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.

 

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.

 

Getting your car ready for the winter

With winter well on its way and temperatures dropping down to freezing, now is the time to start checking your car is ready for the months ahead. According to research by recovery firms, you’re twice as likely to break down in winter months, so if you don’t have breakdown cover, that’s the first thing to sort out.

There are some ways in which you can try and avoid breaking down to start with and also making sure your car is safe for driving in bad conditions. Ice is one of the main causes for accidents during the winter months and how your car copes with ice is often mostly down to your tyres. If your tyres have little tread left on them then you should replace them as soon as possible. If you have previously had cheap budget tyres on, then it is worth getting them checked out to see if they have a decent grip on them.  Simple jobs such as checking all your lights are in good working order and your fluid levels are topped up don’t take much time but could make a difference to your journey.

Swapping to winter tyres is a great idea but it is often expensive so you need to weigh up how often you will actually be driving in the bad conditions.

Breakdown cover explained

When looking to take out breakdown cover, it can be a little confusing as to which package you should choose. Almost all breakdown companies have a variety of packages that offer different levels of cover and if you are not careful, you can easily take out something that is pretty useless to you. First decide when and how you would like t be assisted should you breakdown. If you just want roadside assistance then you may be able to get away with the cheapest package on offer. If however you would need to be recovered home or to a garage of your choice, closer to your home, then you will often need to pay a little extra. If you would be really stuck without your car then you may even want to add home start, which will allow a breakdown expect to come to your home and investigate an issue would your car not start. Some breakdown companies also offer a hire car or overnight accommodation should you breakdown and your car cannot be fixed at the side of the road. If you have children this may be a good option for you as you do not want to be stranded in another part of the country in the middle of the night with no where to stay.

 

Should you buy a car with little or no MOT?

All cars over three years old need to have a valid Mot to be able to drive on the roads in normal circumstances (e.g. not driving to / from a test station). The MOT test itself usually costs between £35 and £55 pounds but if it fails, it could cost thousands to repair depending on what car it is and what it failed on.

Some people do try and sell cars with little or no MOT but this is usually for a reason. If they think the car may fail the MOT then they will often not want to put it in as the failure can be found on the internet by anyone with the reg number. If they are confident it will pass then they would probably put it in for the MOT as they are likely to make more than the cost of the test if they were selling the vehicle with 12 months MOT rather than none.

If when you go to look at a car you find it only has a month or so left on it then you could say that you will buy the car if they will put it through the MOT and it passes.