A new road surface using recycled tyres is being trialled on the M1 motorway by Highways England. A section of road between junctions 23 to 22 on the southbound carriageway of the M1 near Leicester has been laid with the new surface which has been developed by Tarmac.
Let’s say you are driving past a school at 30 mph. A child runs out in to the road 10 metres ahead. How fast will you be travelling when you hit the child? You’ll need some extra information to work out an accurate answer, but have a guess…
Here comes another snippet of information: the overall stopping distance at 30 mph is 23 metres. Do you want to change your answer?
And another snippet of information: the thinking distance at 30 mph is about 9 metres (remember the child you are about to hit is only 10 metres away). Have another think about your answer.
Using official Highway Code figures for braking distance and Department of Transport figures for reaction time (thinking distance) you will still be travelling at about 27 mph when you hit the child. At 40 mph you won’t even have time to reach the brake pedal before hitting the child.
At 20 mph you will hit the child at about 7 mph. Not acceptable, but the child will probably walk away with bruises. Driving near a school or playground? Twenty is Plenty
How much energy does a car have a 20 mph? 30 mph? 70 mph? Watch out, here comes a maths lesson…
Ek = mv2 Energy = mass X speed X speed
The faster you drive, the more kinetic energy your car has. When you crash into something (or someone), the more kinetic energy you have, the more damage you will do: this damage ranges from low speed bumps and bruises, through medium speed broken bones, to high speed serious life-changing injury and death.
Let’s keep the maths simple by ignoring the fact that we should convert miles per hour to metres per second. And let’s also ignore that energy is measured in Joules: we will call them “killing units”. Finally, we will estimate the weight of a car at 1000kg (a Fiat 500 is much less: a Nissan Qashqai is much more)
The formula to work out killing energy is weight X speed X speed (yes speed is there twice).
At 20 mph we have 1000 X 20 X 20 = 400,000KU
What happens if we double the speed to 40mph? Heres a clue: it doesnt double to 80,000KU. Get your calculator out and plug the numbers in…
At 40 mph we have 1000 X 40 X 40 = 1,600,000KU
Double the speed equals four times the killing power. Tempted to drive at 80 mph? Go on, do the maths (6,400,000KU)
This huge disparity between speed and energy gives rise to the statistic of “hit a child at 30 mph and theres an 80% chance they will live, hit a child at 40 mph and theres an 80% they will die.”
And at 20 mph the likely outcome is minor injuries.
Inclusive Driving is the only Carbon Neutral driving school in the West Midlands (1). And if others follow suit (we hope they do) then we will still have been the first, and will be proud to have started it!
Based on our fuel use in the car, and our fuel use in the office over the financial year 2018-2019, we have calculated our carbon footprint and offset it with an accredited scheme. We will do the same every year.
With both local and global offsetting projects, we not only achieved carbon-neutral status: we achieved climate-positive status, meaning that we offset more than we produced.
We have also produced our Environmental Statement, showing our commitment to teaching eco-safe driving, and reducing our environmental impact.
Inclusive Driving Environmental Statement
By the very nature of driving instruction, it is impractical to reduce car use. We minimise our environmental impact in the following ways:
Longer lessons reduce the number of miles travelled between customers. We encourage customers to choose two-hour lessons and offer a 22% discount on the hourly rate for lessons of two hours duration or more.
Customers who live more than 7.5 miles from our base are encouraged to use public transport to a local train station or tram stop, and we offer a financial incentive for this.
We use B7 diesel/biodiesel blend, containing 7% biodiesel from renewable sources.
We teach in a car with a Euro 6 emissions rating: currently the most stringent standard.
We choose not to use a roof sign, reducing drag and reducing fuel use.
We offset all of the carbon dioxide produced from diesel during lessons and during personal journeys through certified carbon schemes both locally and globally.
We exceed net zero emissions by offsetting a further 25% over our actual emissions.
We include “eco-safe” driving in our syllabus to reduce our own fuel use and pass on the skills for learners to continue eco-safe driving after they pass their test.
We include essential car maintenance in our syllabus to ensure learners continue to run their own vehicles with minimum environmental impact.
Our office utilities suppliers produce electricity from renewable sources.
Proud to be a carbon-neutral driving school
Note to learners: prepare to he nagged even more about going easy on the gas and changing gears early! 1. Correct as of August 2019, based on search engine results. Email for verification
Studying the highway code is monotonous, unengaging and unlikely to beat the cute dogs of the internet for your attention.
But there’s good news! This innovative new book makes learning the theory of driving engaging and fun. The process of colouring in helps you understand and memorise faster – making it easier for you to pass your test first time! You’ll also be a safer driver for life.
L-Plates are a legal requirement if you are driving a car as a provisional licence holder. There are many cheap ones on Amazon but beware: some of them don’t meet the legal specifications of size and colour. If you want to buy a set of L-Plates that are legal and exceedingly good quality, then click here.
There are times when L-plates might also be used, even when the driver isn’t a learner: If someone is training to be a driving instructor then during role-play sessions, L-plates must also be used. Additionally, if you passed in an automatic car and then learn to drive a manual car, you’ll need L-plates again (but don’t worry: you don’t have to redo your theory test).
Magnetic and very strong: guaranteed not to blow off at high speed.
Keep yourself safe around large vehicles, such as lorries, and help the lorry driver at the same time. (This article was written by Richard Gladman from “IAM RoadSmart”)
Often one of the missing links when teaching people to become drivers is to get them to understand about the larger vehicles which use the road. The important messages will get conveyed to learners providing the opportunity arises and but ideally the skills need to be learned in practical terms.
The driver of a large vehicle will tell you, they sometimes need a bit of extra space to move down the road. Visibility can be restricted, and no number of mirrors will allow all the blind spots to be monitored all of the time. On a roundabout they will often need more than one lane so let them have it; when turning to the left they will almost certainly move out to the right first to create their turning circle so hang back when you see them indicating their intention to turn left; a few seconds delay will be worth it if you prevent a crash. Driving in front of, or even behind, a large lorry can be daunting.
When you’re driving along the motorway, you’ll notice many
lorries with foreign number plates. Bear in mind that the driver will be
sitting on the left-hand side rather than the right, so you may be difficult to
see and the driver may be acclimatising his lane position in the UK. Take extra
care when passing and allow more space if you can.
We have all heard the saying “if you can see their
mirrors, then they can see you.” But an HGV can have up to five mirrors,
and the driver is limited to looking at one at a time so they may not see you.
Hold back and you will eventually be visible in their mirrors.
Identify when there is a likelihood of the HGV changing
lanes. Is there a slip road coming up which will be joining traffic and may
force a lane change? Or if there is an HGV in lane two, are they likely to
change back into lane one? Be accommodating by hanging back and allowing them
to pull into the lane they are looking to move into.
At one point in time, we’ve all experienced heavy spray from
an HGV in front of us. You can control this by extending the distance between
yourself and the lorry. The Highway Code suggests at least four seconds in the rain
but if needed, make it more. Not only will it prevent your wipers working
overtime, it will also improve your vision beyond the HGV.
An articulated lorry will track sideways in a right-hand
bend on the motorway and on a roundabout, so avoid being beside it. A good rule
of thumb is to be safely in front of or safely behind, but never beside an HGV
when entering a roundabout.
If you see a queue of traffic in front of you and have an
HGV behind you, introduce your brake lights early to pre-warn the driver behind
and slow down gradually. This will let the HGV driver extend their braking
distance and stop in plenty of time. On a motorway or dual carriageway, hazard
lights can be used to show drivers behind you of any issues further in front.
(Highway Code rule 116)
Despite being legally limited to 60mph, an HGV can only physically go a maximum of 56mph on the motorway. So, if you do see a HGV in the right hand lane, give them a helping hand by slowing down and letting them into the left lane. Allow them to pass more easily if you can.
The first set of permanently-installed traffic lights were in St Peter’s Square, in my home town of Wolverhampton. Learn all about traffic lights by downloading the Secret Guide to Traffic lights (see below) For a free video, click here.
The secret guide to traffic lights (workbook)
£2.95 – £4.95
20+ page workbook with optional certificate on completion
The accelerator increases the amount of fuel being sent to the engine. Pressing the accelerator pedal increases the engine speed, making the car go faster. Easing off or releasing the accelerator makes the car slow down. The accelerator is sometimes called the throttle (more common amongst motorcyclists).
“Accelerator Sense” is a technique which requires the driver to plan ahead and adjust the car’s speed using only the accelerator pedal; the brakes being used only when a more rapid reduction in speed is required.
Often called the gas pedal, it is the rightmost pedal in most cars and is operated with the right foot. The term “gas” is from gasoline the American word for petrol.
The spring mechanism, which pushes the pedal upwards when the driver removes their foot, is an example of a fail-safe mechanism.
Eco-safe driving suggests that the accelerator is used gently, although when a sudden increase in speed is needed, a “foot to the floor” technique is used.