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The Good Egg Drivers Blog
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The worst driving habits and how to avoid them

After passing your test, and that sense of having your instructor watch your every move has dissipated, it can be easy to let standards slip and forget to do the basic things you were taught during your lessons.  This is where bad habits can set in and put you, and other drivers, at risk.

 

adi and student

Check, check and check again

First of all, throughout our driving lessons we are constantly reminded to check all areas around the car before moving off – back left, left mirror, rear view mirror, right mirror and back right. Once you get more comfortable with your surroundings it can become all to easy to neglect to run through these checks.  Forgetting to check your blind spot can result in serious accidents occurring.  When coming on to a motorway, changing lanes or pulling out of a parking space, your blind spot should always be checked for vehicles, cyclists and even pedestrians to avoid major accidents.

 

Indicate

The next habit drivers can get into is forgetting about that little stick behind your steering wheel – your indicator.  This causes irritation to drivers around you and can also be the cause of accidents.  If you don’t tell other cars where you are going, how are they supposed to know?  When changing lanes at a junction, or pulling out from a parked position, you should always use your indicator and make people
aware of your intentions.

 

Keep your distance

Driving instructors teach us allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front. On wet roads this should be atleast doubled and increased further on icy roads.  Not long after passing our tests this is likely to be forgotten about, but tailgating is not only frustrating for both drivers involved, but it can also be dangerous.  If the driver in front decides to slam on their brakes, then not only do you go into the back of them, but this is legally your fault.  Keeping a safe distance is important when driving.

 

Indicator

 Top up your fuel

Driving can be expensive, with outgoings including insurance, maintenance, the car and above all, the fuel.  There is a lot of choice out there and many new drivers may want to get the most out of every tank, however it can be extremely damaging to your car to be driving on empty. The sediment (dirt) from your fuel settles at the bottom of the tank so when you drive on an almost empty tank, you force this dirt to run through your car.  This can cause problems with your engine.  It may seem like you are making the most of your money but in reality this could end up costing you more.

 

These are many more bad habits that new drivers could pick up as they begin driving independently.  It is important to remember what you have been taught and why, as safety should be your priority at all times when driving. 

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Winter driving

Winter is the worst time of the year for motor insurance claims. It is also the most important time for you to look after your car and make sure that it is worthy for the roads.

How to prepare your car for winter

As expected in winter, the temperatures will plummet and of course there’s always the chance of snow, so it’s important that your car is ready! Booking in for a service is a great way to insure that your car is fit for the winter conditions. It is also advised to do regular checks on your oil level, antifreeze, hazard lights, wiper blades and battery.

Snowy conditions

Driving in winter weather conditions

 

Driving in the snow

Driving in the snow can be nerve-wracking for the first time. It is important to remember that when you set off, you must accelerate gently, use low revs and change to a higher gear as soon as possible. This way the car is far less likely to slide or wheel spin. While you are driving, when you go on to the brakes or back on the accelerator, touch the pedals smoothly and slowly. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front.

 

Driving in heavy rain

During or after heavy rain, you must bear in mind that there could be flooding on the roads, so you are best to give yourself extra time to get to where you are going. Be careful whilst driving as there will be low visibility due to spray from other vehicles. Do not drive quickly through flooding or large puddles as you may experience aquaplaning which could lead to a serious accident.

 

Driving in icy conditions

When the roads are icy, decide whether the journey is absolutely necessary. If you do need to drive, then make sure you leave plenty of time to get to where you’re going and leave as much as 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front.

 

Winter Driving Checklist

During winter the best thing you can do is be prepared. Here are a few things we recommend that you keep in the car at all times to avoid disaster.

  • Making sure you bring de-icer and an ice scraper. This is very useful if you park the car and come back to ice all over your windows.

  • In case you breakdown during the winter months, it is a good idea to have packed in the boot water, food, blankets and warm clothing for you and your passengers.

  • First aid kits are always handy to have in the event you or your passengers need medical attention before the emergency services reach you.

  • Unless driving is absolutely necessary, it is best to avoid driving in the really bad winter conditions.

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Young learner driver wins brand new car through Good Egg Drivers school workshop!

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TEENAGER Connor McAteer won a new Volkswagen Polo S after taking part in the Good Egg Drivers School programme, a UK wide initiative which helps young people become better safer drivers.

The 17-year-old from Cumbernauld was picked from thousands of entrants in the Good Egg young drivers’ competition and got the keys to the blue VW Polo when it arrived at Greenfaulds High school in front of his teachers, fellow students and the Good Egg Team.

Connor is still learning to drive and has his test booked for February 2016. On finding out he’d won the new car he said “I can’t describe the feeling of winning this…people only dream of getting such an amazing prize. I thought it was a wind up! The workshop was great – not just because I won a car –but because I learnt things I didn’t know about which will hopefully help me to pass my test when I take it and keep my licence once I get it! None of us knew about the different qualifications for driving instructors or that we are in such a high risk age group. I’d recommend Good Egg Drivers to any of my mates who are serious about learning to drive well.”

The car, donated by Arnold Clark, is part of a drive to raise awareness of road safety among young drivers and passengers - and the keys were handed over by The Scottish Sun Rookie Racer Christie Doran, who is also an ambassador for the programme.

Christie said: “It was a real buzz to be able to give away the car to Connor, especially after seeing him attend one of our popular workshops in his school.”

Campaign chief Jan James added: “We are delighted that Connor has won this. His school has been especially supportive of this programme and his teachers really impressed us with the emphasis they put on student pastoral care alongside good academic performance. Both are equally important.

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Rigorous Independent evaluation has underlined the effectiveness and importance of this programme in helping tackle the unacceptable high number of young driver and passenger casualties on UK roads.

We had over 5,000 entries from young people this year and thanks to the generosity of our partners Arnold Clark we now have another new car to be won next year, which is one of the many great incentives we offer for young people to engage in this potentially life-saving programme”

Paddy Adler, PT Pupil Support and Work Experience, Greenfaulds High School said: “Having carefully evaluated the Good Egg Driver programme with our S6 students, they have told us that it has really helped to raise their awareness of safe driving practices. A lot of the students felt it gave them the confidence to tell a driver to slow down if they felt they were driving too fast and be able to explain why they felt that way, which is really very encouraging to hear.

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We feel that it is extremely important that all students, not just at Greenfaulds, have this vital opportunity to raise awareness of the issues and help prevent avoidable death and injury caused through careless driving.

“Education across all age groups is a key part of the council’s road safety strategy, and the Good Egg Drivers School programme is an excellent way for our senior pupils to learn the skills they need to keep them safe on the roads,” said Councillor James Coyle, Convener of the Planning and Transportation Committee. “Congratulations to Connor – I’m sure the lessons he learned on the programme will give him the skills to help pass his test and enjoy his new car.”

 

Eddie Hawthorne, Group Managing Director at Arnold Clark said: “Arnold Clark is very proud to help young drivers stay safe on the road through our support of the Good Egg Drivers Initiative. It is important that new drivers understand the risks and dangers that the roads present, and ensure that they protect their licence through safe and considerate driving at all times. We would like to offer our congratulations to Connor and wish him all the best for sitting his test in the coming months.”

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London Road Safety Council