Drivers Less Safe in Popular India Built Cars According to Crash Tests

crash testDrivers choosing popular small cars built in India are less safe than they should be according to a study by UK based safety watchdog Global NCAP.  The tests concluded that if the five cars tested that failed their crash tests were involved in an accident that the occupants inside were in risk of serious injuries or a fatal injury.

The car safety test by Global NCAP involved five popular models including the Suzuki-Maruti Alto 800, the Tata Nano, Ford Figo, Hyundai i10 and the Volkswagen Polo.  The Tata Nano is the world’s cheapest car.  The five models account for 20% of all sales in India last year.

The cars were apparently made cheaper for manufacturing by removing many of the safety features that would be found in other car models by the same manufacturers.  None of the five models were fitted in manufacturing with airbags that would be standard on most models in Europe, Canada and America.

Max Mosley, head of NCAP Global, said, “It’s worrying to see levels of safety that are 20 years behind the five-star standards now common in Europe and North America.

“Poor structural integrity and the absence of airbags are putting the lives of Indian consumers at risk. They have a right to know how safe their vehicles are and to expect the same basic levels of safety as standard as customers in other part of the world.”

Young drivers are the most likely to be involved in a car accident within the first year of their driving solo.  It is this reason that they should be behind the wheel of the safest car possible.  Parents are encouraged by safety experts to look for cars that have safety features when choosing one for their young driver.

Teens Want to Drive but Cost Inhibits Possibility

young drivers face cost of drivingReports have been made as to the drop in the number of teens that are getting licenced and taking to the road for a move of independence and step to adulthood.  While some researchers have posed that there is a lack of need for social interaction due to technology advances and wider options in public transportation makes driving obsolete for many, there are still those teenagers that hope for their own car but can’t afford it.  Families find it hard to budget in the usual high costs of car insurance, fuel and a possible extra car to help a young driver get behind the wheel.

A Deloitte Global Automotive Consumer Study revealed that American teenagers, those born between 1977 and 1994 called Generation Y, have a strong desire to own a personal car.  Only 29% of those polled that have cars would consider doing without their car.

This study contradicts a study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute last year that revealed 37% of those polled aged 18 to 37 were “too busy” to get a licence and that 22% never planned to get one at all.

Rather than disinterest it is considered that the decline in young drivers is due to financial reasons.  Experts have pointed out that one major cost for young drivers in getting onto the road is that of car insurance and that telematics car insurance could offer relief.  Telematics car insurance allows young drivers to prove they are safe drivers and worthy of low risk and low cost car insurance premiums.  It is one way to cut the cost of getting a young driver behind the wheel and onto the road.

Telematics Car Insurance a More Attractive Option

car insurance choiceTelematics car insurance has become a popular coverage product.  It is especially popular with young drivers though it can be attractive to almost any driver.  Yet, many people remain confused and unsure of what the car insurance product is and how it differs from standard car insurance.  It can be called by many names and most consumers will have heard it referred to as “usage based” or “pay as you drive” car insurance.  Those terms are as descriptive of the car insurance product as is telematics.

Telematics car insurance uses a GPS based high tech unit installed in the car to collect information for the provider.  The driver data collected can differ from one provider to another as well as differ from one policy to another.  Depending on the policy the data collected can be as detailed as when the driver is on the road during the day, what types of roads are traveled, how safe the driver is on the roads or as simple as how many miles are driven.  The data that is collected is used by the provider for risk assessment to determine premiums.  For instance, a provider interested in determining risk based on driving habits would offer safer drivers deeper discounts while a provider interested in miles driven would offer better rates to those driving low mileage levels.

The pay as you drive or usage based terms for telematics refer to the fact that the product is normally purchased pre-paid in blocks of miles driven much like a pre-paid usage mobile phone service.  Just as one could top up on more minutes for a mobile phone, with pay as you drive coverage a driver can top up on more miles.  This type of coverage allows for better budgeting of a car insurance policy.

Telematics is popular due to the benefits it offers drivers.  Policies will offer differences from one another as will providers offer benefits different from others, but all telematics car insurance policies are alike in that they offer some control to the driver to impact their car insurance costs by either budgeting miles driven, driving safe on the roadways or following the guidelines of a policy for lower risk premiums.  Standard car insurance without its ability to offer personalized risk assessment and premium pricing falls short in meeting the demands of today’s more budget conscious consumer that will find telematics car insurance a more attractive option for coverage.

Do It Yourself Remedy for a Snowy Car

ice and snow on carIt is a problem which comes up much too often.  The car which needs to be started, warmed up quickly and driven to work quickly is covered with ice and snow.  The doors are iced closed.  The windscreen is covered with a sheet of ice which takes several minutes to break off.  The clock is ticking and no ready-made chemical ice and snow remover is available.  That no longer is a problem.  Three easy to put together treatments for snow and ice removal are now available.

The first home remedy to snow and ice on a car is plain and simple.  It is hand sanitiser.  This product is easily found in retail stores for a low cost.  It contains isopropyl alcohol which cuts right through snow and ice.  Simply apply a small amount on a key to unlock doors and trunks with ease.

The second home remedy to snow and ice is spray cooking oil.  This product is excellent for spraying on weather stripping on the interior of doors the night before the temperature is set to drop.  The oil makes it impossible for moisture to build up and cause doors to get sticky on chilly mornings.

Next is a combination placed in a spray bottle for instant assistance on snow and ice.  One part isopropyl alcohol to one part water added with a few drops of dishwasher soap.  The spray bottle makes it possible to apply to areas which are hard to reach.

Snow and ice do not have to plague drivers any longer with these easy to make remedies.

Young Drivers Burdened by Driving Expenses

savingsYoung drivers on the road are decreasing as the cost of keeping a car on the road is becoming out of reach of their budgets and that of their families.  According to reports, the number of young Scots on the road is the lowest it has been in 10 years and the US reports that not only are there fewer young drivers on the road in the US but fewer are getting licenced that are of age and those driving are doing so less.  In the UK there has been an 18% decrease of young drivers.

Not all have convenient public transportation available which puts them at the mercy of parents driving them from place to place.  It is therefore less likely that the young workforce will stay at levels needed by companies that depend on them.

Government is currently considering proposals to put stricter rules on young drivers in an attempt to keep them safer on the road.  Some of the considerations include a curfew, a longer probationary period, more experience hours on the road and a limit set on peer age passengers allowed in the car.

One major expense for young drivers is that of car insurance.  Experts have encouraged looking into telematics car insurance for coverage to make it more affordable.  There are many benefits available with telematics that can be especially attractive to young drivers and their parents.  Some are the ability to “pay as you drive” which means paying for only the miles needed and topping up if necessary, getting rewards of savings with safe driving habits and parental alerts when an unsafe driving event occurs.

Parents are also encouraged to help young drivers plan out journeys to save on fuel consumption and to teach them proper car maintenance to keep major repairs to a minimum and keep their car working longer.

Drivers Typically Have Eyes Off Road a Tenth of the Time in Car

hands on wheel one tenth of timeDrivers that take their eyes off the road are taking a risk.  It can be a Mum that looks into the back after her children, a person checking a text message or a driver reaching to get their drink or to change the radio station that could be the cause of an accident.  Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road is a dangerous behaviour and according to a recent study drivers typically have their eyes off the road for a tenth of the time they are behind the wheel.  If that is typical for all drivers then at any given time there are others sharing the road with you not paying attention.

The study also determined that certain drivers are more prone to be in an accident and that certain distracted behaviours are more dangerous than others.  Young drivers being the least experienced on the road are found to be the most likely group of drivers to be in an accident and that dialing on a phone or texting is the most dangerous distracted driving as it doubles the risk of having an accident.  Combining an inexperienced young driver with the distracted driving behaviour of texting behind the wheel and the combination has the potential for a dangerous outcome.

Co-author of the study Dr. Bruce Simons-Morton, a researcher with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, remarked, “Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can be dangerous. But our study shows these distracting practices are especially risky for novice drivers, who haven’t developed sound safety judgment behind the wheel.”

AA Advising Drivers to Not Drink Drive on New Year’s Eve

drinking and new year's eveNew Year’s Eve is a celebratory time when many people will be out and about ringing in the New Year with friends or attending a large party to tick down the seconds until 2014.  It is also a time of year when people are very aware that being on the road can be dangerous due to risky drink drivers that put all in danger.  Not everyone that is a victim of a drink drive accident is the driver that should not have gotten behind the wheel.

Conor Faughnan, Director of Consumer Affairs at AA, remarked, “Road deaths have increased for the first time since 2005.  Alcohol is a contributing factor, especially at this time of year. We urge motorists not to get behind the wheel whilst drunk. Sadly, the reality is there will be a number of homes around the country where families will have to ring in the New Year with an empty place at the table.”

AA is suggesting for those going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve to plan how they will be getting home in advance.  There will be many hired drivers, taxis and public transportation choices available in an attempt to keep drink drivers off the road.

There are also warnings to drivers that people metabolize alcohol at different rates.  While there are rules about how quickly one should be able to get behind the wheel after a drink there is no guarantee that it is precise and the risk is not worth the consequences to get behind the wheel after having any alcohol.  Some drivers will still have an illegal alcohol level the next morning so there are warnings that after a big night of drinking it could still be dangerous to drive the morning after.

Mr. Faughnan added, “The best and most cost effective way to get around this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is to choose a designated driver but however you do travel, be sure to take care.  No one wants to see the road fatality figures increase any further.”