The dangers of car selfies

The dangers of texting while driving are well established. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident and, at last, the message seems to be getting through that the risks of text-driving are significant and completely unnecessary.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that a relatively new but equally dangerous phenomenon has arrived – taking selfies while driving. Already, more than 1 in 10 drivers admit snapping themselves at the wheel, with the 18-24 age group identified as the worst culprits.

It’s hardly surprising that selfies have become so popular, with celebrities like David Cameron and Barack Obama gleefully doing it. In and of themselves, selfies are harmless. It’s when a fashion develops for taking selfies behind the wheel that the harmless becomes harmful.

Driving selfies are not only extremely dangerous – they are also illegal. In the USA, an NBC investigation has discovered that over three million images had been posted on Instagram under the hashtags #driving; nearly 50,000 with “#drivinghome;” over 9,000 tagged “#drivingtowork;” and more than 3,500 tagged “#drivingselfie.”

In the UK, the Institute of Advanced Motorists surveyed 500 drivers about how they use their smartphones in the car. 9% admitted to taking selfies while driving in the last month, while that figure nearly doubles for drivers under 35 – an average of 17%. The Institute’s Mark Lewis told Sky News: “What will surprise people is the fact that it’s as dangerous as being over the limit for drink or drug driving. It has the same effect on your capability to drive.”

The campaign against car selfies was not helped when UK pop singer and face of the ‘Make Roads Safe’ campaign, Azerbaijan-born Nigar ‘Nikki’ Jamal, featured on Youtube. Jamal and two friends crash their car while singing in a video selfie. Without a seatbelt on, Jamal was in the back seat of the car as she and two friends in the front seats filmed as they bopped their heads to the music while cruising down the road. The music was suddenly drowned out by screams as the driver lost control and dropped the phone from her hand. Loud thumps are heard amid the crushing of glass and steel. Unfortunately, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development did not dismiss Jamal from her role as a safe roads ambassador.

Research conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory shows that any kind of mental, physical or visual distraction can impair judgement and reaction times while driving. The Laboratory’s Shaun Helman, Head of Transport Psychology, said that because smartphones have not been around very long, taking selfies while driving has not yet become sufficiently socially unacceptable.

Quirky driving rules from around the world

It’s probably safe to assume that just about every driver in Ireland knows the rules of the road, which include yielding to traffic coming from the right at roundabouts and not drink-driving or smoking with children present in the car. However, our driving rules are quite dull compared to those of certain countries:

· In Denmark, the law states that you must check for children hiding underneath your vehicle before you drive off.

· In Alaska, it’s illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your vehicle, and it is illegal to shoot whales from your car in Connecticut.

· While drink-driving laws apply universally, in Macedonia you’re not even allowed to sit in the front passenger seat if you’re ‘visibly under the influence of alcohol.’ In Japan, you’ll be prosecuted if you are a passenger in a car where the driver is intoxicated.

· In many countries, honking your horn is part and parcel of driving etiquette. Don’t try this in the UK, where horns are banned at night and in urban areas.

· In many states in the USA, you are allowed to turn right on a red stop light. In Sweden, you must leave your vehicle lights on any time you drive, even on a sunny summer’s day.

· Bulgaria demands that you wash your car as you enter the country. In Costa Rica, it is obligatory to have your car fumigated before you’re allowed in. And if you try to wipe your car in a car wash with used underwear in San Francisco, you are breaking the law.

· If you wear prescription glasses, and you are driving in Spain, you must carry a spare pair in your car – or face a fine. In Israel, it is the law to carry a hi-viz jacket for use if you break down.

Do men park better than women?

It’s a widely accepted belief that men park better than women. Yet a recent survey in the USA shows that men are more likely to hit someone or something in a parking lot or block a lane waiting for someone to eventually pull out.

Contrary to many stereotypes, men are the real danger in parking lots. More men than women hit another car, a pole or a shopping cart. The only area where women beat the men was in who gets hit – 59 percent of women said they had been hit, while only 45 percent of men had.

In the survey, men admitted to being more aggressive in confrontations over parking in crowded parking lots – 27 percent used a hand gesture while driving away, while only 20 percent of women did.

One area in which men and women didn’t differ significantly was in the tactics they used to acquire a parking space. 38 percent admitted circling a parking lot at least twice (which is known as “vulture parking”), and 24 percent followed people with bags and waited for them to pack their car and leave.

Driving on the hills made easy

Driving on the hills can be very challenging. In this primer, we share few essential tips which will make driving on the hills easy for you. If you have driven on the plains most of the time, it is important that you learn the hill driving etiquette. Tackling hilly terrain will be easier if you know the right hill-driving technique. It is important that you sue the handbrake as the safety lever that will help the car from rolling back as you spend some time adjusting your feet. When you pull the hand brakes firmly, the chances of your vehicle rolling down are negligible.

Important tips

Before a trip to the hills make sure that you prepare your car. Modern cars today are equipped with safety features which will help you to control the vehicle as you are climbing the hills. As the sharp turns on the hills are in spiral form, getting a view of the approaching vehicle is not easy. Thus, it is advised that you slow down at the turns, and honk in order to alert the other drivers. Taking hard turns will stress you out and may result in motion sickness as well. It is important to bear in mind that the vehicle which is descending, will be moving faster than the one which is ascending the hill. Do not forget to follow the safety alerts which are written on the way.

Using the gear right

You must learn to choose the gears differently. When you are driving uphill the gravity can put a burden. On the other hand, the same gravity tends to favor you when you are driving downhill. Selecting the appropriate gear and sing it the right way will keep you safe on the hills. You will be in better control of the car when you follow the speed limits strictly. When you do not know much about driving on the hills you might end up honking in excess and overusing the brakes.

Be extra cautious when you are overtaking in the hills. It is advised that you keep an eye on the vehicle in front of you which indeed has a better view of the situation which lies ahead. Once you start observing the car’s action, it will help you to easily avoid obstructions which you are not being able to see. Most steep mountains have escape ramps where you can consider halting for rest.

To conclude, follow these set of rules and enjoy the drive in the hills. As you pack your bags and set out with your family we wish you safe travels.

Few Essential Tips on How to Handle a Vehicle Breakdown

We all know that a car breakdown is inevitable. But have you ever wondered what should be the right course of action in such a situation? When you are driving and your vehicle encounters a problem, use your presence of mind and get the vehicle to the right of the road as soon as possible. While you pull the vehicle to the side of the road, there are some precautions which you should bear in mind. Do not get off the vehicle when the engine dies on the highway. It is wiser to sit in a dead vehicle than try to cross a busy highway by foot.

Safety precautions

The best way to alert other drivers is to roll the window and hang a white cloth. This will catch the attention of the other drivers and let them know that you are in trouble. Do not be perplexed as help will come your way soon As soon as you discover that you will need assistance, use your cellphone and call the highway patrol. Once you have pulled the vehicle and cleared the road, do not forget to switch on the headlights. It is wiser to wait for professional help even if your driver can repair the car. On a heavy highway do not get out of the car to examine a damage.

Exercising caution is important

After a breakdown it is recommended that you make the vehicle as visible as possible. As the vehicle slows down, do not forget to switch on the hazard lights. This will alert the other motorists and make them aware of your vehicle’s presence. Make sure that you raise the hood in case you need the help of the police. It is necessary that you exercise caution when you are stranded on the road. Use your judgment well before you accept help from strangers. If someone you are suspicious of stops, do not get out of the car but lower your window slightly so that you can talk.

It is advised that you keep an emergency kit ready. Whether it is a tire failure, a mechanical breakdown or you have run out of fuel,you must not compromise on the safety. A basic emergency kit can reduce the stress and increase your safety on the road.

It is a good idea to have a spare tire and repair tools in the car. Following these tips will prevent stress from building-up and will help you to tackle a vehicle breakdown easily.

Practice Ergonomic Driving: Guide for Drivers

When you drive a car, it is necessary that you seat yourself in the right position.Maintaining the right position can help you to avert accidents and experience greater comfort when you are driving. Before you start, make sure that you are in clothing which is comfortable, allowing you to concentrate on the road which lies ahead of you. In winters, coats can interfere with the steering. In such circumstances, adjust your seat with the surrounding and make use of seat belts. The footwear you choose should fit your feet snugly. The pair should not slip on the pedals which may lead to serious accidents.

Choose the right position

At the onset, position yourself correctly on the seat. Sit straight such that you fit into the seat comfortably. This will help you to avoid backaches, injuries and remain alert when you are on a long drive. Adjust your seat with the pedal, so that you can press the pedals with the right foot on time, when need arises without delay. It is a good idea to start the engine and press the brakes a few times. If you feel your knee straightening, you are far too back. If it is at 90 degrees,you are too close to the pedals.

Considerations you cannot overlook

After a short drive, most of us tend to slouch our shoulders which can cause a lot of pain and create prolonged problems. As you hold the steering wheel, your back lumbar and shoulders should be well-supported. Before you sit, remove the wallet from your back pocket. As a rule, get into the car first and then swing your legs into the car. To get out, you should slide your legs out first and then stand up. When you are on a long drive, take frequent brakes and stretch out often. When you hold the steering wheel, hold it firmly without clenching. In case you have plans of sharing the driving, do not forget to adjust the seat and check the position on the mirrors. This will give you an idea whether you are in the right position.

Essential and critical

A pillow tied to your seat can make a big difference. When you are traveling long distances, make sure that you have a pillow in the car. Sitting can be as critical as driving and it’s worth to be aware of the directions before you operate the levers in the car. After a long drive, rest frequently, take breaks and go for a short stroll. It is not a bad idea to stretch yourself and relax the muscles before you drive again.

Reasons to invest in a luxury car

The luxury car market is fast growing to suit the need of the prospective clientele. The car buyers who are on the lookout for luxury cars are emotionally connected with a particular brand which highly determines how they feel. A luxury car is much more than prestige.

The plush interiors and the choice of customization make luxury cars popular. When you drive a luxury car, you can be assured of greater safety. Driving a luxury car is associated with a higher status which indeed adds to the worth of a luxury vehicle.

Revealing a steady growth

In May 2015, the group marketing director of the British brands, Phil Popham has said that there is plenty of growth potential for brands that produce premium vehicles at premium prices. With the world becoming more affluent, the affluent people are becoming more brand savvy. It is not surprising to note the steady growth of luxury cars.

A significant section of manufacturers are selling in market segments where they have not competed in. The brands which have been competing in the luxury car segment include BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi.

Ensure perfect pick

If you can afford it, a luxury car is what you should own. Not only does it help meet your aspirations but leads to a sense of satisfaction as well. Narrowing down on an exotic car can be slightly challenging. As you walk into a showroom, ask to be educated about the models which interest you. Gather an insight into the brands, the maintenance plans and the gearing options. After you have finally decided on the car, ask for a test drive.

Worthy investment

A luxury car is the perfect blend of matchless beauty and unparalleled quality. Offering comfort, beauty and technical benefits beyond compare, the deluxe car makers are well-known for their precision in manufacturing, for innovations in style and luxury. It needs mention that a luxury car comes pre-equipped with a better resale value. High resale value is a prime consideration for buyers who have plans of investing in luxury cars. With a label of luxury and a touch of panache, deluxe cars are worth the money which is shelled out.

Insuring the luxury car in Ireland

After you have finalized on the purchase do not forget to consider luxurious car insurance in Ireland. If you shop for car insurance online, do not forget to set some time aside for comparison shopping. Compare the car insurance quotes in Ireland so that you strike the best deal.

Overcome The Hazards of Driving with Fatigue

A survey revealed that 40% of Irish adults have experienced driver fatigue at some point of time in a given year. Studies show that sleep can impair driving as much as alcohol. According to the American Automobile Association, in every six traffic accident, one is caused by drowsy driving. It is a shocking revelation that at least a quarter of the drivers have reported finding it difficult to keep their eyes open when they have been behind the wheels. Chances of dozing off are higher when you are driving long distances at night. By now you must be wondering what to do to stay awake and keep driving.

Symptoms to look out for

Most importantly, tiredness and fatigue can affect your driving much before you realize it. The crashes related to fatigue are more severe as in most cases as the driver’s responses are delayed as he fails to maneuver on time towards safety. Be aware of the symptoms of fatigue while driving which include heavy eye-lids, yawning frequently or varying the speed of your vehicle for no specific reason. A study conducted recently reveals that driving 80 minutes constantly without a break can increase the danger of the motorists on the road. Further, it has been found that drivers who take more frequent brakes react faster than those who do not beak up long journeys.

Eat to stay awake

One of the easy ways is to keep your taste buds awake and drink an energy drink. A tangy food like lemon can help you to stay awake and avoid accidents. You can consider a cup of coffee which contains caffeine and will help you to stay awake. It is wiser to avoid sugar which can lead to drowsiness and lead to brain fog. One of the best ways to refresh yourself is to wipe your face and neck with a wet cloth fragranced with cologne.

Tips you should not overlook

Before you start a long journey, decide before hand where you want to stop. You should give yourself ample time to reach your destination and schedule regular breaks. The best way to avert the risks of fatigued driving is to share the driving during the journey. More so, inside the car, adjust the temperature of your air conditioner to a degree lesser than which you are most comfortable in. This will keep you awake and prevent you from dozing off at the wheels. Apart from this, you should adjust the driving seat to an upright position such that the base of your wrists are touching the top of the steering wheel.
As the last word, choose a car insurance that provides a comprehensive cover for all injuries, losses and fatalities. Compare car insurance on all parameters (aside price) before zeroing on one. Although sleeping behind the wheels is not illegal, but driving in fatigue with your eyes half-closed equals driving with an impairment. Let this blog be a wakeup call for you and turn you into a more alert driver.

Traveling With Your Furry Friend Has Never Been Simpler

Just like you, your pet needs to be buckled up when it is traveling. When you restrain your pet properly, you can prevent the hurt which is caused by a crash. Moreover you can stop your pet from flying forward once you buckle it up. Restraining the pet is important both for its safety and yours. No longer will your pet be a distraction when you are concentrating on driving. Today, harnesses come in various sizes which are easy to fasten and will fit your pet perfectly. For a comfortable fit make sure that the harness fits right.

Acclimatizing with travel

If you are unlucky, your pet might dislike traveling by cars. In that case, try to acclimatize it with travel till it is comfortable. Once it is familiar with the travel, chances of it running into stress will be lowered. Before embarking on a long trip, make sure that you visit the vet and administer all the necessary vaccinations to your pet, alongside look for a car insurance that provides a comprehensive cover for 24 hours break-down assistance. If you have plans of traveling across borders, obtain the most recent health certificate. Do get in touch with the government of the province you plan to visit, as requirements may vary from one province to another.

Carry all the essentials

During travel make sure that you are equipped with all the essentials. Carry ample supply of your pet food so that you do not have to stop frequently before your final destination to pick up pet-food. Most importantly, it is not a good idea to introduce your pet to a new brand when you are on the go. Other essentials you you must carry along include water, the toys which your pet is fond of and remains engaged with, bowls which he is familiar with, bedding and a litter box.

When you hit the road

Your pet may love to stick his head out of the window, but do not allow him to do so. It is not safe as your pet may be easily injured with the flying debris. Keep a close watch on your pet’s food intake and feed him to the minimum. Make sure that he is well hydrated during the trip. Groom your pet well ahead of time which will ensure a pleasant experience for everyone in the car. Furthermore, never leave your pet unattended in the vehicle. To sum up, the last piece of advice which we would like to throw in is book pet-friendly accommodations well in advance which offers your furry friend a comfortable stay.