Archive January 2013

Tips for driving in adverse weather conditions

driving_in_snowI am currently sat in my dining room, heating on full blast, cup of tea in hand, watching my brother “gear up” for a couple of hours fun in the snow outside with my nephews. He looks like he is ready to join an expedition to cross the Antarctic! I will be considered “boring Aunty” as I have chosen to stay in the warm. The only thing that would make me consider going outside was if someone had invited group of penguins to join in the fun!

I am lucky enough to have a job where I can work from home, but Monday morning for many will probably mean a delayed journey to work in the cold and before they even get to work, tempers could very well be frayed. It is all very well advising us all only to travel if absolutely necessary, however for many of us this is not an option as a day at home could mean no pay and many bosses will expect their staff in work no matter the weather conditions.

So… for all those that have no other choice other than using their car in adverse weather conditions, please consider the following before setting off on your journey.

 The Vehicle

It would be prudent to check items such as the tread on your tyres, water levels, oil levels etc… This will ensure the vehicle is running efficiently and prevent unnecessary breakdowns. If the weather is such that temperatures are freezing it would be practical to make sure you have plenty de-icer for both the windscreen and locks.

Check that your windscreen wipers are capable of clearing your windscreen and that all of the lights are working perfectly. You can only be responsible for your own driving; however you still need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to make sure other road users can see you.

Driving Your Vehicle

Many of us are guilty of creeping a few miles an hour over the speed limits in perfect driving conditions, however now is the time to stick to the speed limits in place. They are there for a reason. Your mind needs to be totally focused on your driving so distractions such as the stereo on full volume should be a no-no. If you have company in the car such as children, make sure they are aware that misbehaving is not an option; you need to keep your eyes on the road. Using your mobile phone, whilst driving, is an offense which is punishable by law. If you have to use it, find a safe place to pull over, stop your car and switch off the engine before doing so.

In the Event of a Breakdown.

You should make sure you have a “Warning Triangle” in your car which should be placed appropriately on the road if you have broken down. It would also be sensible to make sure you have a working torch. Most importantly your car documents including insurance details, driving license, details of the relevant recovery company and as most of us own a mobile phone, ensure that it is fully charged before leaving the house.

It would also be sensible to take in your vehicle with you a blanket and/or warm clothing in the event you find yourself waiting for the necessary services for a long period of time. If you have children with you, then it would also be prudent to bring along items that will keep them distracted and entertained in the circumstances.

If you would like more information about learning the valuable skills for driving in adverse weather conditions, visit the Passplus page at James School of Motoring.

New Year Plan for Learning to Drive

new years plan to learn to driveAs Big Ben strikes to mark the start of the New Year, many of us have resolved to achieve certain goals in our life during the year ahead. Statistics show that many of us do not succeed at our ambition and one of the main reasons for this can be bad planning, which in turn leads to us losing focus on what we have been trying to accomplish.

If you are one of many who have decided that this is the year to pass to your driving test, planning for what lies ahead is essential. Not only will it help you realise your dream but as this dream could potentially be a very expensive one, it will also allow for cost effectiveness. Unless you are lucky enough that money is not an issue, then the financial aspects of learning to drive should therefore be the first objective on your plan.

The first cost will be applying for a provisional driving license which currently costs £50. This can be obtained through the Post Office or online and you will need 2 passport size photographs will cost an average of £5.

Government statistics show that in order to be ready to take a Driving Test, you will have to have had on average 47 driving lessons. After establishing how much money per week you will have to put towards lessons, research ALL your local driving schools and work out which one can offer you the best value for money based on your finances and the time in which you are planning for it to take to be ready to take a test.

You will also need to factor into your financial plan the cost of both your Theory and Practical Test.

The next part of your plan should be when you are intending on having your driving lessons. You need to ensure it is at a time when you are not rushing around and are at your least stressed from your usual day to day activities. When you get behind the wheel of a car, your mind should be solely focused on your driving lesson and nothing else. It would be prudent to check with your chosen driving school what their cancellation policies are in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Once your lessons are in place, it would be wise to investigate the various products available to aid in achieving success. These include books, interactive DVD’s, mobile phone applications and many more. No matter your lifestyle choice there will be a product on the market for every budget and to suit every your way of life. These will of course have an impact on your financial plan.

The final part of your plan should be how you can help yourself stay focused and overcome any nerves you may have. Again there are products available to help you relax and stay calm but remember these cannot be anything that will affect your capabilities when driving. Try researching items like relaxation CD, s or mind and spiritual classes like Yoga.

For more information to help you learn to drive, visit