New signs to detect mobile phone users in cars

Parts of the UK are starting to trial new technology that they are hoping will cut down on the amount of people that are using mobile phones whilst driving. It has been proven that using a mobile phone whilst driving, especially if it is not hands free increases your chances of having an accident. According to a recent study, 31% of drivers admit to using a mobile phone whilst driving. On average one person is killed by someone using a mobile phone whilst driving every 10 days in the UK and approaching two hundred more people are seriously injured each year.

With this statistic seeming to be on the rise, companies have been looking at ways they can reduce this and get people to stop using their phones whilst driving. You can now be fined up to £200 and receive 6 points on your licence and if you get caught twice this rises to £2000 and 12 points!

A company has recently developed a sign that can detect when a phone is being used. The sign will then display to that and other drivers that it knows the phone is being used, as a deterrent to get people to stop.

 

Do you know where your locking wheel nut is?

You may notice that you need a new tyre fitted to your vehicle or that your brakes need to be replaced. When taking your car to a garage to have any work that involves removing the wheel, often one of the first questions they will ask you is if you have got the locking wheel nut.

Locking wheel nuts are special nuts that are inserted through your wheels which secure them to the vehicle. To undo the nuts you need the corresponding locking nut, and without it, it is very difficult to take them off. It can be done, either with a universal locking nut key or you may have to pay quite a bit extra to have them broken off which can risk damaging the wheel and then pay again for a new set. All four will need to be removed ideally at the same time. Cars are often fitted with locking wheel nuts to prevent the wheels being stolen. Since the use of these, the drop in this sort of crime has gone down drastically.  Often cars with expensive alloys would be targeted and then the wheels then sold on. Make sure that if you buy a car you have the locking wheel nut and keep it in the vehicle in a safe place.

 

Car parking and breakdown apps

Many of us use apps on our phones or tablets every day to do things such as online banking, shopping or to socialise with people via Facebook or Twitter etc. There are many apps in the stores that can be extremely useful for drivers.

IF you are someone who often forgets where you have left the car then one of the many car parking apps can be perfect to save you a lot of time hunting around. You download the app (which should ideally be done on the WiFi to save data charges) and then when you have parked your car, go into the app and click to store your current location. This will mean you need to have your location services on.

When you are ready to return to your car you simply press the button and the app will give you directions and show you a map to enable you to find the fastest route back to your vehicle.

Another useful app is one for reporting a breakdown. Many of the larger breakdown companies now have an app that will instantly pick up your location and allow you to call for help. This makes the whole service quicker as you will not have to worry about giving the operator directions and they know they have the correct location to set off to.

 

Budget tyres may save you money but cost you your safety

When it comes to buying tyres we are often given two or three options by the garage each with a different price, these are usually based on a budget tyre and mid-range tyre. These are the two most popular choices for our motorists and many people opt for the budget just to save that few extra pounds. If you look online then you will probably find you are inundated with different makes and prices of a tyre. The tyres usually have ratings for road noise, wet grip/drip grip and fuel economy.

Before committing to any tyre be sure to compare these ratings as often you will find a budget tyre that is the same price as another one but has a lot better ratings.

If you can afford to then it is advisable to fit the best tyres possible for your vehicle. Tyres really can and do make a massive difference in driving and safety. They can shorten stopping distances and make the car handle a lot better than budget tyres.

If you think you will struggle to replace all four tyres for mid-range or prestige tyres then why not do two and then the other two a few months down the line as long as they have enough tread to last you until then.

Finding accessories to personalise your car

If you are someone that likes to put your own stamp on things then you may want to try and personalise your car without going all out on a custom spray job. There are quite a few little changes that you can make to your vehicle to make it feel like your own and to give people who may see it a little insight into your personality.

Firstly you need to decide on your theme, are you going to have a chosen colour or pattern such as leopard print or rainbow or are you going to just pick items that you like as and when you see them? You can then start to look for the accessories to suit your chosen style. Car mats, seat covers and steering wheel covers are usually the first things that people change to give their vehicle a whole new look. Next, you may consider changing the dashboard plastics or wood, you can often get vinyl stickers that can just go over the original. Changing wheel trims is a relatively cheap fix but if you want to change your alloys then you may be looking at forking out quite a bit extra.

If you want to go the extra mile you may consider changing the bumpers or even putting a vinyl wrap on the bonnet of your car, adding bull bars and side skirts and also a spoiler. It is important to remember that some of these changes may need to be reported to your insurance company.