Congratulations from all at GAM to Carl who passed his advanced driving test on 7th November 2018!
Recently we have seen the heaviest rain we have had for quite some time – here is some advice from IAM RoadSmart on how best to cope with it.
• Heavy rain will affect your visibility, so take it slow. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you should be two seconds when driving on a dry road, and at least four seconds in the wet. It is even longer on icy surfaces.
• Your windscreen should be clean, wipers effective and the jets aimed at the screen. It is sensible to clean the windscreen, make any necessary adjustments and remove anything from the screen area before you start your journey.
• A good rule of thumb is that if you need windscreen wipers, then you need your headlights. Automatic light settings will not always activate in bad weather conditions, so it is up to you to make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on.
• If the water is standing in puddles on the road surface, your car is at risk of aquaplaning. This is where a wedge of water forms in front of the tyre and lifts it up off the road surface. This is caused by the tread not being able to displace the amount of water present. To recover from aquaplaning, ease gently off your accelerator, have a firm grip of the steering wheel and be sure not to make any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip as the water clears.
• First ask yourself – can you take another route? If not, then you need to identify how deep the flood is. If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If you are familiar with the road, you can judge the flood in relation to the kerb.
• If heavy rain was not the cause of the flood, then what was? And what impact on the road does it have? For example, if it is a burst water main, the standing water may look like a normal flood but the road surface beneath the water may be completely broken up. If you are unsure how the flood has formed, then avoid it altogether.
• Are there other vehicles of similar size to yours that are safely driving through? From this, make a judgement as to whether it is safe to travel through or not.
• If the water is fast flowing, do not attempt to drive through it, as there is a real danger of your car being swept off the road.
• If you have taken everything into consideration and decide to drive through the flood, be sure to do so slowly. The best approach is to press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on your accelerator to increase your engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed, in a similar way to how you would undertake a hill start. This will prevent water from entering your exhaust. If you are in an automatic car, accelerate slightly but control the speed with your brakes. When you have passed the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and working properly.
• If you are in the slightest doubt, then turn around and don’t go through the flood. Often modern saloon cars have the engine air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will immediately stop and be severely damaged.
• Remember to stay alert and avoid splashing pedestrians. If this is done accidentally- even when causing splashes when driving through puddles at the side of the road – you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users. If deliberately done, it could be a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine.
Richard Gladman, head of driver and rider standards at IAM RoadSmart, said: “With the British weather the way it is, we should all be well practised at driving in the rain. Keeping your car maintained and the wipers and tyres in good condition will help you stay safe. In the recent times we have seen that standing water and floods are becoming more commonplace, so take extra care and if possible avoid driving through flood water. If you’re in any doubt about the depth or surface underneath a flood, then it’s best not to take any chances.”
Leading road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has said while the £420 million in new investment in tackling Britain’s pothole crisis is welcome, it doesn’t go nearly far enough and is merely a drop in the ocean to deal with a long-term and major issue.
The 29 October budget saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce the cash injection for our beleaguered roads, alongside a £28.8 billion fund to upgrade England’s motorways.
Mr Hammond announced £25.5 billion for Highways England for major road upgrades between 2020 and 2025 and an extra £3.5 billion of funding allocated to major local routes, under the jurisdiction of local councils. The £420 million for potholes is on top of an existing fund of almost £300 million.
However just three months ago IAM RoadSmart conducted a survey of over 7,000 of its members, finding how disillusioned they had become with Britain’s rotten roads.
Over 3,400 respondents said they had experienced damage to their car, commercial vehicle, motorbike or bicycle, or personal injury as a result of hitting a pothole.
Around 90% had spotted a deterioration of some level in the roads they use with just over half rating the state of their roads as ‘much worse’ in the past three years and 38% rating them ‘worse.’
Close to 6,000 people said they have noticed ‘many more’ potholes in the past three years, and over half said they have to take avoiding action on every journey to dodge potholes, while 27% said they have to steer around a pothole every day.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “IAM RoadSmart welcomes the commitments to building more modern safe highways. What we really need to see however is the same long-term funding approach applied to potholes.
Extra money is always welcome but when it arrives unpredictably for one year at a time it does little to help the long term planning needed to really attack the pothole problems drivers and riders see and feel every day.”
Congratulations from all at GAM to Paul who passed his advanced driving test this morning, 28th October 2018!
Congratulations from all at GAM to Carl who passed his advanced driving test this morning, 27th October 2018!
Congratulations from all at GAM to Pete who passed his advanced driving test this morning, 17th October 2018, with a very well deserved F1rst!
A survey conducted by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, found that many drivers have a real lack of awareness of the rules of the road, putting themselves and others in danger.
More than 50% admitted their road knowledge was so poor, they didn’t recognise the roundabout sign.
More than two-thirds of drivers admitted they had no understanding of the two second rule.
Over 1,000 motorists participated in the survey for IAM RoadSmart to test their knowledge of the Highway Code.
Some 68% of drivers were unaware of the two-second following distance in dry weather, with 53% confusing this for two car lengths. This results in a gap of less than a third of a second when travelling at 60mph, for an average-sized family car.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, said: “This is truly shocking. The outcome of the survey brings to light some frightening statistics which demonstrates the need to constantly re-fresh on-road knowledge.”
The survey also found that only 43% correctly recognised the Highway Code ‘dual carriageway ends’ sign, with respondents aged between 17 and 39 being the largest group to answer this incorrectly.
When asked what to do when arriving to a scene of a serious crash, almost half (48%) were unaware that the first thing you need to do is to warn others of the danger by turning on hazard lights.
Of those who participated, over half were not able to identify that a circle shaped sign demonstrates traffic signs that give orders – a crucial piece of information when on the road. Drivers aged 70 onwards statistically scored below average on this question.
Worryingly, two-thirds of those surveyed admitted they were unable to recognise the colour of the reflective studs between a motorway and its slip road, with only one in five (20%) of those aged 17 to 39 answering correctly that they are green.
Neil said: “With many young drivers showing high levels of traffic sign ignorance these results reinforce IAM RoadSmart’s view that road safety education should be taught as part of the National Curriculum in schools to prepare teenagers for their future driving career.
“Many drivers don’t look at the Highway Code regularly after they’ve passed their test, but no-one’s memory is perfect and it’s crucial to read and understand the most recent version of the Highway Code for the safety of all road users.”
Congratulations from all at GAM to Susan who passed her advanced driving test this morning, 14th October 2018!
Congratulations from all at GAM to Paul who passed his advanced driving test this morning, 8th October 2018!
Congratulations from all at GAM to Fiona who passed her advanced driving test this morning, 8th October 2018!