Category Archives: motoring

women enjoy motoring as much as men but we have different needs

FOXY Lady is a Top Ten Automotive blog

FOXY Lady blog is one of the Top 10 UK Automotive Blogs in 2017 as ranked by Vuelio from within its Social Media Index.

I write the majority of blogs myself and you’ll soon see that we’re a different sort of motoring-related blog from the norm.

Which makes this badge all the more rewarding.

What Makes FOXY Lady Blog Special?

For starters the FOXY Lady blog has a distinct female flavour and attitude. By that I mean we aren’t just about the latest cars and car reviews (which many do better than us I think) nor do we include a great deal about motor racing and F1.

Instead, we’re a female brand reflecting the FOXY attitude that motoring services can be a lot better for women than many enjoy as is. So FOXY Lady blog reflects our balance of putting the spotlight on best practice whilst being prepared to have a pop at evident motoring cowboys!

In short, FOXY Lady Blog straddles two different audiences which isn’t recommended in marketing spheres (but are inter-related for now) with four big objectives in mind.

1/ To help women buy better value for money garage and car buying services without compromising their safety.

2/ To help automotive businesses (willing to listen!) to understand what women want as consumers and employees

3/ To promote signs of measurable excellence in unregulated business areas – HM Government please note.

4/ To encourage talented and hard working females to consider careers/strive to move up the ladder in the motor industry. Because they are much needed higher up…

Somehow we need to find a way to parachute a veritable explosion of exceptional women into automotive boardrooms that remain resolutely male.

For the evidence is compelling – a more diverse board is better for the bottom line and a more diverse business can more effectively and fairly represent the best interests of a diverse customer base.

How To Become A Top Ten Vuelio Blog

The first myth I’m delighted to dispel is the assumption of some that we’ve probably nominated ourselves in this competitive field! Our presence will no doubt intrigue those that run bigger businesses, post more blogs and employ a dedicated social media resource.

So it’s for this reason that this award matter so much more for FOXY because, as important as we think our messages are for women in particular, we can’t influence the outcome here.

Yes, you have to be on Vuelio’s Social Media database to be ‘innit to winnit’ as they say but most good bloggers will be, knowing that this is where PR professionals expect to find the most influential bloggers in their sphere.

It’s all the more impressive for FOXY Lady Blog to have ‘squeezed’ into Vuelio’s Top Ten Automotive blog listing knowing we’ve been scored by Vuelio’s proprietary algorithm that ranks ALL the media in their massive database. They choose the ten most influential blogs after their automated results have been carefully reviewed by a team of in-house researchers, taking into account the likes of social sharing, topic-related content, post frequency, social media influence, traffic, design and interactivity. I hope you’re as impressed as me!

Clearly this allows Vuelio to demonstrate the strength of its blogger database alongside their associated PR and research services. It’s also true that these awards/rankings set a high benchmark within the blogging industry and act as a resource for existing and potential PR and communications’ agencies to value and enjoy.

How To Get Your Blog Considered By Vuelio

If you write an influential blog and would like it to be considered by Vuelio please submit details to the database email updates@vuelio.com or tweet them using the @Vuelio handle.

Thank you Vuelio for this important ranking and recognition for FOXY Lady blog.

FOXY

Confusing parking signs in Worthing

Here’s a good example of a baffling parking sign in Worthing. It’s in a residential road alongside the hospital and says
P Mon-Sat
10 – 11am
& 2pm – 3pm
Permit holders only H

I find the positioning of the letter P confusing. To me it says visually that you CAN park between the 2 hours specified Mon – Sat. Which implies you can’t at other times?​

But it might mean that only Permit Holders can park during these hours. Or only outside these hours?

And why is the H (as in hospital) relevant?

The point is, do I park here or not? I arrived at 2.30pm and was planning to park for about an hour. I don’t have all day to work this out and yet if I get this wrong I could be looking at a big fine.

In short, this is an unnecessarily stressful encounter.

Expert Parking Advice Needed

Luckily on this occasion I see an approaching Parking Warden.

“What does this sign mean?” I ask.

“It means what it says” he replies.

“Please explain it to me” I asked patiently, determined not to lose it.

“Read the sign” he said unhelpfully, walking on and leaving me speechless.

The more I looked at the sign, the less sure I became and because I didn’t trust the grumpy Warden not to return and book me if I made the wrong call I moved my car to Waitrose’s car park, was late for/shortened my hospital visit and did some food shopping instead.

It can’t just be me. Why do signs have to be this complicated? I wasn’t convinced the Warden understood this one either? Does it mean Councils earn more by baffling us into dubious parking then fining us?

Or was I expected to pay more to park, briefly and less conveniently, in the often overcrowded hospital car park?

By all means post any misleading signs near you at FOXY’s Facebook Page or at Twitter @FOXYTweets and we’ll see if we can get them some much needed attention there.

FOXY
info@foxyladydrivers.com
Twitter @FOXYTweets.

Who’s going to drive at Christmas?

We all drink more alcohol than usual at Christmas. After all ’tis the season to be merry, so it’s almost as if it’s expected of us.
But when you’re going out as a family or group of friends, someone has to drive afterwards and she or he who takes on that job has to stay off the booze to keep us all as safe as possible.

Because the facts are that

+ 35,000 drink drive offences were recorded in the first nine months of 2015 – that’s excluding Christmas of course.

+ Having alcohol in your system, even when it’s below the limit, increases your chances of dying in a crash six fold.

+ The total number of drink drive related accidents of all severities totalled 5,620 in 2014. Plus the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, families and friends that are affected by these.

Make a fuss of your volunteer driver

But how many of us think to make a fuss of the one who volunteers to stay completely sober all night? Especially ones who like a tipple as much as the rest of their family and friends.

If your family is like mine, when alcohol or the pub is involved, it’s a given that I’ll drive and be expected to be happy with an occasional J20 whilst they get more ‘cheerful’ than me, topping up with beer.

So let’s raise a glass to our unsung driving heroes, female and male, ie the designated driver on the night.

Maybe someone could come up with a better name than ‘designated driver’ for starters…

Reward her with afternoon tea?

One business that is doing their bit to recognise and celebrate designated drivers is IAM RoadSmart. They’re offering afternoon tea at The Savoy in London as a competition prize. To enter just tweet a picture to the @IAMRoadSmart Twitter page using the hashtag #herooftheroad showing your volunteer driver being celebrated by their family or group of friends.

Former F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell CBE, IAM Roadsmart’s President, equates this support to his career success which he’d never have achieved without the backing of his team.

Similarly, he feels, a group of friends need to work together as a team to make sure the designated driver feels a part of the evening. So there is no temptation for her or him to down a swift pint/glass of wine and then risk the lives of everyone in the vehicle.

So we’d like to echo Nigel’s advice to make sure these (designated driver) heroes of the road are rewarded by either treating them to a meal or their soft drinks during the evening.

As we see it, the least you can do is say thank you after the evening so they feel appreciated. Then maybe those drivers who think that a pint or so doesn’t impair their driving ability might reconsider this, when driving, because you’ve made them realise that this matters to YOU, with safety in mind.

The alternative is to organise a taxi in advance of course.

Let’s make this festive season one to remember for all the right reasons in 2016.

Mary Berry – Queen of Cakes (and Motoring)

maryberry_sarahsillars
Photo thanks to Richard Daniels of Ardquoy.
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Not only is Mary Berry an inspiration to wannabe better home bakers but she is now a mature role model to those of us who might want to be a better driver too.

Mary has been a member of the IAM since the 1950s and has just completed her latest Mature Driver Assessment showing that she counts on driving experts to bring her up to date with the latest motoring know-how.

Mary was presented with her certificate for having completed the assessment by IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer Sarah Sillars at the Kop Hill Climb, a Buckinghamshire-based motoring event which raises tens of thousands of pounds for local charities.

To be clear, this assessment isn’t a test and you don’t need to be as mature as Mary Berry to take it. It’s simply a review for those of us who might feel the need to ask driving-related questions and to put right any bad habits we’re bound to have acquired.

In short, anyone who has been driving for more than ten years after passing their test will probably benefit from an IAM Roadsmart refresher driving course which may or may not be called a Mature Driver Assessment.

You can find out more about such choices including the IAM RoadSmart Mature Driver Assessment at their website.

FOXY

PS: If you know any female who needs help with motoring related matters, including buying, running and maintaining a car, please suggest she joins FOXY Lady Drivers Club. This could be a daughter leaving home, a Mum on her own, any recently widowed or divorced lady or anyone reading this who finds this area intimidating. Our £24 lifetime membership is highly affordable and a really caring gift. Here’s where to join us.

Child Seat Regulations when driving abroad

childrestraints

If you’re driving abroad this summer be sure to know the child car seat regulations for the country you’re in (and through).

If you are renting a car on holiday abroad, be sure to record and specify the precise age and height of any children travelling with you and to check the hire company (and any airport transfer/collection taxi service) has what you need.

It helps to know the rules for yourself, for added peace of mind so we’ve compiled a handy guide, correct at the time of publication for top holiday destinations.

United Nations Child Restraint Groupings

These are the approved recognised Child Restraint Systems according to UN Regulation No. 44.

car seats

However, you need to be aware of the current variations from country to country for your holiday destination.

Travelling within the EU

Council Directive 91/671/EEC says that children less than 135cm tall (NB: This is 150cm in some countries (see below) must be restrained by a system suited to the child’s physical features and be approved to UN Regulation No. 44/03 standards (see above table).

Screenshot-5

Variations by country are:

France

Children under the age of 10 must travel in an approved child seat or restraint system (see above table).
Rear facing child seats are approved in the front seat but only if the air bag is deactivated.

Spain

Children younger than 12 years or smaller than 135 cm (4ft 5ins) cannot travel as front seat passengers. They must travel in the rear in appropriate child restraint systems (see above table).

Rear facing child seats are allowed in the front seat but only if the air bag is deactivated.

Portugal

Children younger than 12 years or smaller than 135 cm (4ft 5ins) cannot travel as front seat passengers. They must travel in the rear in appropriate child restraint systems (see above table). Rear facing child seats are allowed in the front seat but only if the air bag is deactivated.

Greece

Children younger than 12 years or smaller than 135 cm (4ft 5ins) cannot travel as front seat passengers. They must travel in the rear in appropriate child restraint systems (see above table). Rear facing child seats are allowed in the front seat but only if the air bag is deactivated.

USA

Confusingly, the rules differ from state to state. You can check the US requirements here. In general, most states prefer children under the age of 12 to be seated in the rear of the car. What differs from the EU is that rear-facing seats are mandatory in many states till children are 1 years old (and possibly 2 years old) regardless of weight.

Turkey

Children younger than 10 years or smaller than 135 cm (4ft 5ins) or weighing less than 36kg must use a child-safety seat and sit in the rear seats. Rear facing child seats are allowed in the front seat but only if the air bag is deactivated.

USEFUL LINKS/SOURCES:

United Nations report on Regulation 44

Wikipedia

USA and Canada Child Safety Seat Law Guide
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For dedicated motoring support services, information and advice like this, we recommend that women drivers in the UK join FOXY Lady Drivers Club, the only UK motoring support service for women.