Stacking the Odds in the Favour of Young Drivers

young driversYoung drivers are facing bad odds when it comes to staying safe on the road.  They are the demographic group of drivers most likely to be in an accident and for that accident to involve a fatality or a serious injury.  While the odds may be against them statistically there are tools and decisions to be made that can stack the odds in their favour.

Parents can make a major difference in the safety of their young driver by setting a good example and driving safely themselves.  Young drivers were once just passengers in the back seat of the parent’s car.  Children watch and repeat the behaviours they see from their parents.  By driving safely and avoiding distracted behaviours and unsafe driving practices, parents can set young drivers up for success.

Choosing telematics car insurance is a tool to help keep young drivers safer since it serves as a constant reminder to drive safely.  The product uses a GPS unit to monitor the driver’s habits behind the wheel.  Driving data collected is reviewed by the car insurance provider for risk assessment and premium costing.  Safe driving could offer the possibility for discounted rewards on premiums.  Some policies offer parental alerts when unsafe driving events occur such as speeding or hard braking.  While the product can’t guarantee a young driver will drive safer it could serve as a safety reminder while offering quality coverage at an affordable rate.

Safety experts suggest parents choose the car with the most safety features for their young driver.  While it is true that young drivers often get the “hand me down” family car or a used car for their first car, it should not negate the need to look for as many safety features as possible.  Enclosing the young driver in the safest car available could make the difference should an accident occur.

Setting rules with young drivers is another essential tool to keeping them safe on the road.  Studies have shown that the presence of a peer aged passenger in the car with a young driver increases the likelihood of an accident.  The more peer aged passengers present in the car the higher the odds become of there being a serious accident.  By limiting the number of passengers in a car with a young driver, parents are setting safety standards that could make all the difference.


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.

Drivers to Encounter Speeder Catching Cameras on Major Roads

catching speedersDrivers speeding may be facing a fine each and every time they break the speed limit.  Motorway speed cameras work 24/7 and catch each and every speeder which is why they are installed or so say those looking to push safe driving speeds.  There are critics that see the cameras as less of a tool to keep roads safer but as an opportunity for raising money to fund budgets.

The new cameras meant to catch speeding drivers passing the 70 mph limit are meant to be stealth cameras as they will be a blending grey color rather than bright yellow as older speed cameras are colored.  They will be installed on major important roadways such as the M1 and M6.  Rather than looking to control speed better in construction areas, these cameras will be set to look for speeders on high volume roads.

One opposition group, Alliance of British Drivers (ABD), believes the cameras will have little to no impact on keeping drivers from speeding.

Roger Lawson, ABD spokesperson, said, “We are opposed to speed cameras in general. The evidence of their success in promoting safety is not good and in reality what is happening now is that the police are using speed cameras to fund their other activities through speed awareness courses.

“If these cameras are grey rather than yellow they are going to be harder to spot and so will have no impact in slowing traffic down. If there is a good reason for the traffic to be slowed down then the cameras need to be as visible as possible.”

There are those that oppose the cameras due to cost but in most studies the cameras pay for themselves quickly with revenue from fines.

A Highways Agency spokesperson said “These are not stealth cameras they are more visible that they were before. These motorways are not about speed limits. They are about smoothing the traffic flows and increasing capacity.

“The onus is on the driver to abide by the speed limit.”

Telematics Car Insurance Makes Miles Affordable

car insurance costCar insurance is not inexpensive for any driver.  It is an expense which drivers pay for every month and is required for driving on any UK roadway.  A new car insurance product is taking the country by storm and is growing in popularity each week.  The latest car insurance product to attract the attention of drivers is known as telematics pay as you drive car insurance.  It is the first car insurance product which allows drivers to pay for only the miles they estimate to need in the coming months.

Drivers are becoming more fond of telematics car insurance each week.  They are able to do something with this new car insurance that is completely unique.  It is known as pay as you drive.  This scheme allows drivers to only pay for the miles which they believe they will drive in the coming months.  This is an excellent way to buy car insurance and save money at the same time.

Car insurance is not an inexpensive part of getting behind the wheel.  Pay as you drive car insurance allows drivers to pay for a set amount and benefit the family budget as well.  As miles get close to expiring, drivers are able to top up like topping up minutes on a mobile phone.

Telematics car insurance can benefit every driver and is attracting drivers from many age groups.  Whether drivers are simply going to school and home or traveling to a place of employment, they are seeing benefits which have never been seen before.

Telematics car insurance is making cover more affordable for all types of drivers, regardless of age.

Car Part Newly Designed in London Offers Savings in Fuel and Emissions

petrol technologyCars that run on less fuel and emit less environmental toxins are what drivers are seeking.  A scientist with the Imperial College London has developed a prototype catalytic converter that could do both.  Not only could the newly designed part help consumers save money on fuel costs, it could also save money on car manufacturing costs.  In the long run, the savings would prove beneficial to both consumers and the environment.

The prototype’s inventor, Dr. Benjamin Kingsbury, is a Research Associate with the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College of London.  In reference to the invention, he remarked, “Catalytic converters are the most important component in a vehicle for controlling exhaust emissions. Yet their design has not changed since they were first developed in the 1940s. The prototype I have developed could make cars cheaper to run because they use less fuel. It could potentially help manufacturers to reduce their costs. Drivers could also be a major beneficiary of this device, which could save on fuel costs and ultimately lead to reduced CO emissions.”

Tests with the new design suggest it would help reduce fuel consumption on a standard car by up to 3%.  It would use up to 80% less rare metal in the manufacturing process reducing the use of platinum which is a key component in the making of catalytic converters.  This pricey metal accounts for more than 50% of the cost of the current manufacturing of the device.

Others on the development team of the new catalytic converter are Professor Kang Li and Dr. Zhentao Wu, both with the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial.  The team is currently in the process of taking the prototype to mass manufacturing.

Snowden Report Reveals Angry Birds Could Be Used for Spying

angry birds for spyingEdward Snowden’s latest report from leaked documents has listed that a smartphone user with simple seamlessly harmless apps on their smartphone could have made themselves an easy target for spying.  While the NSA in a statement noted that they did not have interest in any data that was beyond “valid foreign intelligence targets”, the information has not been easy to digest by the 1.7 billion downloaded users of Angry Birds, nor the social media users that have downloaded apps to access their accounts.

The interception of information offered through apps on smartphones was possible according to Snowden.  While most citizens in the UK and US using gaming apps or social media apps were not subject to NSA spying, it does open up discussion as to the possibility of others doing the same and stealing personal data that could compromise someone’s personal identity and information.

The use of GPS information in smartphones for driving directions, finding points of interest or checking in with social media sites could be as easily compromising to a user as flashing their credit card information to strangers.

Personal information is becoming more difficult to keep private and with digital data usage increasing and smartphones becoming more popular the ability to keep the information safe will become even more of a need to consumers.

While users of Angry Birds and other apps should not panic over lost personal data at this time, it does raise the question as to what our smartphones, GPS systems, car navigational systems, sat navs and tablets are broadcasting about our lives for others to see and receive.

Young Drivers Get Lesson Taught by Justin Bieber

justin bieber drink drivingYoung drivers have much to learn in the latest events in Justin Bieber’s life.  Everyone of course can make bad decisions but when it comes to making decisions that involve putting one’s self and others in danger, the lesson can have dire consequences.  At the end of last November a quick ride in a fast, sporty car resulted in the death of “Fast and Furious” movie franchise star Paul Walker and his business associate that was driving the car when their car sped to 100+ mph and hit a post.  While Justin Bieber’s latest speeding brush with the police resulted in an arrest and no injuries, his intent to drink and drug drive as well as drag race on a residential street could have ended drastically different than it did.

According to Miami police reports, Mr. Bieber’s arrest involved a DUI (driving under the influence) associated with both alcohol and prescription drugs not prescribed to him by a physician, driving on an expired licence, drag racing and resisting arrest without violence.  He was in a residential area and his entourage used their black SUV’s to block traffic on the road to allow both the pop star and friend, R&B music artist Khalil, in another car to drag race.  The two were driving leased Lamborghinis which were impounded by police.

His fans are standing behind him but hopefully they are looking at the recording star and seeing that following his example will land one in a lot of trouble that would no doubt be much more costly in the terms of financial and personal stress than it will turn out to be for Justin Bieber.  The lesson to be learned by hopefully Mr. Bieber, those connected to the incident and by those outside the event is that drink or drug driving is dangerous, costly and stupid when so much can be lost by one decision to do what so many have warned can be deadly.  Drinking and doing drugs by a driver can lead to poor control of a vehicle but also cause one to make even more bad decisions such as speeding, drag racing and other risky behaviours.  The situation is being heavily covered in the news and parents should use the opportunity to open dialogue with the young driver in their home and those soon to be driving as to the dangers of driving or riding with a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol.