Tag Archives: motoring mums

Is our driving test failing young drivers?

learner_continentaltyresFour in ten new young drivers admit they are unsafe on the road and two thirds of parents agree with them according to a new report released today.

With a revised driving test planned and the theory test now 20 years old, 47 per cent of drivers aged 17 to 24 think that they are not being taught enough about road safety.

Road accidents are the biggest killer of young people and new research reveals 800,000 young motorists think that they have an inadequate level of road safety knowledge. 

The UK research of 1,000 motorists aged 17 to 24 and 1,000 parents of young drivers as part of Continental Vision Zero, a campaign that strives for improved road safety, found that 50 per cent of young motorists would not know where to start with basics like checking their tyres.

Less than half of young road users know what the legal tyre tread limit is and only one in five have no idea what solution, such as a spare tyre, they have available in an event of a puncture.

Mark Griffiths, safety expert at Continental Tyres, said: “Every day in the UK, around nine people die or are seriously injured from a road accident that involves a young car driver. It is vital for 17 to 24 year olds to receive adequate road safety information as they learn to drive, setting them up for a lifetime of safe motoring.”

Shortcomings in the practical driving test

Changes to the practical driving test following the recent consultation include increasing the time of independent driving to 20 minutes, following directions from a sat nav during independent driving, replacing manoeuvres such as reversing around a corner with more common moves such as parking in a bay and asking one of the two vehicle safety questions (e.g. how to use the rear heated screen) while driving.

But parents are also in need of road safety education yet there is no practical driving test or educational solution for them.

When asked about a tyre’s legal tread depth limit, parents were 30 per cent less likely than their children to know the correct answer – only three in ten parents knew it is 1.6mm.

Reflecting their driver failings, one in five young motorists don’t know how to open their car bonnet and a third have no idea how to top up their screen wash.

As agreed by young drivers, the top solutions for improving their safety and that of others are better education (70 per cent), more enforcement such as harsher penalties (38 per cent) and making routine safety checks a feature of the driving test (36 per cent).


FOXY Lady Drivers Club can help motoring Mums and daughters who may be learning to drive with motoring related advice. When it comes to tyre safety we are particularly active. Why not consider joining us or buying Club membership including preferential car insurance for women from sister company FOXY Lady Insurance among other benefits?

Better than buying a Baby on Board car sticker…

If you’ve a new baby on the way or have any queries about car seats for children make a point of finding out about this subject during Road Safety Week.

More than half of new parents have never been shown how to correctly choose or install a child’s car seat, according to new research.

According to Mamas & Papas and Alfa Romeo working together for the SAFER SEAT campaign, one in 10 parents choose car seats based on price alone, rather than the correct fit or function for their specific vehicle.

They found that almost two-thirds (61%) of parents did not know that different car seats are suitable for different types of vehicle – installing a car seat that is wrong for the vehicle can severely compromise the child’s safety apparently.

Furthermore a third of survey respondents didn’t know that the safest direction for a baby of up to at least 13 kgs is to face rearwards in the car seat.

Despite 80 percent of new parents admitting to driving more cautiously with a baby on board, the survey results indicate a worrying over-reliance on advice from friends and family, rather than getting professional guidance about transporting children safely.

The result is that a large proportion of child seats are being fitted incorrectly, or the wrong car seats installed perhaps. Or seats being passed on by friends we find…

Tackling this problem, Mamas & Papas has come up with the SAFER SEAT initiative, supported by Which? And in partnership with Alfa Romeo.

Motoring mums and grans can find out more in Birmingham (Saturday 17 November, Birmingham Gallagher), Nottingham (Sunday 18 November, Giltbrook Retail Park), Manchester (Saturday 24 November, Manchester Fort Retail Park), and Edinburgh (Sunday 25 November, Edinburgh Fort Retail Park).

SAFER SEAT information will also be available in Alfa Romeo showrooms. To locate your nearest Alfa Romeo dealer please see www.alfaromeo.co.uk.


How to keep sane on bank holiday journeys

With the current popularity of staycations combined with the usual plethora of summer roadworks, it’s little wonder some of our journeys can turn from the planned delightful jaunt through English countryside or ‘quick nip up the M6’ into something resembling a scene from National Lampoon.

Car journeys and children

Here at FOXY, we’re fans of the advice for motoring mums on the netmums.com website especially as some of us consider ourselves experts on the game ‘Just a Minute’ while on long trips!

Our blog last year also had some different ideas for entertaining children on car journeys just in case some of you are only just growing your hair back from your last motoring expedition with your offspring.

One FOXY member swears by making sure her husband tapes copious quizzes so they can play them on their frequent journeys up and down the country, saying that time flies by once they start their competition to see who’s brainiest. Happily no signs of divorce just yet!

Car journeys and animals

And we mustn’t forget our furry friends. According to the RSPCA, when it’s 22ºC/72ºF outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 47ºC/117ºF within an hour. Unlike us, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. If you have to leave them in a hot stuffy car, maybe for a comfort break or a meal, they can’t cool down; and leaving a window open or putting up a windscreen sunshield won’t keep your car cool enough.

The RSPCA says that under the Animal Welfare Act, we all have a legal duty to care for our animals and, if we put them at risk, we could face prosecution. See more at www.rspca.org.uk. FOXY says: be very aware of hot dogs on any trips, not just long ones.

Meanwhile, on a brighter note – we’d love to hear your funniest car journey stories, so why not LIKE us on our Facebook page and share them there.

But whatever you do, enjoy the last bank holiday weekend of the summer! Let’s hope it’s a good one…


Mumsnet Cars share female feedback

Mumsnet and What Car? have joined forces to launch Mumsnet Cars, a car review section of the popular Mumsnet website.

The section includes typical reviews and questions like: “Will it fit three child car seats?” “Is it easy to maintain?” “How much should I be paying for this?” and “Can I fit in my entire family and still have legroom?” along with insight from What Car?.

In a survey of car owners, Mumsnet users were presented with a list of celebrities whose influence might persuade them to buy a car. Despite the list ranging from Kylie to Clarkson to Cameron, nearly half of respondents (48%) said that they would not trust any celebrity recommendation.

In contrast, over three quarters (77%) say that a recommendation from a friend or a relation would be influential.

The Mumsnet survey confirms that car dealerships could be more ethical, that car advertising doesn’t always hit the spot for motoring Mums and that recommendations from friends are more reliable than those of celebrities.

* Nearly half (46%) felt that car dealership sales people aren’t honest
* Only 25% felt they could trust the advice given at car dealerships
* Just over three quarters (77%) find car ads unmemorable, complaining that they all seem the same
* Two out of three (67%) would be influenced by reading a recommendation or a positive review in a car magazine or online from other users
* Half (53%) say that both they and their partner are equally responsible for the researching, planning and the car buying decision for the family car (FOXY note: US research suggests that women influence c90% of car sales)
* 89% of parents responding to the survey agreed that their choice of car has changed as their family needs and lifestyle has changed

Justine Roberts, CEO and Co-Founder of Mumsnet, said:

“When it comes to buying cars, we know that priorities change once people start a family and that parents are looking for safe, economical and practical cars without the hard sell. 80% of our users seek advice or read reviews on Mumsnet when they are planning to buy a child-related product, and judging from the number of car discussions on the site there’s a clear need for similar advice when it comes to cars.”

Hear, hear says FOXY.


Say farewell to fairness for females in future…

How much did you say?
How much did you say?
Dear Mr Cameron

Please remember that many foxy ladies are formidable female voters who can potentially secure or lose you your political future.

And that too many are struggling to balance the family budget and have yet to realise that their critical car insurance premiums are set to soar later this year, simply because they are female.

This could well prove to be a tipping point for motoring mums and daughters when it comes to voting time.

In a nutshell, if anyone thinks equality means fairness for females, please think again. I’m talking about car insurance costs come December 2012 when HM Government is allowing car insurers to charge women the same premiums as men, having been told to do this by the EU, in the name of ‘equality.’

By ‘equality’ they mean that women drivers are to pay more for their car insurance than male drivers. Despite statistics confirming that young women, in particular, are considerably safer and less accident prone motorists than young men who account for 98% of dangerous driving convictions and cause the majority of fatal and serious road accidents.

But isn’t motor insurance supposed to be about underwriting risk and rewarding no claims experience? I had always thought so but clearly not. Otherwise I know which gender I’d prefer to underwrite from a commercial point of view.

On the contrary, this ruling allows insurers to ignore risk, to reward testosterone-prone boy racers with lower car insurance premiums and to penalise women drivers of all ages by requiring females to pay more than in the past and to contribute towards the cost of accidents we didn’t cause.

This might be called ‘gender equality’ in the EU but it certainly isn’t fair on women drivers in the UK.

Shame on you, Mr Cameron and your Office of Fair Trading lawyers. You know it’s unfair on females and that women drivers paying more for their car insurance are purely transferring money from stressed family budgets into the coffers of allegedly ‘poor’ motor insurers.

Whatever happened to the logic of underwriting insurance on the basis of risk? Which is why women drivers have been paying less for car insurance than riskier male drivers for as long as I can remember…

But say farewell to fairness for females in future as soon as it comes to motor insurance premium hikes that are on the horizon from December onwards.

Fortunately there is still time to fend off this discrimination before it starts to cost you female votes Mr Cameron…


FOXY Lady Drivers Club is the female voice of motoring. We are championing this important insurance issue on behalf of UK women drivers. To support our efforts please either join us, LIKE the FOXY Lady Drivers Club page at Facebook or email Steph Savill info@foxyladydrivers.com to add your support and/or to raise awareness of this unfair treatment of female motorists in the UK.