Welcome to Total Drive Industry Round-Up, the place for any need-to-know industry news. Our updates are aimed directly at you, the driving instructors of Britain, and are full of all the things you should know. Here’s what has been going on recently:
Could cars really tell if a person is drunk? This soon may be a reality
It’s an idea that would surely change the motoring world one day in the near future: What if our cars could prevent drunk driving?
Driving laws in the future could include all cars being able to have some kind of technology to detect and prevent drunk driving. Some companies are already racing to figure out how to do this.
David Harkey, president of the Insurance Institution for Highway Safety, said: “ actually think this particular technology could save more lives than airbags. We’re talking about more than 10,000 people that are losing their lives annually as a result of alcohol-impaired driving in the country.”
So how might this technology actually work?
There are a few approaches that have been explored in recent years. They fall into two main categories: systems that measure your blood alcohol level while you do normal driving tasks, and cameras that watch for tell-tale signs of drunkenness.
It could take several years to determine what kind of technology should be required under the new vehicle standard and automakers would then have a few years to implement the standard in their vehicles.
The ideal solution would be that a sober driver wouldn’t notice the system at all. They’d just get in their vehicle and drive like normal, without doing anything in particular.
With the introduction of new technology in cars, there’s still a chance there could be a backlash from consumers. There have already been privacy concerns raised about both camera-based and physiology-based systems.
But safety advocates are ecstatic about the new federal push for drunk driving technology. Mothers Against Drunk Driving called the measure included in the infrastructure law “monumental.”
“This is the beginning of the end of drunk driving,” MADD president Alex Otte said in a statement.
New mobile phone driving laws ‘do not go far enough’ and are a ‘missed opportunity
NEW mobile phone driving laws “do not go far enough” to boost road safety, according to experts.
The previous rules meant drivers were only banned from texting or making a phone call while holding their device. However, the new driving laws mean drivers will not be able to touch a handheld phone while behind the wheel.
Drivers can still use their mobile phones for satellite navigation and to pay for items at drive-thru restaurants.
Meanwhile, hands-free calls will still be allowed under the new changes as drivers will not be holding their devices. However, this has been attacked by some experts who warned calls were just as dangerous.
Alison Moriarty, fleet risk director at Driive Consulting, warned drivers were “four times” more likely to have a crash while in a hands-free call. Speaking to Fleet News, she said: “While I welcome any changes that reduce distractions to drivers caused by mobile phone use, the proposal does not go far enough. “It is proven that the physical effects of holding a device are not as much an impairment to concentration as the mental distraction of holding a conversation and this is the same when using hands-free. “In fact, you are four times more likely to be involved in a collision, resulting in injury, if you are on a call including using hands-free options.”
Research from IAM RoadSmart showed infotainment systems impair reaction times more than alcohol and cannabis.
They found average stopping distances increased to between four and five car lengths when drivers took their eyes off the roads by just 16 seconds. They warned reaction times slowed by as much as 46 percent when using a handheld phone. These dropped to 57 percent slower when using Apple CarPlay touchscreen tools.
Shaun Gelman, chief scientist for behavioural and data scientist at Transport Research Laboratory said retaining hands-free devices was a “bad thing”. He warned drivers were often caught out by four different road distractions: manual, visual, auditory and cognitive. He told Fleet News: “What this law still does is focus on just one of those.
“In that sense, it’s a missed opportunity.
A SCOTS driving test centre has the best pass rate in the UK.
Pass rates are as high as 92.9% in Mallaig, on the north west coast of the Highlands.
There are almost 400 driving test centres across the UK. The average pass rate across the country between April and September 2021 was 50.5%, according to the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA).
The data is skewed by the number of people taking tests at each location – as it had just 14 tests during the period, registering 13 passes. Other islands and towns such as Mull, Ballater, Islay, and Crieff all have pass rates above 80%.
There were 692,684 tests during the six month period and 349,546 passes. Of 355,358 men who took the test, some 187,003 passed, a rate of 52.6%. The pass rate was lower among women, with 337,161 taking the test and 162,493 passing, a rate of 48.2%.
But pass rates vary across the country.
Lee On The Solent in Hampshire is the busiest location based in the top 50 pass rates list. It conducted 3,316 tests and passed 2,254 new drivers or 68%. This is followed by Yeovil, which has a pass rate of 65.9% based on 2,225 tests and Dorchester, where the pass rate is 65.4% based on 2,495 tests. The area with the lowest pass rate between April and September 2021 was Erith in south-east London at 27.5%, based on 2,177 tests and just 599 passes. Belvedere in south-east London has a pass rate of 30.6% but there are also tough places to pass outside of London. The pass rate in Carlisle is just 35.7% and around 37% in parts of Birmingham.
Credit: The Scottish Sun
Drivers handed 22,000 parking tickets every day in Britain, costing up to £8.4m
Drivers face regular fines of up to £100 for each penalty, says new research.
British drivers are being handed more than 22,000 parking tickets by private firms each day, which could cost up to £8.4m, according to new research.
Companies issued more than four million tickets to motorists between April and September 2021, despite cars being used a quarter less at the start of the six-month period compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to government data analysed the PA news agency.
Credit: The Independant