Tag Archives: drivers

Calm down dear…

We all remember Michael Winner’s advice to ‘calm down’ and it’s definitely sound advice when you’re battling with what could be your own feelings of road rage as a result of others motoring antics.

Sensible advice this week from road safety charity the IAM reminds us how easy it is to get stressed by everyday motoring mistakes others make. Here are the highlights singled out by their Chief Examiner Peter Rodger and whilst I do detect a male flavour in some instances it’s well worth thinking through the psychology of all this in advance.

1. Rather than adopt a superior than thou attitude when other drivers annoy you, remember that they probably realise they have made a mistake and give them the time and space to sort their error out. They probably don’t need you telling them the error of their ways…

2. The horn is there simply to get others’ attention and let them know that you are there. If someone else uses it to express annoyance, don’t join in because it achieves nothing but adds to the stress for others. Just let it pass.

3. If you spot a vehicle coming towards you with its full beam on, do remember that this is probably a case of forgetfulness on the part of the driver. By switching your full beam on (which many motorists do in retaliation) you are simply adding to the risk of that car having an accident.

4. As tempting as it is to close the traffic gap at junctions before letting others in ahead of you, why not set an example by giving way at busy junctions and/or allowing traffic to merge into your lane when necessary – for example, at a motorway junction.

5. If another road user is driving threateningly, try to maintain extra distance between your car and theirs. Try not to react by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly, as this will reduce your car control, could affect others and will probably wind up the other driver.

6. Planning as far ahead as possible puts you in the best state of mind to predict other people’s actions and mistakes on the road, allowing you to cope with them more easily.

Rodger said: “Road rage never improves these situations, and puts you, your passengers, and other road users around you at risk. The best thing is to stay calm and continue to drive sensibly, not worsen the situation.”

I’d add that on some occasions it’s easier and safer in the long term to say sorry, even when it wasn’t our fault. Let’s face it, most women have learned how to concede with grace when some men can’t concede for loss of face.

To find out more about coping with road rage situations, why not consider attending a dealership evening for ladies that teaches you how to spot and deal with this including, heaven forbid, self defence tactics if things get out of hand.


Is your driving licence up to date?

…in case Inspector Clouseau checks
Updating your driving licence is a vital legal requirement, Victoria Ford of the DVLA reminds us, and if it isn’t, you could face a fine of £1,000.

The DVLA started issuing photo-card licences 15 years ago and more than 30 million drivers have one now. They’re usually valid for 10 years and there is a legal requirement for drivers to renew the photograph at the same time as they renew their licence.

However, two million drivers have failed to do this and could be fined up to £1,000 if stopped by the police, who then discover that the photo and licence is out of date.

Even failing to notify the DVLA that you have changed address could be costly and Victoria Ford from the DVLA explains why this is so.

Victoria Ford from the DVLA

“Appearances can change and it is important that photo-card licences are updated every 10 years to ensure the police and other enforcement agencies have the best possible photograph to help them correctly identify whether a driving licence is being used fraudulently.” she says adding…

“This also helps prevent driving licence impersonation – stopping disqualified and perhaps dangerous drivers taking to our roads.”

To be absolutely clear here, if you change your address or name, you have to tell the DVLA, so that your driving licence and car registration details can be updated.

Apparently the DVLA sends letters to drivers whose licences are about to expire but the onus is still on you to keep your card and records up to date even if this reminder doesn’t reach you or goes astray.

As you might expect there is a small charge involved for renewing your licence – it costs £20 but if you are merely updating your address, your new licence will be free.

Best to check that your licence is up to date and that the address on it is correct. Both are clearly stated on the card itself.


Female drivers affected by new car insurance regulations

The next few months are going to see some big changes being made to the way insurance providers’ price up their premium policies.

Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which prohibits gender-biased pricing, insurers in the UK will be prevented from offering cheaper car insurance deals to female drivers.

Despite strong opposition from the insurance industry, which has been lobbying against the regulation change for the best part of the last decade, the ECJ has ruled that insurance providers will no longer be allowed to use gender as a factor in pricing policies. The effect of the change in regulation is not only limited to car insurance, with the industry expecting major changes across life insurance, pension annuities and the home insurance sector.

Opposition to the regulation change from female drivers comes as no surprise as previous statistics have shown that young men under the age of 25 are twice as likely to have an accident compared with their female’s counterparts. These statistics, which have driven the pricing policy of insurance providers in the past, are now being discarded with female drivers set for a 25% – 50% annual increase in their insurance premium policies.

The changes, which will be implemented as of the 21st of December 2012, have been met with strong opposition from accredited insurance committees such as the Association of British Insurers and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association. The general consensus among the associations is that the job of the insurer is to match prices according to risk, and by and large young male drivers present a much larger risk than young female drivers do.

Stepping away from the obvious issue of young female drivers being priced out of the insurance market, the AA has also expressed a fear that insurers may start to pull out of insuring young drivers all together. With premiums for young drivers already at an all-time high, the AA has warned that many insurers may consider the young driver market ‘too risky’ and avoid it, a move which could reduce competition and in turn drive up premium costs even further.

This view is not shared by the Association of British Insurers however, with ABI spokesperson, Adeola Ajayi, stating that “the insurance market will remain competitive despite the ruling and has published key consideration points for consumers set to be affected by the changes.”

Whatever the outcome, the insurance industry is a hot topic which is worth looking out for in the next few months as new European regulations are set to change previously untouched processes which may cause a ripple effect across the whole insurance market.