Thursday, 29 July 2010

Vauxhall Corsa Vehicle Recall

Following a vehicle recall notice issued by Vauxhall, the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has announced conditions for allowing Vauxhall Corsa D models on the driving test.

This applies to all Vauxhall Corsa D vehicles with registration plates with a ‘59’ or ‘10’ year identifier.

For these vehicles, there is a possibility that the handbrake cable end fitting could move within the supporting bracket welded to the under body of the vehicle.

If this fault occurs, it might lead to a sudden loss of handbrake function at any time.

If you want to use one of these vehicles for your driving test, it will only go ahead if:

· the vehicle is fitted with dual controls - this is to help the examiner control the car in the unlikely event of a failure


· if you supply documents to show that remedial work has been carried out – this will usually be in the form of the Vauxhall recall letter stamped by the dealer and containing written confirmation that the remedial work has been carried out.

If none of these criteria are met, you’ll need to contact customer services to arrange for your test to be rebooked once the remedial work has been completed.

As there’s been no prior warning of this action, customers will have their test fee refunded or will be given a free retest only on the first occasion that they bring an affected vehicle for their test.

Source : DSA

Battle Of The Sexes Continues In Cars

Research reveals that when it comes to motoring, it's not just how men and women drive that is different, but how we crash too. Find out how it can affect your car insurance.

Diamond, the women's car insurance specialist, has revealed that there are certain types of accidents women are more likely than men to be involved in.

The list for women includes accidents in car parks, bumps on roundabouts and prangs at traffic lights. On the other hand, male motorists are more likely than female motorists to have a head on collision, drive their car up or down an embankment or hit a crash barrier.

"Our research suggests the way men and women drive is different. Possibly men drive faster and more aggressively than women, while women are more easily distracted than men behind the wheel of car," said Sian Lewis, managing director of Diamond. "Women tend to be in more accidents at slower speeds, where cars are close together, while men have more high-speed accidents where it is easy to lose control."

Car insurance claims revealed

Women are also more likely to have their car broken into and have something inside stolen, while men are more likely to have their car stolen outright. Men's cars are also more likely to catch fire than women's and they're more likely to drive through a flood. Men are also more likely than women to claim for fuel contamination.

Research from Direct Line recently revealed a number of 'crash for cash' hotspots, which add an estimated £44 on average to every UK motorist's premiums. Whether a man or a woman, it is always advisable that you regularly review your car insurance policy to ensure you are getting the best deal on your motor insurance.

Source :

New Hands-Free Technology Lets Motorists Use Twitter While Driving

British motorists could soon be able to use Twitter while driving with new hands-free technology from car company Ford.

The system, called AppLink, allows applications on iPhones and BlackBerries to be voice-controlled.

It reads 'tweet' updates out loud while the car is on the move - but does not allow the driver to respond.

This is all controlled by Ford's SYNC system - a hands-free technology that is also capable of reading out text messages and uses voice recognition to select specific songs from an MP3 player.

It was created after a study, from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, in America, revealed the dangers of driver inattention.

Research suggested that being distracted for a matter of seconds is a factor in a staggering 80 per cent of accidents.

Ford says its SYNC technology offers significant safety benefits by allowing the driver to focus more on the road.
Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas, said: 'It's only through continuous improvement that Ford will maintain its lead in voice-activated vehicle controls.

'Making SYNC even more intuitive and easier to use will encourage more drivers to take advantage of its hands-free capabilities, helping them keep their focus on driving.'

The system is expected to appear in the Focus model in Britain next year before being installed across the range.
But it's being greeted with some scepticism by driving experts in the UK.

John Franklin, from the RAC, said: 'RAC welcomes any innovation that improves safety by limiting the distractions in the car.

'However it's debatable whether this type of technology will help as it's likely to increase the distractions available to the driver.

'Tweeting while driving is an unnecessary distraction and shouldn't be seen as an essential activity when behind the wheel.'

A spokesman for the AA added: 'This technology has Jeckyll and Hyde qualities.

'It has positive aspects - it could entertain you on a long journey and provide valuable information about your route.
'But it could also be a distraction - the temptation is there to 'tweet' back if you hear one read out.

'It's fine if it's merely meant to be listened to - like a radio - but not if the driver has to start fiddling around with buttons.

'Hands-free technology can be dangerous if the driver is distracted for too long.

'It is the driver's responsibility to use the technology safely.'

Read more:

Source :

Monday, 12 July 2010

Pass Plus Course For Learner Drivers

As you pass your driving test you are permitted to drive on roads, but then also you are still an inexperienced driver.

As per the statistics roughly 20% new drivers are around 10 times more expected to be involved in an accident and unfortunately, two drivers under the age of 25 die each day in crashes in the UK.

Driving Standards Agency has designed a scheme called Pass Plus. It is designed with coordination and cooperation of the driving instruction and motor insurance industries.

The main aim of this scheme is to enable new drivers to gain valuable knowledge, learn new skills and techniques, improve anticipation and alertness, learn how to diminish the danger of accidents and uphold a polite attitude on the road and also assist to build up existing skills.

Who can take part

Pass Plus is a post driving examination course. The purpose is for giving driving knowledge to a qualified person who has passed the driving test quite recently.

It has been observed that entirely new drivers are more often considerably more prone to mishaps, predominantly within the first couple of years of driving.

The Pass Plus scheme which is designed by DSA is a final test that is modular and given in 6 parts, which in effect results in the creation of superior drivers who will respond promptly as well as more obviously to any sort of incident that they might come across while driving. In this way, together their aptitude and their self-confidence are improved, the effect being a less hazardous and more knowledgeable driver.

Purpose of the Pass Plus course

•To have a precise safe and sound driving knowledge.
•Be trained how to deal with a broad range of road and traffic situations, many of which you almost won’t have come across before
•Upgrade on your existing skills and knowledge – it can take years to become a skilled driver. Pass Plus helps you to get this by speeding up the learning procedure under the guidance of a professional instruction.
•Diminish your danger of being in a road crash – the training will help you to improve your consciousness and alertness on all kinds of hazards and help you in learning how to become an expert, avoid the hazards and deal with them carefully.
•Pass Plus training also helps in boosting up your self confidence whenever you feel nervous while driving on your own.

Pass Plus course overview

Pass Plus includes six practical modules that cover driving in town, in all weathers, on rural roads, in dark, in day light, on dual-carriageways and on motorways. Within the first 12 month of passing your test you can take this test.

It is in fact adapted for those who have recently passed their driving test and require the knowledge previously not obtained by them. It has to be explained that it is not only for those who have recently passed their driving test, but for those also who have passed earlier and wants further experience in the same field.

The Pass Plus couse consists of a series of six modules of at least one hour each. These cover:

•introduction and town driving
•all-weather driving
•out of town driving and rural roads
•night driving
•dual carriageways
•motorway driving

As a sign of the effectiveness of the scheme, latest survey conducted for the Driving Standards Agency showed that 93% of people who had taken Pass Plus felt more confident on the road, and 80% considered that their driving skills had enhanced as a result of taking the course.

Choosing an Instructor

Talk to your instructor about the Pass Plus course before, as well as after the completion of your driving test. The instructor will explain the skills which will be provided. The driving instructor will provide a minimum of one hour to all of these areas of motoring; yet, some less experienced motorists may require additional lessons. The instructor must possess and ADI green badge and also be registered as DSA Pass Plus instructor, in order to teach the Pass Plus candidates.

Pass Plus course fee

You can reduce your car insurance premiums or get an additional no claims bonus with some insurance companies. Costing depends on the motoring organization and the actual amount of time spent on the candidate. Moreover, every part of the country has its own costing system. One supplementary financial concern in passing your Pass Plus is the cut down in your motoring insurance premium.

Advantages of completing the Pass Plus-After the completion of Pass Plus course you will be able to drive in town, in all weathers, on rural roads, at night, on dual carriageways and on motorways with much more confidence.

Pass Plus gives you an additional experience and reduces your car insurance premium/discount.

More than 1,000 successful candidates per month have enjoyed the profit of highly developed training and insurance discounts, since the scheme stated in February 1995

Frequent driving scenarios and conditions are introduced to the new driver and this will surely improve his or her taken as a whole knowledge as well as skills.

Ask your instructor about Pass Plus on your next driving lesson. Or if you have passed your driving test, contact your driving instructor to book your Pass Plus course.

Source :

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Elderly Motorists Need More Support

Medical checks, driving evaluations and better public transport could all help older drivers stay safe on our roads.

The RAC report on motoring, out this week, highlights strong support from 84% of older motorists for refresher driving courses. With over three-quarters of 70-year-olds driving for over 30 years, and 86% having no additional driver training or assessment since passing their test, the driving needs of elderly motorists must be reviewed. Whether this translates into regular medical checks and refresher courses for all drivers, or when the driver reaches a certain age, the debate must be led by both government and society and any changes must be based on hard evidence.

Statistics show that, although older motorists have no more accidents each year than other drivers over 25, they are more likely to be the cause of an accident. Our research reveals that seven out of 10 of Britain's motorists are concerned about older people driving on the roads today. And with over 3 million older motorists on the road – set to double to over 6 million in the next 20 years – that is a large number of drivers to worry about. Indeed, around two thirds of British motorists support compulsory medical checks and driving evaluations for the elderly.

So, government needs to consider initiatives to help the older generation to continue to drive safely. Perhaps we can learn from our European counterparts? In Spain, a driving licence is valid for only five years when the holder is aged 45 to 70, and two years from 70 on. A person over the age of 70 is asked to present a medical certificate at each renewal. In France, once aged 75, you must pass a medical test every two years to retain your licence. Much stricter than the UK's current rules, where motorists at the age of 70 get their driving licence renewed for 3 years with a self-declaration of fitness.

Improving the quality of our roads would also go a long way to ensuring older motorists' confidence: 14% of older drivers lack confidence on driving on damaged roads with potholes. This means nearly 500,000 older drivers are having difficulties on our roads today. Improving public transport links and networks to ease the mobility of older people would also help, as our research shows half of all older motorists would use their car less if public transport were better. Government needs to make better provisions for managing and repairing the roads, as well as provide viable transport alternatives.

The challenge for society is to ensure that older generations are competent drivers, and we need to have a serious debate about the practicalities and benefits of refresher courses, compulsory medical testing and driving evaluations.

Source : David Bizley -