Only you can change your mind!

How careful are you with regards to your own health and safety? Do you genuinely drive as safely as you can or do you allow other factors to distract you?

I know from driving in Nuneaton daily that there are a number od drivers who will benefit from this message.

Please watch the clip linked to below and you may find that you concentrate a little more from now on:

https://youtu.be/F1p_6xDuyFQ

Nuneaton drivers can be the best

The roads of Nuneaton are ours folks. Let’s work together to make them as safe an environment as we possibly can.

Allowing a few extra minutes for your journey reduces stress and allows time for better decision making. This leads to safer streets for cyclists to use and who knows, pedestrians may even be safer at zebra crossings.

Have a nice, and safe, day my friends.

Please allow extra time to complete your journey safely

Good morning Nuneaton!

Today being somewhat on the special side and having niceties planned for later on I would like to live to see my sweetheart smile.

I am totally accustomed to the continuous increase in arrogance and general carelessness displayed while behind a steering wheel. I use a mix of techniques to ensure the health and safety of both myself and others continuously on a day to day basis. I am simply asking that upon this special day for many a little extra time be allowed to complete your journey safely.

Drivers please … A little patience helps us all!

Whereas I fully understand that we all have to be somewhere I will never understand why the tolerance and courtesy towards others that we would display automatically in any other public space eludes so many while they are driving.

There are countless good advice posts online suggesting leave more time for your journey, advice regarding weather conditions etcetera, I shall almost certainly write more of those myself.

This post on the other hand is simply a plea from the heart of a cynical driving instructor to his fellow humanity:

Please show a little more patience on the road!

The reward for driving while tired can be death!

Bit melodramatic for you this morning perhaps?

Think about the different circumstances that life throws at us though and it is easy to see the possibilities and many of them are normal life stuff.

A change of shift at work can take a while for the body and mind to adjust to. A bout of illness can have exactly the same effect. Something as expected as a night out can leave you driving tired just a few hours later than you normally would be.

It is so easy to roll off the old, ‘avoid driving tired’ routine when in real life all of the above are unavoidable.

So some practical advice:

  • Allow larger gaps between your vehicle and everything else because tiredness impairs judgement.
  • If you have to drive for more than half an hour take breaks.
  • Swap drivers at the half hour point if possible.
  • Open the drivers window – others may complain but having a driver refreshed by cooler air is better than experiencing a car crash.
  • When you take a break at least get out and walk about.
  • If possible when you take a break run cold water across your wrists and keep them there for a while.

If you find that your driving is impaired within your half hour driving time then you only have one further option:

Park safely and SLEEP!

How many illegal drivers are on our roads?

I simply cannot help but wonder how many people are driving cars in the UK, either on a regular or occasional basis, without conforming to the legalities.

This thought occurred to me earlier on today when we popped off to Shackfest which is only about a twenty minute drive from us along the A444. Within that short and simple drive along a comparatively straight road interspersed with only a few villages the standard of driving on display was appalling!

Certainly the awareness of any sort of risk assessment strategy was absent in the minds of drivers simply launching themselves into the other lane approaching blind bends and accelerating like crazy up to the point that harsh braking was required.

I can tell you that someone important to me would have to have a dire need way beyond a mug of tea before I would accept such risks.

Please drive safely friends.

Hours and hours of motorway driving back to the UK

Our return journey home was uneventful apart from the timings. In common with many UK drivers before me I forgot that the French motorway network has a paeage system which is a toll system of motorway financing. This fact in itself is not what I forgot. I forgot about the absolutely enormous queues which go with it especially at popular choke points in the network such as the Pont Do Normandie. A bloody great bridge upon which several motorways converge. The weekly ‘run to the channel’ for UK tourists has to be the busiest time of the week.

We did make it in time for our train but rather than the leisurely drive up the coast with two or three convenient stops for breaks and pictures in pretty places we ended up just driving and queuing. Aah well, life happens.

Once back on UK British shores I was faced with an entirely different driving environment. The UK motorway network. Apart from the fact that there are signs and road markings there are not many similarities between the two motorway systems. Ours is wider, used by a far greater number of vehicles, more complex in its nature and once you add smart motorways and traffic officers (oh yes, they exist) to a much more diverse traffic flow then we have, in my opinion, a much better motorway system.

With over two thousand miles of motorway network to go at there is much for the beginner to find daunting. I do motorway driving lessons for those in the Nuneaton area at a reasonable price and I can certainly see why they are popular with those who have recently passed.

With an extra two and a half million cars on the road in recent years and no end in sight to the rise in traffic numbers the situation is not going to become any easier for the new driver to adjust to. Whereas I can certainly see why our motorways are safer than the French ones, I can also see a point in the not too distant future where motorway tuition will be insisted upon after passing the driving test.

Whether the planned expansions to the UK motorway network will make this possible for every area of the country I am not sure. That would be the requirement for adding motorway driving to the standard driving test. I think the time may be approaching whereby new drivers have to jump some sort of official hurdle before they can officially drive on the motorways.

As to what that may be; if you have any ideas or suggestions then I would value your opinion in the comments section.

Would you park opposite a bus stop?

Seriously would you?  Clearly I spend more time than most driving in urban areas of Nuneaton than most and I am surprised at the number of people who actually do.

The Highway Code Rule 243 clearly states that you MUST NOT stop or park, “at or near a bus or tram stop or taxi rank” among its list of places where parking is legally prohibited.

Just to clarify, the term “at or near” includes opposite.

Think of it this way.  The bus drivers have well defined places where they are expected to stop.  You guessed it, bus stops.  If a bus comes to a halt at a bus stop and your car is already parked opposite the bus driver has not legally blocked the carriageway.  You have!

You are not legally allowed to park opposite the bus stop whereas the bus driver is obliged to stop there.

If we could all show a little more forethought and courtesy to others then driving would be a far more pleasurable experience.

Do you concentrate as much on car parks?

I just popped a piece on the Twitter account which moved me to think a little, it’s amazing how that can happen, even on a Sunday.

The practical driving test for car drivers was changed at the back end of last year to bring it more inline with the needs of today’s drivers and I cannot argue with that.

We are looking forward to taking a peek at the first ever Nuneaton Food Festival in Nuneaton town centre today and this is what sparked my thought.  The extra parking elements to the driving test were brought in because of the ever increasing number of insurance claims originating from use of car parks.

Lots of our fellow festival goers today will drive into town, as will I.  The insurance industry has been banging on for decades about accidents in the last mile of travel due to complacency and I cannot help but suspect that drivers on car parks have been feeling a little too comfortable that their journey is over because they have entered the car park.

Your journey is not over until you have parked the car safely!