experts say that just a few small changes to driving habits could reduce our fuel consumption by 8.5 per cent, and shave £120 off the annual fuel costs.

Ask yourself: "Do I really need to drive?" It's the shortest journeys - less than two miles – which cause the most pollution and are inefficient in terms of fuel consumption. A straining cold engine will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm one. Yet it's these shorter journeys that are ideal for walking or cycling.

Plan your route. A bit of forethought can save much wear and tear - for the car, and the driver. Try to take the most direct route and go off-peak if possible. Sitting in congestion means you are often doing zero miles per gallon. If you have to commute by car, think about car sharing, Park and Ride schemes or public transport.

Check your tyres. Correct tyre pressures will keep wear down and fuel economy up. Under-inflated tyres need replacing more often (itself an environmental problem) as well as being dangerous. Anybody who has cycled on under-inflated tyres will appreciate how much extra effort is involved! Make a point of checking them at least once a week.

Obey the speed limits. Try to "feather" the throttle as you reach your cruising speed. Doing 56mph uses 25 per cent less fuel than 70mph and a smoother driving style can bring significant fuel saving. But never coast to save fuel; vehicle control must not be compromised.

Reduce the drag factor by removing roof racks and carriers when not in use. Driving with the window open also increases drag and lowers fuel economy. Remove unnecessary boot luggage, avoid heavy accessories and wide tyres that add rolling resistance. Air conditioning lowers fuel economy so use the vent settings as much as possible instead.

Use “acceleratorâ€

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Postby wagon r » April 21st, 2008, 10:35 am

Getting there, in a roundabout way....


It is not uncommon to come across drivers who go out of their way to avoid certain roundabouts. Even experienced drivers consider them to be “high riskâ€

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Postby wagon r » April 21st, 2008, 10:44 am

Too tired to drive?


A simple yawn can mean a few things – you’re stuck in a boring meeting or it’s time for an early night, for example.

But a recent survey by the Department for Transport (DfT) said that motorists who ignore that innocent yawn are putting themselves and other road users at risk if they press on regardless.

As many as one in five of all crashes on major roads are caused by tired drivers. And it may be even more - because those drivers that survive a crash (or a near miss) are unlikely to admit that they were too tired to drive when it happened.

The DfT said that we all want to finish our journeys as quickly as possible but being tired at the wheel is a “proven killerâ€

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Postby wagon r » May 15th, 2008, 1:18 pm

Things you know, and some you don't.


- Active head restraints, which move forward upon impact to catch the head and increase neck protection;

- Adaptive cruise control, which uses radar or lidar (laser-based radar) to monitor and regulate the distance between vehicles;

- Advanced airbags, which isolate and protect various body parts and, in some systems, deploy at different depths or velocities depending on the occupant's size and position;

- Advanced seat belt pretensioners, which tense up when a collision is imminent and are sometimes paired with seats that automatically adjust for increased crash protection (conventional pretensioners activate during a collision);

- Electronic stability control, which monitors traction loss and steering angle and automatically applies one or more of the brakes to keep the vehicle on course;

- Lane departure warning systems, which signal a driver when his or her vehicle drifts from its lane;

- Telematics, after-crash technology that combines the functions of cellular phones, Global Positioning System receivers and 911 operators; and

- Tire pressure monitoring, which alerts the driver when a tire's pressure is dangerously low.



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Postby wagon r » June 27th, 2008, 11:05 am

Emergency Vehicles


Deciding what to do when you hear an emergency vehicle approaching can be a dilemma. Do you stay where you are and potentially block the progress of an emergency vehicle? Or do you move into a position that may put you or other road users at risk?

Unfortunately, some drivers over-react to emergency service vehicles travelling on “blues and twosâ€

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Postby wagon r » June 27th, 2008, 11:25 am

SORRY MATE - I DIDN'T SEE YOU


The joys of motorcycling - including more predictable journey times and better fuel consumption - have encouraged a recent revival in biking, especially in urban areas.

But commuters on two wheels have to cope with a host of hazards - not least, car drivers who for various reasons fail to see the motorcycle coming towards them.

In the jargon, too often car drivers look, but fail to see, motorcycles.

This problem is particularly acute at junctions and that is why it is the subject of an advertising campaign. "Sorry mate I didn't see you" is for too many bikers the last words they hear before they are put in the ambulance. Don’t forget to check carefully at junctions when you are emerging. An older slogan had the same affect: "Think once, think twice ... think bike".

Apart from giving bikers a "second glance", there are other things that drivers can do to ease the passage of motorcycles, particularly in heavy congestion, that in turn will mean a safer journey for everybody.

If you are stuck in dense traffic, keep checking your mirrors for bikes. These days they nearly all have their headlight on to make them easier to see. If the biker is trying to "filter" - make his way through the traffic by riding slowly between stationary vehicles, or riding on the white line in the middle of the road - make a point of creating space for them if you can do so in safety.

By pulling over slightly, to one side or the other, you can make the difference between letting the biker past, or adding to the congestion. Remember to check all your mirrors first: you don't want to compromise the bicycle making its way along the nearside in order to allow passage to a biker.

Never be tempted to vent your frustration with the traffic by getting in the way of a motorcycle on purpose. You won't go any faster and you may just contribute to a collision which of course will add to congestion rather than alleviate it.

If you are the biker – don’t be aggressive, the car driver you upset today won’t be inclined to help tomorrow.

And all this applies for pedal cyclists as well – both from car and cyclists point of view.



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Postby wagon r » December 5th, 2008, 1:52 pm

Start alert, stay alert


The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) calls driver fatigue a silent killer and in a sense, that is just what it is.

Fatigue operates in much the same way as alcohol. Drivers who are slightly tired will not drive as well or as safely as those who are alert. As tiredness increases, mental and physical performance drops until eventually the driver falls asleep.

Research suggests that one in five motorway crashes are related to driver fatigue, although statistics are limited: drivers who are tired are seldom willing to admit it and those who crash can be too badly injured to recall the events leading to the collision. But it is clear there are far too many crashes arising from driver fatigue.

The IAM says that although fatigue is unavoidable there are a number of simple steps we drivers can take to reduce the problem:

Start alert:

- Get plenty of rest before a long journey, don’t drive if you feel tired, or unwell

- Wear comfortable loose clothing

- Adjust the driving seat in a car to a comfortable upright position and adjust the heating/air-conditioning to a cool – not cold – temperature


Stay alert:

- Try and avoid driving during the night when you would normally be asleep

- Early afternoon is also a high risk period to lapse in concentration

- Take regular breaks, at least every two hours

- Get out of/off your vehicle and walk around at the breaks, don’t just sit in the seat


If you feel tired:

- Act quickly and do not try to “drive throughâ€

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Postby wagon r » December 5th, 2008, 2:01 pm

Out with the old, in with the unfamiliar

The new licence plate was released this month and you might be thinking about upgrading your car - or you may have already made that purchase. Driving an unfamiliar car can be daunting; so here are some tips from the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) to help you get to know your new wheels before you hit the road.

Even on a new car, the manufacturer expects the driver to carry out some basic regular checks, so it’s worth having a look at oil, coolant, windscreen washer and other fluid levels while you’re at the dealer- if you can’t see where they are located , ask before you drive away.

Walk around the car to confirm where your fuel cap is and check your lights are all working.

Read your driver manual! This is where you’ll find lots of important information, such as what fuel to use, what your tyre pressures should be, how to program your sat nav, trip computer or in car entertainment, where all the switches are located, what the various warning lights and symbols mean and what to do if they stay on or light up as you are driving.

Set your driving position so you are comfortable, can reach all the major controls and you have full view of the road. The IAM recommends you sit with your spine against the back of the seat, hold the wheel at ten-to-two or quarter-to-three and, if you can, adjust the rake of the wheel so your arms are slightly bent and you have full control.

Adjust the seat until you can reach the pedals with your legs still slightly bent, adjust the mirrors and, finally, align your head restraint with the top of your head.

Driving without lic'd and insurance is an offence – no matter how long you have owned the car. Ensure you are fully insured and have all the documentation in order before you drive off the forecourt. This will not only ensure you don’t end up being prosecuted but also your new car will be protected from damage or theft.

If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a car with a new licence plate this year, remember, a few moments familiarising yourself with your vehicle can keep you and your shiny new car safe.


Taken from the IAM.

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wagon r
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Postby wagon r » December 5th, 2008, 2:08 pm

Control rage on the road


All drivers will recognise the term ‘road rage’ – but what is it and how is it avoided? The term includes everything from an irate beep of the horn to full-fledged physical assault – via abusive language, gestures or threats.

Whatever the source of frustration on the road, the responsibility to control aggressive driving lies with the driver. Everyone who gets behind the wheel should take an honest look at their driving behavior, try to identify the things that press their ‘hot buttons’ and determine to control them.

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) offers the following tips for avoiding and coping, with potential road rage situations:

Responding to road rage

- Don’t panic or respond to aggressive behaviour: Try to think and act logically and never get out of the car to argue.

- Where possible, refrain from making eye contact with an angry driver: If the situation worsens, make sure windows are closed and doors locked.

- If an incident is becoming serious, keep moving but don’t speed away as this can further enrage the other driver

- Don’t become boxed in by stationary traffic: Leave a sufficient gap in front to allow room to pull out if necessary and if trapped by another vehicle, stay in the car and try to attract attention by flashing lights or sounding the horn.

- If followed by an aggressive driver: Head for a busy area/street, a police station or hospital - anywhere other people may be present, and call the police.

- If you accidentally irritate another driver: Simply holding up your hand to acknowledge the mistake will usually calm the situation.


Avoiding road rage

- Don’t take it personally: Mistakes happen and other drivers may not even know their actions have annoyed someone else. Keep calm and don’t overreact.

- Be prepared: Get enough sleep to cope with the demands of a long journey and plan to avoid time pressure.

- Don’t take it out on the car: Never drive to express frustration. It can only make matters worse.

- Enjoy the ride: Consciously relax before getting behind the wheel. Sit comfortably upright in the driver’s seat, tune into something relaxing on the radio and fix the air conditioner to a reasonable temperature.


Taken from the IAM.
Last edited by wagon r on December 5th, 2008, 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wagon r
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Postby wagon r » December 5th, 2008, 2:12 pm

What to do when your kids start to drive

New drivers, particularly the under 20s, are most at risk in the early weeks and months after they pass their driving test.

The IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) has produced top tips to help parents encourage responsible driving in the crucial first few months – and to encourage safer, more responsible drivers.

Parental involvement is one of the sections in the IAM Motoring Trust report Younger Drivers, where and when they are unsafe.

The IAM recommends the following tips on how parents can help their new novice drivers:

- Use a professional instructor to teach them do drive whilst giving them extra practice

- Teach by example: always use a seat belt and keep to the speed limit restrictions

- Take them on routes they are likely to drive on regularly and talk to them about where the risks are

- Help them to practice driving in various conditions, such as night time, in poor visibility and if possible on rural roads

- Educate them on the potential risks (i.e. lack of concentration, showing off) and the distractions that can follow having their friends in the car for the first time

- Help them to further develop their driving skills by proactively encouraging them to continue developing their driving by undertaking further training, such as an advanced driving course.


Taken from the IAM.

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wagon r
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Postby wagon r » December 5th, 2008, 2:20 pm

Jump-Starting a Weak or Dead Automobile Battery Correctly

When a motor vehicle battery fails, a jump start often is the best short term way to get the motor going. Because it is important that jump starting be done properly, the National Safety Council recommends the following procedure:


- Position another vehicle with a healthy battery and your car so they do not touch each other. Be sure both batteries are of the same voltage.

- Read the owners' manuals for BOTH vehicles for any special directions.

- Turn off the ignitions of both vehicles and set the parking brakes. Place automatic transmissions in "Park" and standard transmissions in neutral.

- Wear safety glasses and gloves while using cables.

- Unless given different directions in the owner's manual, use the booster cables in this order:

- Clamp/connect one end of the positive (+) booster cable to the positive (+) post of the dead battery.

- Connect the other end of the same cable to the same marked post (+) of the booster battery.

- Connect the second, negative (-) booster cable to the other post of the booster battery.

- Make the final negative (-) booster cable connection on the engine block of the stalled vehicle away from the battery.

- Start the booster vehicle and let it run for a few minutes. Then, start the disabled vehicle.

- Remove the cables in the reverse order of connection, being very careful not to let the booster cable clamps touch each other or come in contact with car parts. Also, avoid the fans of the engines. Electric fans may run without the engine being on.



Taken from the National Safety Council.

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