New in Driving News

Hello everyone and Welcome to the Elite Driving School Blog’s New in Driving News!

There has been a lot of Driving News lately, mainly, revolving around the weather!

However, last week, it was announced that Learner Drivers would be allowed on the motorways, with a qualified Driving Instructor, as of the 4th June 2018!

I have both good and points for the debate of Learner Drivers being allowed on motorways…

Let’s get all the negativity out of the way, and start with the cons:

-Motorways are dangerous if going both too fast, or too slow. Going too slow on a Motorway can cause serious problems, and can be very dangerous, which is why generally, it is better to do when more competent.

-Realistically, in an average hour/hour and a half lesson, the Learner isn’t going to get very far, before having to turn around and come back home. It is going to be extremely difficult for those who don’t live anywhere near a motorway, to have a motorway lesson as a learner…right?

-Thy’re unreliable. This shouldn’t be too difficult to explain, but sometimes, for unforeseen circumstances, you can get stuck on the motorway for hours. I’m sure we have all been there. Just last week, people were stuck on the M62 for 15 hours, after a mass crash. – Could you imagine being stuck in a car for 15 hours with your instructor?

-The other road users. You can sometimes get people, who get a little ‘speed happy’ and tend to just zoom off, well over the speed limit. This of course is annoying to general road users, never mind learners, who haven’t even passed a test to determine if they are ready to drive safely or not. I can imagine it being quite scary.

-They’re unqualified. Sure, they’re with a qualified instructor, who can drive at an advanced level, and in a car with dual controls, but that doesn’t prevent the fact that they’re unqualified. And yes, I understand the point of this is to become qualified, but people generally learn or go on a motorway, after they have experienced driving on their own on A and B roads.

Okay. Now, for the Pro’s:

-It allows the learner to advance on the skills that they already have, to be able to assess the situation appropriately.

-It allows learners to be experienced on all roads, before becoming qualified.

-With the new ‘Smart Motorways’ it enables learners to be more aware of how they work, as they won’t be involved in the Theory test.

-It gives them an advanced knowledge, meaning that there could potentially be fewer ‘new driver’ accidents.

 

What do you think?

We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, as I think it is such a controversial one.

– The Elite Team

 

How the New iPhone 8 is Trying to Save Your Life

Apple recently released the iPhone 8, along with IOS 11, which is trying to save your life whilst driving.

The update allows the phone to sense when you’re driving, meaning that it will automate itself to ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, so the notifications don’t distract you whilst driving, meaning that there is a lack of temptation to use your phone.

The software picks up when you’re in a car, so if you’re a passenger, you can turn off the ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode in settings, so you can still use your phone in the car.

You can find the original article about the new update here: https://www.carthrottle.com/post/soon-your-iphone-wont-work-while-youre-driving/

Why Learning to Drive at the Age of 17 is Better

It’s quite normal now for the younger generation to learn to drive as soon as they can. It is actually a really good idea. So, if you are 17, or are wanting to get someone driving lessons, here are some reasons why learning to drive when your younger, is easier.

It has been found in recent studies that learning is significantly easier for younger people, rather than in older years. The brain is a lot more capable of learning when younger, meaning that it is learning new things, such as driving is considerable easier and less frustrating.

Because Driving is a new skill, it requires a lot of patience and time and effort, but also a lot of concentration.

Meaning that the younger generation are going to require less concentration, and patience, because their brain is more capable of learning, unlike someone in their late twenties, and thirties and so on.

Obviously, it depends on the person, and their own personal and mental development, but generally it is easier for younger people to absorb information.

This means that passing driving and theory tests can be substantially quicker, and better, which means that more money is saved throughout the process, making it more cost-effective to learn to drive at the age of 17 than a novice at the age of 35.

Moreover, even if you can’t afford to get a car at the age of 17, the skills have been learnt meaning that refreshing your memory later on in life, when you can afford a car, is a lot easier than starting from scratch. It’s very similar to the saying ‘You Never forget how to ride a bike’.

It’s considerably the same thing, as most people to learn to ride a bike at a very young age, meaning that the skills learnt are more likely to stay stored in the brain.

But of course it is never too late to start to learn to drive. The freedom gained at the end of it will not differ, and the experience of lessons will not change.

 

Driving Test Changes You Need to Know About

If you didn’t know already, the UK driving test is changing from the 4th December 2017 (not a very nice Christmas present, is it?). We are updating you with the most recent changes made by the DVSA.

It was released on the 13th September 2017, that there would be revised changes to the ‘Show me’ ‘Tell me’ portion of the test.

If you don’t know what this is, it is where the examiner will ask you a ‘show me’ question and a ‘tell me’ question at the beginning of your driving test. These questions are given to you by your instructor to prepare you for your test.

The ‘Tell me’ Questions are as follows:

1. Tell me how you’d check that the brakes are working before starting a journey.

Brakes should not feel spongy or slack. Brakes should be tested as you set off. Vehicle should not pull to one side.

Manufacturer’s guide, use a reliable pressure gauge, check and adjust pressures when tyres are cold, don’t forget spare tyre, remember to refit valve caps.

3. Tell me how you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash.

The head restraint should be adjusted so the rigid part of the head restraint is at least as high as the eye or top of the ears, and as close to the back of the head as is comfortable. Note: Some restraints might not be adjustable.

4. Tell me how you’d check the tyres to ensure that they have sufficient tread depth and that their general condition is safe to use on the road.

No cuts and bulges, 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre, and around the entire outer circumference of the tyre.

5. Tell me how you’d check that the headlights and tail lights are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

6. Tell me how you’d know if there was a problem with your anti-lock braking system.

Warning light should illuminate if there is a fault with the anti-lock braking system.

7. Tell me how you’d check the direction indicators are working. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Explain you’d operate the switch (turn on ignition if necessary), and then walk round vehicle (as this is a ‘tell me’ question, you don’t need to physically check the lights).

8. Tell me how you’d check the brake lights are working on this car.

Explain you’d operate the brake pedal, make use of reflections in windows or doors, or ask someone to help.

9. Tell me how you’d check the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey.

If the steering becomes heavy, the system may not be working properly. Before starting a journey, 2 simple checks can be made.

Gentle pressure on the steering wheel, maintained while the engine is started, should result in a slight but noticeable movement as the system begins to operate. Alternatively turning the steering wheel just after moving off will give an immediate indication that the power assistance is functioning.

10. Tell me how you’d switch on the rear fog light(s) and explain when you’d use it/them. You don’t need to exit the vehicle.

Operate switch (turn on dipped headlights and ignition if necessary). Check warning light is on. Explain use.

11. Tell me how you switch your headlight from dipped to main beam and explain how you’d know the main beam is on.

Operate switch (with ignition or engine on if necessary), check with main beam warning light.

12. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient oil.

Identify dipstick/oil level indicator, describe check of oil level against the minimum and maximum markers.

13. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that the engine has sufficient engine coolant.

Identify high and low level markings on header tank where fitted or radiator filler cap, and describe how to top up to correct level.

14. Open the bonnet and tell me how you’d check that you have a safe level of hydraulic brake fluid.

Identify reservoir, check level against high and low markings.

 

And the ‘Show me’ questions:

  1. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the rear windscreen?
  2. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you wash and clean the front windscreen?
  3. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d switch on your dipped headlights?
  4. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d set the rear demister?
  5. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d operate the horn?
  6. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d demist the front windscreen?
  7. When it’s safe to do so, can you show me how you’d open and close the side window?

 

Now with the changes to the Driving Test, it means that the ‘tell me’ questions will be asked at the beginning of the test, and the ‘show me’ questions will now be asked during the driving test, whilst under their examination.

However, do not fret, the changes are not made until the 4th December, so you have plenty of time to figure how to undertake these ‘show me’s’ in your instructors car.

We hope this helps and we will keep you updated with any more changes to the UK Driving Test on the Elite Blog, so make sure to follow Elite on Social Media, so you can be updated with any Driving Test changes coming your way by December!

The Elite Team

New driving laws you should know…

Do you know what new driving laws have been introduced since 2015?

 

There’s been a number of changes to the motoring law in the past few years, which motorist need to know about.

 

  • Driving Licences

The paper counter part of the driving licence has been scrapped, and your plastic photo card is your only proof of your entitlement to drive.

But if you intend to start driving lessons, driving schools and instructors may need to know if you have any penalty points on your licence which might effect their insurance.

Before you start lessons you should visit the DVLA website CLICK HERE which will allow you to get a special code that can be used bby the driving school to check your details online. You can also get the code by calling 0300 083 0013.

The code only lasts 21 days, so make sure it will be valid when you decide to book your driving lessons.

  • Tax Disc’s

From the first of October 2014, drivers no longer need to display a tax disc in the windscreen of their car. You still have to pay vehicle tax, so make a note of when it’s due for renewal, just in case you forget.

  • Selling a secondhand car

New rules from 2015 means that if you sell your car you must cash it the vehicle tax, leaving the new owner to buy their own.

The DVLA will refund you for any credit left on your tax disc as soon as they receive your completed V5  (vehicle registration document) telling them you have sold, scrapped, exported or declared SORN (Statutory off road notification) on your car.

  • Lane Lane Hog Fine:

It is an offence to sit in a middle lane or any other lane if the left hand lane is available for the route you are travelling.

In the example of a motorway you should only use the lane to the right for overtaking, and return to the left hand lane when safe to do so.

The new legislation brings big penalties for careless and inconsiderate drivers who hog lanes, holding up other drivers and causing danger.

  • Drug Driving

It has been an offence since 2015 to drive under the influence of drugs. The law also includes some prescribed drugs such as diazeqpam, methadone and morphine.

If your worried whether your medication fall under the new law, contact your doctor to seek advice.

  • Smoking

It is an offence in England for a driver to smoke in a vehicle with passengers under 18 years old. If a passenger passenger is smoking in a car with under 18’s both he and the driver could face a fine.

  • Speed Limits

The new speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in England and Wales has recently been raised from 40 to 50mph on single carriageways and from 50 to 60MPH on dual carriageways.

  • Drink Driving Laws in Scotland

The blood alcohol limit for drink driving in Scotland was lowered to 50mg per 100ml of blood, bringing it in line with most of Europe. The rest of the UK stayed at 80mg per 100ml.

 

 

App released by AA to help drivers understand dashboard warning lights

AA has released an app that aids motorists decipher dashboard warning lights, following researching showing 1 in 8 drivers do not have a manual in their vehicle.

Drivers have been advised to use the helpful app that has been released by the AA. They disclosed that they receive approximately 17,000 calls about warning lights per month.

This actually peaked in the week succeeding the launch of new reg plates on the 1st of March and September each year, thus leading to a boost in the used car market.

Max Holdstock, AA mechanic, spoke about the app release: “We often find that used cars don’t have a handbook and even if there is one, many drivers never look at it. The AA app is a quicker and smarter way for drivers to check what their warning lights mean.

Although most warning light symbols are standardised, many are not, and with some car dashboards resembling the Starship Enterprise, it’s no wonder that some drivers are left bewildered.

AA commissioned a poll of 21,000 of its members and found that 13% either hadn’t gotten their car handbook when they bought their vehicle, or didn’t keep the book in their car.

The survey continued to find that 4% of drivers would carry on driving regardless of the appearance of a red warning light. The AA has urged motorists to stop in a safe place as soon as they can if a red warning light appears.

The motoring groups’ warning light feature is available for access on the app by the organisation’s 14 million members.

Do you keep your car handbook in your vehicle?

Learn the ins and outs of driving with Elite Driving School, Hull!