Weekly Blog

Hastings Driving Lessons – Show Me Tell Me Questions.

Hastings Driving Lessons – Show Me Tell Me Questions.

 

SHOW ME

Show me how you would check that the direction indicators are working.

Applying the indicators or hazard warning switch and check functioning of all indicators. (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine).

Show me how you would check the brake lights are working on this car, (if you need to switch the ignition on, please don’t start the engine).

Operate brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows, garage doors, etc, or ask someone to help, (may need to switch ignition on, prompt not to start engine).

Show me, or explain how you would check that the power assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey two simple checks can be made. Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

Show me how you would check the parking brake (handbrake) for excessive wear; make sure you keep safe control of the vehicle.

Apply footbrake firmly. Demonstrate by applying parking brake (handbrake) so that when it is fully applied it secures itself, and is not at the end of the working travel.

Show me how you would check that the horn is working.

Check is carried out by using control (turn on ignition if necessary).

Show me how you would clean the windscreen using the windscreen washer and wipers.

Operate control to wash and wipe windscreen (turn ignition on if necessary).

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them, (no need to exit vehicle).

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Show me how you would switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you would use it/them, (no need to exit vehicle).

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

Show me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you would know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

Show me how you would set the demister controls to clear all the windows effectively.

Set all relevant controls including fan, temperature air direction / source and heated screen to clear windscreen and windows. Engine does not have to be started for this demonstration.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine oil level and tell me how you would check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick / oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum / maximum markers.

Open the bonnet, identify where you would check the engine coolant level and tell me how you would check that the engine has the correct level.

Identify high/low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

Open the bonnet, identify where the brake fluid reservoir is and tell me how you would check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high/low markings.

TELL ME

Tell me how you would check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Identify where the windscreen washer reservoir is and tell me how you would check the windscreen washer level.

Identify reservoir and explain how to check level.

Tell me where you would find the information for the recommended tyre pressures for this car and how tyre pressures should be checked.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

Tell me how you would check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central 3/4 of the breadth of the tyre and around the entire outer circumference.

Tell me how you would check that the headlights and tail lights are working (no need to exit vehicle).

Operate switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle. As this is a ‘tell me’ question, there is no need to physically check the lights.

Tell me how you would know if there was a problem with your anti lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti lock braking system.

Vehicle safety videos

You can find out more about the vehicle safety questions by watching these videos.

 

 

See also the DVSA website on this link for a couple of handy videos to help.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/car-show-me-tell-me-vehicle-safety-questions/car-show-me-tell-me-vehicle-safety-questions

 

 

Today I saw Naked Fear in the eyes of a car passenger.

ScaryThis morning on my way to pick up my first pupil of the day I was driving along the Ridgeway in Hastings just after 10am, it was shortly after passing the Conquest Hospital when I noticed a silver Audi in my rear view mirror. I don’t normally bother with drivers being too close at the back as I can handle it after many years of experiencing it. Today it was different.

My usual point of irritation is if I cannot see the number plate of the following vehicle in my rear view mirror but this lady was so close I could not see any part of the headlights or even…..half of her bonnet. She must have been less than one metre or less than 3 feet from my rear bumper at 30mph. If I had needed to break sharply her foot would have still been on the accelerator when she would have crashed into me. It was in her passengers eyes…..they were that close no kidding, I could see sheer terror. He was hanging on to the strap over the door with the other hand braced on the seat beside him and his eyes glued to my rear bumper in an expression of naked fear. The lady herself seemed totally oblivious to their situation as she kept looking around for some sort of landmark they were searching for.

I gradually eased of my accelerator and slowly reduced my speed by about one mph at a time so as not to risk a rear end shunt and had got down to around 25mph when the passenger started waving his arms, saying something and wildly pointing. It was their destination, I was stunned my flabber was truly gasted. The lady signalled left and began to pull over ………..at Hastings cemetery. They nearly took up  residence.

I would have hated to be in the car with a driver like that man was with this morning, please take care folks and check your distances. Make sure you have space to stop in time not like my friend this morning.

If you have enough space you will have enough time, if you don’t have enough space you will never have enough time.

A Tip from a Hasting Driving Lessons Pupil.

Driving on a lesson the other day and my pupil Tanya was approaching a rather large roundabout we have here in Bexhill on the A259 on the way to Hastings.
We were heading east and approaching this roundabout when we heard the blast of a car horn nearby. Tanya’s instant reaction was “What have I done wrong”, this is perfectly normal on lessons as pupils always assume if there is the sound of a car horn it must be their fault, in reality it very rarely has anything to do with them at all.
It was nearby, to our right where a silver car entering the roundabout from the Ravenside shopping area had almost collided with a black car coming around the roundabout from Hastings towards Bexhill. Funnily enough the aggressor was not the guy on the roundabout but the one entering it that had almost collided with him. The black car had merely sounded the horn in warning of his approach, just as I would have done, but the silver car was tooting back with both the driver and the passenger making wild hand gestures towards the ‘innocent’ driver of the black car.
Immediately Tanya asked, “Why do they do that, is the point of it. All it does is make matters worse”. The conversation went on and developed into her saying “I do wish that drivers would not toot at nervous drivers as it does nothing to help them and only makes matters worse for the nervous driver. The additional pressure of the tooting causes them to panic and make more and more mistakes taking even longer for them to sort themselves out”.
Brilliant I thought. I, like many hundreds of other driving instructors every day up and down the country try to get this message over to our pupils. If something goes wrong and the whole world seems to falling out of your exhaust pipe, just keep calm and follow your set exercises to put things right, usually apply the hand brake, select neutral and restart the engine. 🙂
Here I had one of my own pupils putting the same point but from the other side of the table…..when the newly qualified driver (or just a nervous driver with little confidence) is being harassed by someone in a hurry. All that happens is you just make matters worse, just like everything else in life where you cannot wait for the desired outcome. Remember when as a kid your mum would tell you to stop picking at that spot as it will only get worse,it does and the problem just gets bigger and looks uglier than before you started to harass it, Guess what she was right and giving you one of life’s best lessons. Be patient and things will almost always certainly get better.
In Tanya’s argument, if we leave the nervous driver just a second or two to get organised they will be up and away, road clear and we are off. If we sit, toot, pull ugly faces and wave our arms they will only see us in the mirror and the panic will grow and grow just like the proverbial snowball down the hill moving the situation into the ‘out of control mode’ with a nervous wreck behind the wheel. Instead of 2 seconds lost we now have the possibility of 2 minutes gone and matters going from bad to worse.

This could just as easily be a friend of yours or even your child getting the stick one day, so how about building some good karma for them and cutting the nervous and inexperienced driver a bit of slack and allowing them a second or two to be on their way. A smile to them in the mirror and little gesture “don’t worry, it’s ok” brings huge dividends.
Why have I posted this? Well on my last lesson today I had a young lad who has worked his socks off for me slip up at the traffic lights crossing Battle road and cause a stall. The “lady” behind us immediately went into one and started waving the arms even making ‘strangle gestures’ towards us, I am not sure which of us she wanted to strangle either me or my pupil. The faces pulled, well one could only assume she must have carried a couple of lemons in the glove box specially for such occasions. Her age, into her thirties at least, certainly old enough to be my drivers mother and I have to admit I was more than a little disappointed. How would she have felt it this was her son or daughter getting this treatment?
I made the point of giving her a wave, all fingers close together and no rude gestures and pointing at the mirror. She backed off once she saw she had been seen and quietly followed us down the road until we turned off, I hope very embarrassed though I doubt it.

The point of all this, well let’s just think of the poor devil in front as Tanya said it doesn’t help to rush them. Give them a second or two and they will be on their way…..and so will you.
Thank you Tanya.

End of the UK Car Tax Disc after 93 years

Car Tax Disc to Disappear.

Oct 2014 sees the end of the Uk car tax disc after 93 years.
Oct 2014 sees the end of the Uk car tax disc after 93 years.

From October 1st 2014 you will no longer need to display the Tax Disc (VED).

The DVLA is switching to a fully digitized system
You will still need to pay road tax and can pay annually or six monthly as now. If you currently pay six monthly it costs you an extra 10%. In future you can still pay 6 monthly but the option to pay monthly has now been added with a reduction in fee to just 5%. This is a great new option for those on a budget as the monthly option has not been available before.Payments can still be made at main Post Offices.
At Hastings Driving Lessons we have used the online option for a few years now and find it very quick, easy and efficient

It is very important to note that when you sell your car any outstanding Road Tax will be automatically refunded.
You will not be able to sell a car anymore with x amount of Road Tax still on it.
The new owner will now have to tax the car straight away themselves.
This is great move as it stops people buying cars with outstanding tax discs and skipping registering new ownership and avoiding buying any insurance. This hopefully will help to keep some of the more dodgy drivers off the road as they will in future need to get valid insurance in order to tax the vehicle and not be able to just jump into the car and drive skipping the insurance part. 🙂

Many thanks to GEM. Who’s pic I have used for this post.
GEM is the Guild of Experienced Motorists, a terrific road safety charity that I have been a proud member of for many years. I regularly give information leaflets out to my pupils at Hastings Driving Lessons.

When are you too old too drive?

When are YOU too old to drive?

I received this item from my friend John Brown and whole heartily agree with what he has written so have copied it here for all you guys to read.
Remember this could happen to you, or one of your own family one day in the near future.
I do not add any comments of my own as I think John puts it beautifully.

This is a serous situation and one which needs addressing.

When is someone too old to drive?
Most people in their 60s or 70s will state an age which is 10 years beyond their own age, but I hope that those who think about it will say drivers should only give up after all avenues to keep them safe have been explored, whatever their age may be. There are a few older drivers who will hang on to their licence, but have no intention of driving; it is a status symbol and makes them feel they are not getting old: some need the licence because it is a necessity and some because they are actually good drivers and enjoy driving. There will always be a few belligerent ones for whom I have no sympathy, who hang on because they see it as ‘their right’ even though they are not safe.
In my work I regularly guide older drivers to voluntarily give up their licences and most are very willing to do so, but they need to be gently led to make that decision for themselves. They are not stupid just because they are getting older and very rarely have I met anyone who could not be persuaded to make the best decision for everyone concerned, even if it meant voluntarily relinquishing their licence. It does not have to be an officious or legalistic process, but just a common sense agreement. Then there are those who want to give up, but it is family members who insist they remain driving to preserve their independence. In a recent case the daughter did not want to recognise that her mother was getting older and needing more emotional and actual support, but working with the mum gave her the strength to voluntarily and personally decide to surrender her licence and to rely more on others and to encourage their support. Family dynamics!
Sadly there are good drivers who are having their licences unnecessarily removed because of Age Discrimination and it is having a devastating effect on their lives and the well-being of those around them. If they were younger, it would just not be acceptable, but there is no voice speaking up against an insidious move to ‘Test’ older drivers. It is dressed up to sound acceptable as an ‘Assessment’ or ‘Appraisal’ and excuses will be made to justify the reasoning, but it seems to be a means to remove them from our roads because of the presumption that if they are getting old they must be unsafe, instead of providing appropriate refresher training to help them stay safe.
Let me give you a composite of actual scenarios I have recently been involved with who are medically fit and competent. I make it personal to help readers relate because age will affect us all.
You are a retired professional involved in a minor incident involving slight paint damage. It is not clear who is at fault because the bus may have pulled out without looking whilst you were passing , but because your age is over 70 the Police suggest you take an older drivers’ course. It is vital that whilst you are still safe to drive you retain your clean licence because you are a full time carer so you jump at the opportunity, especially when you are advised that it will prevent you having to be involved with the courts. After over 50 years clean driving, you are proud of your driving record and don’t want to be involved with anything legal, so you willingly agree and pay the £173 ‘course’ fee.
You then find that the so-called ‘course’ is to all intents and purposes a 2 hour ‘Test’. You are told it is a ‘Fitness to Drive Course’ run by a Mobility Organisation ‘to assist people with Disabilities or Medical Conditions to drive independently’. But as you are not disabled, nor have any medical condition, you wish to prepare beforehand so take a few lessons with an ADI and go to the County Road Safety Scheme to get their opinion of your driving. You are taken out in your own car near to where you live and are given helpful advice and a clean bill of driving health for another 2 years.
You are then informed the Formal Assessment will take place in a distant City where you would never choose to drive, in a Car with which you are unfamiliar, with 2 People you do not know Examining you under Verbal instruction and you are not allowed to be accompanied on the drive by a friend or your Driving Instructor. The person sitting in the back will be an Occupational Therapist assessing your Cognitive Responses and the person next to you will be a Driving Instructor observing your Driving Ability. Unlike a Driving Test you will only get two chances to succeed.
After a long, tiring, anxious journey the first session is indoors and involves a reaction test, various theory tests and a Test of Cognitive Ability and Memory which will last for about 45 minutes followed by an hour driving both off-road and on-road; an exhausting and alien experience, but you trust the Report will be sent back to the Police so they can clear your name. – Not the DVLA.
It is not what you expected and you feel aggrieved and angry and find the level of traffic, the complexity of lane changes, various reversing exercises, motorway driving, to be onerous tasks. This is exacerbated because you are trying to hear, remember and process verbal instructions under observation and understandably you make a few mistakes and are classed as ‘clinically unsafe’ and warned not to drive and to leave your car and get a taxi home. You feel a bit like the story of Black Beauty as the Test has been like flogging a stalwart old horse to exhaustion and when after giving its all, it stumbles it is discarded, but this time it is you who feels discarded by society.
The work of the Forum of Mobility Centres is vital, but it seems as if some have branched out into an area of law enforcement they were not established to undertake and in so doing are being counter-productive to their core task of helping drivers become mobile. The message is getting out that if people value their licences they should avoid such establishments. That is so sad. The whole process of Assessment needs more openness and a total revision to meet the needs of the drivers and society as a whole. At present the lives of some older drivers are being unnecessarily ruined, whilst other unsafe drivers continue to drive. If everyone who had a minor incident was referred for assessment with the threat of the removal of their licence so putting them above the Courts then it may be acceptable, but to select only those over 70 makes it Age Discrimination.
“The awful impact of being immobile is only just beginning. I feel despondent and frankly humiliated. I wish I had opted for Prosecution now as I may have had a Fine and points on my ‘virgin licence,’ but would still have been mobile. I was lulled into believing they were there to help me when they really had different motives. I feel deceived by the options I was given.”
(As this is a general article I cannot go into the individual aspects of each case above. I feel guilty criticising these systems, but my loyalty must be to my clients. It is a shambles and needs investigation and standardisation) JPB.

Have you Enough Time and Space to Drive Safely.

If a driver is on unfamiliar roads anything can happen.

Hindsight would be the greatest gift that we could be born with. It is oh so easy to say afterwards that you would have handled it differently if you were to do that again but when we are driving we do not have that luxury.
If we have enough time we will have enough space, without enough time there is never enough space. We all need time to think and assess no matter how much experience we have, it just gets that much easier with experience to correct our mistakes when, not if, we get it wrong as drivers.
Cheers.

Hastings Driving Lessons Pupils chew gum on Lessons.

I have been giving chewing gum to my pupils for almost 30 years.

I found it helps them to concentrate and relax a little more as it prevents the mouth from getting dry when under stress.
It has the added advantage of stopping people sticking their tonque out when concentrating. You would be surprised at how many people do.
I had one ‘mature’ gentleman who would touch the tip of his nose with his toungue when concentrating, imagine the panic if we hit a pothole or speed ramp too fast. OUCH!!
Hands and knees in the floorwell loking for it, not a pleasant thought.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this old article from the Telegraph a couple of days ago that someone has done the research and finally agreed with me after all these years.All they had to do was give me a ring and ask!!!

Nice to see BSM are starting to catch up with me at long last.

If you would like to be a learner with a supply of FREE chewing gum 🙂 on your lessons to help keep you calm then get in touch. You can also see one of our pages on Facebook that covers our Bexhill area or here for Hastings areas.

On a funnier note,now that the research has been done and I have the evidence to back it up, can I now claim the 3 packs+ of gum I buy each week back from the tax man.                                             Must ask my accountant Mark Law @  MVL Business Services in Battle. East Sussex  http://www.mvlbusinessservices.co.uk/ 🙂

Keep on Chewing, in moderation of course.  🙂

Toyota Yaris Vehicle Recall and your Driving Test.

Vehicle recall: car practical test

Toyota has issued a recall notice affecting the Yaris model built between June 2005 and May 2010.
You can’t use a vehicle that has a possible safety fault on the practical driving test unless you have proof that the vehicle is safe.The recall notice

There are 2 separate safety issues:

  1. potential for the seat rail track to break if the seat is frequently adjusted forward and/or backward for:
    • driver’s seat – all vehicles
    • front passenger seat – 3-door vehicles only
  2. potential for a crack to develop in the steering column mounting bracket if the steering wheel is frequently and forcefully turned to the full-lock position

For more information

Read this notice on GOV.UK for the latest list of vehicle recalls and for details on the type of proof you need to bring to test.

DVSA examiners may accept proof from the Toyota Online Recall Tool. You or your pupil would need to access this tool and complete the verification process on a suitable device to show the examiner, without delaying the testing schedule.

For tests taking place within next 3 days

If you’re affected by this and any of your pupils have a driving test booked within the next 3 working days (from Wednesday 16 April), they can cancel or re-arrange it free of charge.

They can do this by contacting DVSA practical test enquiries and booking support to re-arrange; telephone 0300 200 1122 (Monday to Friday, 8am to midday).

For tests taking place in more than 3 days’ time

If any of your pupils have a driving test booked to take place in more than 3 days’ time (from Wednesday 16 April), they’ll still have to give the usual 3 clear working days notice to change or cancel without losing their fee.

They can do this by using one of the following links:

Driving Theory Test Fees Slashed!!

Driving Theory Test Fees to be Slashed!!

There has been a consultation… meaning – their having a natter…. and it all comes down to;   Their going to be cutting the cost of the Theory Test for learner drivers. The exisiting company, whom I did not particularly like as it happens,  have lost the contract to run the service on behalf of the DSA as it used to be called.

There is to be a whopping big 25% cut in the cost of the test, and about time too. Currently it is £31.0 each time you take it. Now it will be £25.0, a big drop and another couple of quid off next year.

You can see more of the details in the table below and as you can see there are other fees coming down too.

Great to bring you some good news.

Cheers.

The cost of the driving theory test could be cut by 25%, saving learner drivers £14.5m a year.
The proposals, which could save learner drivers in excess of £100m over the next 9 years, are contained in a public consultation on changes to theory test fees. The plans would see the cost of a car driving theory test fall by £6 in October this year, taking the cost of a test from £31 to £25, with a further drop of £2 planned in October 2015

Advice for driving in Fog.

Hallmark School of Motoring.  0779 855 3932.

Advice for Driving in Fog.

Driving in fog is perhaps the worst driving condition there is. If the road you are driving along is covered in ice, snow, or you are driving on a clear night on a dark road, at least you can see where you are going. It is when the weather is foggy that the situation changes. To help you to drive in reduced visibility here are a series of helpful hints that might just make driving in fog a whole lot easier.

Good Driver’s Know How to Deal with Fog

Lights to Use When Driving in Fog — Unless you happened to have been taking part in a learner driving lesson on a foggy day you probably haven’t had much in the way of training in how to cope with driving in fog.

However, you should know that in fog (and in other situations of seriously reduced visibility) you need to display lights, and the absolute minimum should be dipped beam headlights, every time.

The whole point of switching on your lights during daylight fog is so that you and your car can be seen, and not for you to see any better where you are going. Isn’t it a shame that it seems as if the rest of the world has not been told this?

Next time you are out in daytime fog, have a look at the twit who is driving on side–lights. Notice how you can see their car before you see their lights, and how that will be at close range too. Too close for comfort, that’s for sure, almost as if they are driving on candles, just think what it would be like if they were driving at speed, they may as well have not bothered with lights at all!

 Driving Tips for using Lights.

When driving at night you would naturally drive on a minimum of dipped headlights, but when there is fog at night, have you ever seen what happens when the driver tried switching the headlights on to high/main–beam? Terrible isn’t it, as you can’t see a thing! This is because the water droplets that make up the fog reflect the light back at you, causing dazzle. However, have you realised this doesn’t happen in daylight?

To really be seen in daylight fog, flick between your full–beam and dipped beam headlights, just as you would on a clear night, and complying with the same rules concerning dazzle to other drivers. By this advanced driving method your car will be seen from a huge distance away, as compared to when driving on ordinary dipped headlights. Not only will you be a lot safer, but others will be too, as they will be aware of you very much earlier.

However, there is something you need to be wary of. If you are using your rear fog light, you will find on many cars that when you switch to high–beam headlights, the fog light on the back of your car will go out, and then come back on again as you dip your headlights. Not a problem for you as such, but this will be extremely annoying for a driver following. So make sure you use your mirrors if adopting this method for the sake of any one behind you. Remember it is your rear end they will use to stop if confused by your lights.

Information on Rear Fog Lights

Rear fog lights, day or night, when driving with a vehicle behind you, you don’t need to have it switched on, as that driver will already know you are there. If you can see an unlit part of the vehicle following when looking in your mirror, that driver can already see your ordinary tail lights. Think also that if you have your rear fog light switched on, the glare can be such as to mask your brake lights, therefore making you more likely to be hit from behind. This is so easy to forget so make sure they are switched off if not needed.

More Information about Driving in Fog

This advice does not only apply to driving in foggy conditions, but at any time and in any weather.

Make sure that all windows are spotlessly clean and smudge–free. As the interior of a car is made up largely of oil–based plastics, when subjected to the heat of strong sunlight, the plastic surfaces give off an oily vapour, which then coats the inside of the car windows. This creates a foggy haze on the glass, which impairs visibility, especially at night or in bad weather but can also flare up in strong sunlight.

NEVER wipe mist off the inside of windows with yours hands. The natural oils on your skin cause smearing and frustrate the ability to see clearly at night or in bad weather. Use a clean, damp chamois leather or special window cleaning cloth instead. To stop the inside of the windscreen misting up, direct your heater control to the screen vents and open your drivers door window just a crack to allow for greater air flow.

If you are driving in freezing fog, do not use your screen washers before the engine compartment has really warmed up, as the fluid may freeze on the screen and obscure your vision. If you need to clean the windscreen, find somewhere to pull over safely and use a clean glass cleaning cloth.

Do not follow the tail lights of the car in front as you may be a lot closer than you think for the speed you are travelling at. Increase your safety margin as much as you possibly can.

In fog you can easily suffer sensory deprivation the silence and loss of speed awareness can be very dangerous. So check your speed regularly you may be going a lot faster than you thought and as said above open the window about a centimeter (half an inch) it will give many benefits including providing you with fresh air.

Make sure before you start out you tell someone where you are going and your expected time of arrival. Sound soft, I’ve done it for years so why can’t you?

Make sure your phone is charged and if you are one of those twits who send or read texts when you drive for goodness sake not in these conditions. Never use your phone hand-held, find a safe place to stop first, preferably off the main road to prevent being hit.

If you are making a long journey plan your route out in advance, make sure you have some warm clothing and a flask with a hot drink. Maybe even a snack in case you are delayed due to an incident or get lost. Be careful if using a satnav you are not looking at the road.

If you take regular medication carry an emergency pack in the glove box.

Make sure your torch has a good battery, we usually forget until we need it, or is fully charged up.

Finally do you really need to make this journey, could you wait a while until the fog clears?

Remember – F.L.O.W.E.R.S.(S).

Fuel:  Have you got enough?

Lights:  Are the bulbs all working and do you have spares in case?

Oil:   Have you checked the level recently, is it ok?

Water:  Are the levels all topped up and do you carry a top up bottle?

Electrics:  Are all the switches working and in good order?

Rubber:  Are the tyres in good condition and the tread at least the legal 1.6mm but preferably 3.0mm including the spare as you may need it? Remember to check the wiper rubber, front & back, is able to clear the screen efficiently these are easily cleaned for a few pence with just a drop of vinegar in a wet cloth and wiped over.

Stability Make sure the car is evenly loaded; we have all seen cars tilting and leaning over, with crazy loads. If you are carrying something heavy in the boot then put the back seatbelts on to prevent it flying forward and don’t leave anything heavy or sharp on the rear parcel shelf such as a book or umbrella.

(S)Self: Are you fit to drive, are you tired, been drinking, taken any drugs, even over the counter drugs you may have bought for a cold or flu.

 

 

The Law Concerning Use of Lights

 

It is an offence to drive a motor car during the hours of darkness on a road without street lighting, where the speed limit is greater than 30 miles per hour without displaying dipped headlights.

It is an offence to drive a motor car on a road without displaying obligatory lights in circumstances of seriously reduced visibility, such as fog, rain or falling snow (Obligatory lights means side lights, but anyone who doesn’t use dipped headlights is at a high risk of being hit and in my mind a sandwich short of a picnic).

A driver can be prosecuted if driving a motor vehicle on a road whilst displaying either front or rear fog lamps when the weather conditions at the time make it unnecessary.

It is an offence to park a motor car on a road during the hours of darkness without displaying obligatory lights (side lights) unless that road has a system of street lighting and is subject to a speed limit of 30 miles per hour.

All lighting equipment fitted to a motor vehicle whilst in use on a road must be maintained in good efficient working order, even when used during the hours of daylight.

 

www.hallmarkschoolofmotoring.co.uk

0779 855 3932, or 01424 214297.