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New ECOlogical driving test launched

An ECOlogical driving test was launched on 1st September 2009.  The test is designed to assess the driver’s fuel economy and accident avoidance skills.

This new test is set to become a vocational test and is being closely watched by Whitehall.

The voluntary 90-minute test provides a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).   Drivers will pass if they demonstrate a high level of safe, defensive and environmentally friendly driving.  The Eco-Advanced Driving Test costs £160 and will test drivers on most types of road situation.

Drivers who are successful could benefit from:

  • fuel consumption savings up to 15% below the vehicle’s official average
  • reduced risk of incidents and reduced vehicle wear and tear by up to 60%
  • maximum vehicle insurance discounts
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1 in 5 young drivers uninsured

Almost a quarter of a million young motorists are driving illegally because they do not have any insurance cover, according to a report released today by BBC’s Newsbeat.

uninsured-driversThey found that more than 20% of 17 to 20 year olds are not covered by a valid car insurance policy, which amounts to a staggering 243,000 illegal young drivers on our roads.

Many illegal drivers cite the huge cost of an insurance policy as being the reason for not having cover.  Yet the risks of not having a policy are huge, not just for themselves, but also for anybody they may be unfortunate enough to crash into.

The BBC reports the story of 21 year old Gary Street, who was hit by an uninsured driver at 30mph in Manchester two years ago.

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Many motorists ‘driving illegally’

Source:  Tracy Ollerenshaw, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat

driver_being_pursued_by_police1More than half of all new drivers banned in the first two years of passing their test don’t bother retaking it.  The law says after a ban you must re-sit a test before driving again, but many people don’t realise.

Road safety groups reckon many young people are getting behind the wheel illegally.

They’re asking courts not to send driving licenses back to banned drivers before they’ve passed a re-test.

Ollie from Essex was aged 17 and had only been driving a few weeks when he got pulled over.

“I got caught speeding,” he says, “doing a hundred miles an hour, so it was an instant ban.”

He’s one of thousands of young drivers who get disqualified every month for picking up six points or more in their first two years after passing their test.

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Drivers of black cars ‘more likely to speed’

According to a recent study of 1.7 million drivers by insurance company, drivers of black-coloured cars are the most likely to break speed limits.

The survey found that 25.4% of black-vehicle owners have speeding convictions, and they are also 9% more likely than the average driver to have speeding endorsements on their driving licences.

The next “speediest” colour was grey, with 25.1% of grey car owners having speeding convictions, followed by silver, blue and brown.

Owners of purple-coloured cars were least likely to have been caught exceeding speed limit, while owners of white, yellow and red cars have comparatively few convictions as well.

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Learner drivers hit by credit crunch

Credit Crunch hits learner driversA report by insurance firm Swinton has revealed that as the recession bites, many learner drivers are relying more heavily on informal tuition from friends and relatives.

A survey of 1,000 new drivers found that the average number of lessons per driver has fallen from 43 in 2008 to 32 in 2009 (compiled from data taken during the first 3 months of each year).

On average, those who passed in March this year received 63 hours of tuition from friends or family, compared to just 41 hours in the first three months of 2008.

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7 out of 10 drivers admit driving dangerously

eating1Following on from Friday’s blog entry about the dangers of hands-free mobile phone use, I came across an interesting article this evening by Faye Sunderland of

“Seven out of ten drivers have driven dangerously because they were making phone calls, sending texts or fiddling with the radio – with some admitting to having actually caused an accident as a result, research by car insurance compant, Swiftcover reveals. Although mobile phones and in-car entertainment systems are big causes of dangerous driving, smoking, personal grooming and using a sat-nav system have all been cited as distractions – while 4 per cent of motorists admit they have driven while watching a movie!”

The following link just demonstrates the dangers of driving dangerously: Victim’s road safety warning

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Twitter users a danger on the roads?

twitter2According to esure car insurance, users of the new social networking site Twitter are causing significant danger on the roads.  The Association of British Drivers have hit back at the claims though, making it clear that many of the Tweets were not UK based.

Research by esure car insurance released last week finds that some motorists are putting themselves and others at risk by Tweeting behind the wheel. The insurers say nearly one in ten of motorists questioned are using mobile internet services and social networks whilst driving.

To prove the point, esure released the following list of driving Tweets:

“Driving with my knees and peeling an orange…Probably not the safest thing to be doing.”

“Driving school bus”

“Irresponsible twitter driving woo!”

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