Driving tips

  1. Comments Off on Avoiding driving distractions

    driving distractionsThis subject, driving distractions, comes to the forefront far more as the days become shorter and more of us are driving in the dark.  Aside from the obvious darkness and having to use your lights to see and be seen, also you will tend to tire more quickly and could be dazzled by bright lights.

    While some distractions like dazzling headlights can’t be avoided, others can be. Try to keep your attention focused on the road at all times, do not get distracted by sightseeing, your mobile phone or smoking behind the wheel. Don’t forget to take regular breaks too, if you feel drowsy, stop as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Dazzling drivers

    It is said that you can lose your vision for up to two seconds when you have been been momentarily blinded by an oncoming car.  I’m sure we’ve all had that happen to us, as drivers and passengers.  Some cars, these days, have automatic dip-beam function but it is still a dangerous problem as you can still be blinded by vehicles even when the lights are dipped. The quality of lights and the angle of the beam or beam pattern can also be a factor.  Xenon bulbs are quite popular as they create a brighter light than traditional halogen ones.  They improve the visibility for the driver, but create a strong glow for oncoming motorists.

    Whilst you can not stop other drivers making mistakes, you can make sure you don’t fall into any of these traps and potentially cause a fatal accident.

    Take care as you drive this winter, avoid driving distractions!

  2. Comments Off on Keep your car safe

    Figures gathered by the RAC has reported rise of 30% in car theft in recent years.  Whilst there could be other reasons for this it does raise questions about modern anti-theft technology as car theft rates had actually been decreasing since 2002. The RAC also found a notable rise in the theft of motorcycles and scooters.

    Modern anti-theft technology

    When buying a new(ish) car you are often presented with extra, modern anti-theft alarms and immobilisers but are they effective?  The rise in car theft is surprising considering these improvements, however in reality the thieves are just finding new ways to get around these high tech features. Anti-theft devices being put in place are just not up to scratch.

    Cars using keyless fobs seem to be the worst as the technology is far from secure. It is even possible to steal a car by holding a bag up to a house door and use a device to activate and extend the reach of the keyless fob inside the home.  Organised gangs will then steal cars and export them abroad for profit.

    How to keep your car safe from car theft

    As a consequence of this rise in car theft, motorists are also seeing their insurance premiums rise. Combined with a variety of other factors, this is making the cost of driving even more expensive.

    Now there is a rise in the number of people purchasing anti-theft devices like those used back in the 1980s and 1990s! Steering wheel locks and gear stick locks are enjoying something of a resurgence.

    There are several steps you can take to help keep your car safe.

    1. Park it somewhere safe particularly at night
    2. Always remember to lock it, with all windows and the sunroof closed securely
    3. Leave all valuables out of sight as well
    4. You should also ensure that you have any appropriate alarms and immobilisers fitted, which will hopefully deter anyone who is hoping to steal it
    5. Never leave your car running while it is unattended
    6. Try to avoid leaving your registration document in the vehicle, as this can help thieves to get away with stealing it if they’re stopped by the police
    7. If you want an obvious deterrent, a steering wheel lock is ideal. This shows people that you’ve taken steps to secure your car, which may make them think that you have other devices in place too (even if you don’t).

    By following these tips, you can decrease your chance of being a victim of car theft, even if the numbers continue their steep rise.

  3. Comments Off on Crackdown on dangerous drivers

    Caught using a Mobile Phone

    Drivers caught using handheld mobile phones in Britain are to face “much tougher penalties”, with fines and points doubling. Under new rules expected to be set this year, drivers could face fines of £200 and six penalty points.  Newly qualified drivers could be made to retake their test the first time they are caught.   This comes alongside pressure by ministers calling for motorists who cause death while on a mobile phone to face tougher sentences.

    Neil Greig, RoadSmart director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said he “strongly” supported a mobile phone awareness course as an automatic option for first offenders.

    Caught Speeding

    Drivers responsible for the most serious speeding offences are also set to face harsher penalties under new sentencing guidelines for magistrates.  Fines for motorists caught going well above the speed limit will start from 150% of their weekly income rather than the existing level of 100%.

    Drive carefully and abide by the rules!

  4. Comments Off on For people who NEED a cancellation driving test

    For people who NEED a cancellation driving testThe DVSA’s waiting list time in Exeter is currently 8 weeks… DrivingTestCancellations.co.uk can find you a test date sooner for £18.  They will email you the second there are closer dates available give you first refusal!

    One of our recent passes, Nicola, needed to use them as she only had one week left in the UK before emigrating.

    Nicola passed

    If you are in a similar situation or just don’t want to wait, check out DrivingTestCancellations.co.uk

  5. Comments Off on 5 Reasons For Failing The Driving Test

    Driving lessons in ExeterThose of you who’ve been taking Road Masters driving lessons in Exeter will undoubtedly be keen to pass the practical and theory tests first time around. However, the Department For Transport have revealed that a mere 47.1% of learner drivers successfully complete these challenging examinations. Some people fail because of extreme nervousness on the big day. Others are unprepared for encountering major motoring hazards. We’ll explain some common and obscure reasons for failure…

    1. Junction Observations

      The Road Masters instructors take time to highlight the importance of approaching junctions with caution and looking in both directions before turning in the road. However, a high proportion of learner drivers are deemed to have made the major error of inadequate observation. Many fail to identify significant hazards on the left side of the road.

    2. Reversing Round Corners

      Learner drivers are prone to worrying about the performance of maneuvers. Some become so anxious that they forget to carry out blind spot checks and maintain appropriately low speeds while reversing around corners. The driving examiners also keep a watchful eye for use of the side mirrors. However, young drivers can maximise the chances of success by remaining calm, acting with due caution and practicing the principle of thorough observation.

    3. Unexpected Distractions

      Complete concentration is essential for driving test success. However, there have been some instances of young drivers being marked down as a result of unexpected distractions. One young lady was unable to resist the temptation of veering towards a hunky motorcyclist. Cats, dogs and squirrels have also played a part in driving test failure.

    4. Steering Errors

      Extreme nervousness often results in over-steering during the driving test. There have even been instances of young drivers colliding with the kerb and moving dangerously towards oncoming traffic. Thankfully there are various ways of overcoming the stress. It might be worth trying some relaxation techniques and waiting until you have complete confidence behind the wheel before registering for the test.

    5. Bumping into Pedestrians

      The driving examiners are usually able to take control and avoid collisions with unsuspecting pedestrians during the driving test. However, there was one reported instance of a learner driver who crept forward and bumped into a seemingly carefree shopper at a zebra crossing. Apparently the pedestrian had been camouflaged as they were wearing striped clothing. However, the examiner wasn’t entirely convinced!!

    Don’t fail your driving test – get your lessons with Road Masters! Contact us now!

  6. Comments Off on Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions For Young Drivers

    New-Years-2015Hip, hip, hooray, it’s 2015! A time for optimism, excitement and the all important New Year’s resolutions. Now you may have the resolve to keep a brand new exercise regime or diet that you’ve been conscientiously avoiding for the past few months. Alternatively you could adopt the driving-related promises highlighted in this encouraging New Year’s blog.

    1. Pass Your Driving Test

      If you’re really keen to gain a greater sense of independence in 2015 then you should learn how to drive. You can make the learning process as smooth and enjoyable as possible by signing up for driving lessons with Road Masters. Master the motoring manoeuvres, learn the theory and look forward to ditching the L plates.

    2. Buy A Car

      There’s a fair chance that you’ll be feeling the financial pinch after taking driving lessons and finally sending off for your full driving license. However, you may be surprised at the availability of cheap and reliable motors advertised via the specialist websites and newspaper classifieds.

    3. Learn About Vehicle Maintenance

      Do you know how to check the tyre pressure or check the engine fluids of your vehicle? If the answer is no then you would be well advised to sign up for a local car maintenance course. The experts will be able to show you the best means of preventing vehicle breakdowns.

    4. Correct Your Bad Habits

      There is very little chance of developing bad habits while under the guidance of the professional Road Masters instructors. However, it’s very easy to slip into bad ways after passing your driving test. You should take a little time to reflect upon the safety of your driving. If there’s cause for concern then you may sign up for a refresher lesson or take your skills to the next level with Pass Plus.

    5. Stay Safe

      Those of you who make the smart option of taking Exeter driving lessons with Road Masters will gain a comprehensive knowledge of road safety. You’ll learn the importance of driving according to the road conditions and respecting fellow road users. These tactics will be essential for your safety in 2015 and beyond!

  7. Comments Off on Top Winter Driving Tips

    winter driving, snow ice coldThere are a wide variety of driving hazards that should be taken into account during the winter months. The roads may be covered in snow or ice, visibility may be significantly reduced and particularly irresponsible drivers may be tempted to take to the wheel after drinking. Those of you who’ve only just started taking driving lessons may be particularly concerned about the risks at this time of year. However, the Road Masters instructors have come up with the following tips to ensure that you are properly prepared.

    Spend Less Time On The Road

    We appreciate that you’re probably quite keen to take additional driving lessons with experienced friends and family members. However, it’s advisable to avoid the roads during particularly bad weather spells. If you’re in any doubt then it would be worth listening to the road traffic reports and practicing in quiet residential areas.

    Maintain A Safe Distance

    The Road Masters instructors will highlight the importance of maintaining reasonable speeds and risks of tailgating during driving lessons in Exeter and Exmouth. The advice is particularly pertinent during the winter months, given the effect that water, ice and snow will have upon stopping distances. Extra care should be taken, both for your safety and that of other road users.

    Ensure Complete Visibility

    A large number of crashes could be avoided if drivers took the necessary steps to ensure complete visibility when bad weather strikes. It is absolutely imperative that you remove ice, snow and mist from all of your car windows before driving. You should also fit new windscreen wipers every 6-12 months and top up the washing fluids with anti-freeze when necessary.

    Perform Routine Maintenance Tasks

    If you want to minimise the risk of winter breakdowns then it is essential to carry out comprehensive car maintenance. You should replace old car batteries, maintain the appropriate tyre pressure and make sure that your car lights are functioning properly. If you’d like further winter driving guidance then please go ahead and contact the knowledgeable Road Masters team.