15 articles Tag driving

A Mum’s Guide To Staying Safe On The Roads

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Dear mums,

You don’t need us to tell you how important safety is when it comes to your children. Especially when you’re out on the roads where the risk of an accident could be high, you do need to take care. With this in mind, here is our safety guide. Read it, heed it, and take the appropriate steps to keep your children safe!

 

1. Replace your car (if you need to)

Replacing your car might not be your preferred option, especially considering the stress and expense involved when buying something new, but if your car is more than ten years old, or is showing signs of wear and tear, then for your children’s safety, you might want to consider an upgrade. Newer cars come equipped with modern safety features such as rear-facing cameras (useful for when you need to check on your kids in the back), emergency braking systems, and crumple zones that can minimise the damage caused to you and your little ones in the event of an accident. You don’t have to buy the newest car on the market of course (unless you can afford it), as you can still buy something reasonably up to date even though it’s second hand. Be sure to buy from a reputable used car dealer akin to Motor Mill, however, as you need the peace of mind that you are buying a car that is fit to drive and not likely to break down soon after leaving the dealership.

2. Keep your car maintained

To alleviate the risk of any accidents on the road, you do need to look after your car. And while there are some maintenance jobs you can do yourself; you should still take your car to the garage every so often to make sure everything is working as it should. We appreciate there might be an expense, but when it comes to the safety of your children, they should be the priority over any cost that might be incurred at the garage.

3. Be mindful of distractions

Your biggest distractions are probably your children. When they kick up a fuss in the back seat with temper tantrums and those blessed words “I’m bored,” you could easily take your eyes off the road, and that could lead to an accident. If they do start to create a fuss, you should pull over when it is safe to do so to sort out any problems. However, you might also want to read this article on keeping your children entertained, as there are plenty of ideas within to focus your children’s attention in the car. Your other biggest distraction will be your phone. When a text comes in or if you receive a phone call, you might be tempted to take one hand off the wheel to grab your mobile. DON’T!! Install a hands-free system in your car if you need to take calls, but otherwise, turn off your phone when you’re driving so you will be less prone to distractions.

4.  Don’t drive when you’re tired

You don’t need us to tell you how exhausting it is being a mum. With much to do in the day and chances of reduced sleep if your kids keep you awake at night, you might find yourself running on empty! It’s something many of us get used to, but when it comes to driving, you need to be mindful. While you might not fall asleep at the wheel, you might still make some mistakes if your concentration drops because of your tired state. Therefore, resist the urge to get in the car if you don’t have the energy. When it comes to the school run, walk the kids to school or get a taxi, and consider the same for any other journey you need to make. Then, to give yourself a fighting chance of getting some decent shut-eye, follow this sleep guide and commit to other research online for tips to help you.

And so…

Make safety your #1 priority. Follow our suggestions in this article, and then look for other ideas online to keep you and your little ones safe when you’re out in the car. And if you have any other tips for our readers, do the right thing, and remind us of them in the comments section below.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

 

Choosing Your Family Car

A car can be essential for families. Between the school run, weekend sports matches and just needing to get around, your car will be an important part of your family.

Choosing the right car for your family, therefore, is a big decision that shouldn’t be entered into lightly. Take note of the following advice to help you make the best decision when choosing your family car.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

How big does it need to be?

Family cars need a lot of space, but you might not have thought about how much in detail before. For smaller kids, you’ll need to consider fitting in prams and pushchairs, making sure there’s adequate storage, etc. Not only will you need enough space in the boot, but making sure you have wide enough doors will also be a benefit further down the line when you’re trying to get the kids in their car seats. Look at the current top family cars to give you an idea of what’s out there and which cars are best sized for your needs.

What about the running costs?

We all know that cars can be expensive, so a family on a tight budget needs to consider the running costs of the car. A car that’s going to guzzle petrol is not a good investment, so you should look at the alternatives. A hybrid or an electric car is a good way to keep ongoing costs down, but the cars can be more expensive to buy in the first place. Look at ways to reduce your car insurance costs as one way to tighten your budget and help you manage the financial aspects that come with car ownership.

Should you buy new or used?

There’s a lot to consider when deciding to buy a new or used car. A new car will be fresh and take longer to need maintenance, but an older car could be a lot more cost effective. If you look at the cars at Drive Pay, you’ll notice that there are some excellent deals on used cars. Cars last much longer these days, so you could get an excellent deal by buying a used car instead of a brand new one.

Consider comfort

Comfort isn’t something to sacrifice when it comes to your family car. From having comfortable seats to a top entertainment system, you need a car that provides comfort for every eventuality. If you’re going to embark on long journeys regularly, consider investing in tablets or other forms of entertainment, otherwise, you could find yourself facing some very long journeys indeed!

Buying a new family car is an exciting experience, but it’s important that you get it right. Make sure that you take the time to test drive cars, read reviews and check that it meets all of your criteria before you make the final decision. You’ll rely on your car much more than you realise, so make sure you do the right thing by you and your family.

8 Ways To Keep Your Car Insurance Costs Down

Photo by Simon Stratford on Unsplash

Aѕ саr іnѕurаnсе іѕ expensive, mоѕt consumers dо nоt wаnt tо uѕе іt. Buуіng thе rіght соvеrаgе іѕ іmроrtаnt, but іt соѕtѕ mоrе tо gеt a nеw іnѕurеd саr. Gіvе bеlоw ѕоmе tірѕ thаt саn hеlр уоu save mоnеу оn уоur саr insurance. Rеаd on for the cheapest car insurance.

Annuаl fее

Yоu саn сhесk оut ѕоmе wеbѕіtеѕ tо соmраrе dіffеrеnt online іnѕurеrѕ. Whіlе уоu саn nоt gеt a quote rіght аwау, уоu wіll gеt a rеѕроnѕе ѕооn frоm thе соmраnу’ѕ аgеntѕ. Yоu mау wаnt tо соnѕіdеr making a rеlаtіоnѕhір wіth a gооd іndереndеnt agent. Thеу wіll hеlр уоu tо check thе tоn rаtеѕ оf carriers.

Chооѕе a good іnѕurеr

Sаvіng mоnеу іѕ nоt lооkіng fоr thе lоwеѕt рrеmіum. In fасt, ѕоmе рrоvіdеrѕ оffеr lоwеr premium rates. Hоwеvеr, thеу еnd uр сhаrgіng уоu mоrе іn thе еnd. Aѕ a result, уоu pay mоrе fоr rерlасеmеnt раrtѕ оf thе original еquірmеnt. In ѕоmе саѕеѕ, thе рrоvіdеr mау іnсrеаѕе уоur premiums аftеr аn ассіdеnt.

Thе dеduсtіblе

Wіth a hіghеr dеduсtіblе, уоu’ll hаvе tо pay lоwеr рrеmіumѕ. Thе rеаѕоn іѕ thаt уоu wіll bе рауіng mоrе іn саѕе оf loss. Fоr еxаmрlе, іf уоu іnсrеаѕе уоur franchise tо, ѕау, $ 500 frоm $ 200, уоu саn rеduсе уоur рrеmіum bу 15 tо 30%. Sо, іf уоu choose $ 1,000, уоu саn ѕаvе uр tо 40%.

Review уоur coverage

Liability coverage wіll рау fоr уоur property dаmаgе аnd personal іnjurу іn аn ассіdеnt. It іѕ nоt a gооd idea tо rеduсе уоur lіаbіlіtу tо thе mіnіmumѕ ѕеt bу thе ѕtаtе. Whіlе buуіng mоrе соvеrаgе mау ѕееm lіkе a wеіrd wау tо save a lоt, уоu саn tаkе аdvаntаgе оf thіѕ bеnеfіt оnlу іf уоu hаvе a big аnd expensive сlаіm. Aѕ a rеѕult, thеіr ѕаvіngѕ аrе аt ѕtаkе. Whаt уоu nееd tо dо іѕ соnѕіdеr уоur реrѕоnаl іnjurу mеdісаl рауmеntѕ аnd рrоtесtіоn соvеrаgе.

Uѕе thе dіѕсоuntѕ

Kеер іn mіnd thаt саr іnѕurаnсе providers offer dіѕсоuntѕ bаѕеd оn thе fасt thаt thе сlіеnt hаѕ a low-risk lіfеѕtуlе ѕuсh аѕ ѕtudеntѕ, nеw drіvеrѕ, еxреrіеnсеd drіvеrѕ аnd аffіnіtу mеmbеrѕ, juѕt tо nаmе a fеw.

Hоldеrѕ оf Multiple Policies

Sоmе providers offer heavy dіѕсоuntѕ ѕіnсе уоu рurсhаѕе уоur rеntеrѕ, homeowners оr lіfе іnѕurаnсе роlісу аѕ wеll. Hоwеvеr, bе ѕurе tо соnѕіdеr thе tоtаl costs оf расkаgеѕ аnd рrеmіumѕ frоm іndіvіduаl іnѕurеrѕ frоm vаrіоuѕ рrоvіdеrѕ.

Gооd credit ѕсоrе

Sоmе states аllоw insurance рrоvіdеrѕ tо uѕе thеіr сrеdіt rаtіng tо set thеіr рrеmіumѕ. Whаt уоu nееd tо dо іѕ check аnd соrrесt еrrоrѕ оn уоur credit rероrt. If уоur сlаѕѕіfісаtіоn hаѕ bееn аffесtеd bу thе lоѕѕ оf employment, divorce оr аnу оthеr rеаѕоn, уоu саn rеquеѕt аn еxсерtіоn frоm уоur provider.

Choose уоur саr саrеfullу

Fоr саr іnѕurеrѕ, dаmаgе tо thе vеhісlе саn соѕt a lоt. Thеrеfоrе, рrіzеѕ аrе defined based оn thе аutоmаtіс model. Yоu саn аѕk уоur provider аbоut dіffеrеnt car mоdеlѕ.

Aѕ wе hаvе ѕееn, insurance саn bе a mіnеfіеld – but thеrе аrе wауѕ tо еnѕurе thаt уоu guаrаntее a соmрlеtе роlісу аt a reasonable price for the cheapest car insurance.

And, іf уоu’rе a gооd ріlоt, уоu ѕhоuld fіnd thаt costs соntіnuе tо fаll іn thе соmіng уеаrѕ, wіth nо claims bonus.

Sо wе suggest уоu сhесk thеѕе 8 tірѕ іf уоu plan tо buy саr insurance аnd wаnt tо save ѕоmе mоnеу оn thе purchase. Wе hоре уоu саn save a lоt оf mоnеу.

Are You a Lover of #CulturalDrives?

When it comes to driving, I’ve done a fair bit – I know a lot of people who, even after years of driving, refuse to drive on motorways and I even used to know a lady who refused to drive around a certain roundabout, even though she’d had a driving licence for almost 30 years! That, however, is not me and I always say that if you’ve got a licence, you should be able to drive anywhere.

We live in the south of England, and I’ve done a fair bit of driving around London, I’ve driven to Liverpool, Cornwall, Bath, Cambridge and a few other places around the UK. The day we drove to Liverpool was bonkers; I drove up on the Friday night so that Husband, Sausage and I could go to a Saturday game at Anfield but the traffic on the M6 was absolutely HORRIFIC. A journey which should have taken four and a half hours ended up taking almost NINE…and did I mention that I was 5 and a half months pregnant with BB at the time?!

The truth is, I actually love being a driver. It allows us to live in a quiet rural location and still function in the real world, it’s allowed us to go on some awesome day trips and I just enjoy the freedom it gives us a family. Chill Insurance are asking bloggers to tell people about their favourite drives, calling them ‘Cultural Drives’ – you know, those times when you see breathtaking scenery and iconic landmarks, taking your drives to the next level.

Here in England, I loved driving to Longleat and seeing Stonehenge on the way as it’s one of my favourite UK landmarks. The mystery around what it is and how it came to be is so intriguing and I get a really powerful feeling when I’m there. Another trip which is high on my bucket list is renting a camper van and driving around Ireland as a family. I visited Dublin back in 2004 and totally fell in love with the place and I know that Ireland has some incredible scenery to offer, so it’s something I must do one day.

The Cultural Drives campaign aims to highlight some of Ireland’s best drives and they’re all themed – music drives, food drives, art, history and families – quite honestly, it would be impossible for me to choose, so it looks like we’ll have to take more than one trip to fit it all in!

Where is your favourite place to drive? Have you ever driven somewhere really exotic? Have you ever stumbled upon something totally unexpected while driving? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear about them.

Is Your Vision Good Enough for Driving?

One In Three Brits Risk Driving Ban With Overdue Eye Tests

I’ve been a glasses wearer since I was 11. At primary school, our classes were pretty small, so seeing the blackboard was never an issue, but once I got to senior school, the classes were bigger and suddenly I realised that my vision wasn’t good enough for me to see what was being written on the board. I went for an eye test, and lo and behold, I needed glasses, albeit with a pretty weak prescription. My lenses have got stronger pretty much every year since then, until about 2 years ago when the optician said I’d reached some sort of vision-stasis and that my eyes hadn’t worsened since my last test. However, I still get yearly tests because as a driver, I think it’s massively important.

Vision Express has recently conducted a survey which came up with some, quite frankly, terrifying results. Here’s a video that they’ve made all about it:

New research revealed today by Vision Express has found:

• Almost 30% of UK drivers are overdue an eye test, with 4% admitting to never having had one

• Drivers with uncorrected vision which falls short of legal thresholds face potential insurance invalidation, a heavy fine, penalty license points and even driving disqualification

• On average, Brits will be spending almost three hours in their vehicles en-route to their UK holiday destination and will be travelling with three people, including one child

• There will be increased pressure on UK roads this summer with 50% of Brits families holidaying in the UK, compared with 38% last year

• Brits are more likely to have their cars stocked with drinks and snacks, rather than they are to have had a recent eye test

As drivers, we’re all spot-on when it comes to getting our cars MOT’d to make sure they’re as safe as possible, but that safety-checking should always extend to ourselves – if your eyes aren’t giving you a reliable picture of what you’re seeing, then you’re putting yourself, your family and every other road user in danger. If you cause an accident and other people are injured including any that are in the car with you, you could find yourself facing legal action for whiplash claims and other injuries.

My ability to drive is something which is so essential to us as a family because of where we live; we’re 6 miles from Sausage’s school, 3 miles from the nearest shop and we don’t even really have passable pavements on any of the roads immediately around our house. In an emergency, Husband or I could cycle to get where we needed to go, but transporting ourselves as a family would be very tricky indeed. This means that my eye health is of paramount importance.

Do you make sure you have yearly tests? Are you as shocked as I am about the amount of people driving around with potentially poor vision?! Do leave me a comment below as I’d love to hear from you.

Getting A Second Car – What You Need To Know

If you’re ready to take the plunge and head back to work, you might be searching for jobs all over the place. Working from home doesn’t suit everyone, and it rarely pays enough. More importantly, you would benefit from a workplace pension and some paid annual leave! It’s difficult to find a job within walking distance of your home. After being out of work for a while, you may be just a one-car family at the moment. But now could be the time to invest in a second.

A second car will need to be insured and taxed in pretty much the same way as your other one. The trouble is, if they are both in your name, you can’t use your no-claims bonus on both. When a partner owns the other car, they are accumulating their own no-claims. But you may not have any. This makes insurance very expensive, so choose a small, second-hand car to reduce the costs.

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Photo source

When you have a car that isn’t brand new, it’s important to have it serviced and maintained. This is in addition to your annual MOT. The best way to find a reputable garage for the odd fix is one of those ‘Click for quote’ websites that reviews mechanics. You don’t want to have a breakdown on the way to your brand new job! And if you’re driving the kids about at the weekend, you definitely want your car to be as safe as possible.

A second car will need to be parked overnight. You might keep it in the garage, on the driveway, or outside on the street. The insurance company will ask which it is. And your answer could cost you more on your premium. Make sure you have the right cover. If you’re commuting to work, the insurance company needs to know that. If you’re relying on this vehicle to get you to a new job, be sure to get the best level of cover you can afford.

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Photo source

The cost of petrol and diesel has gone up a lot (again). Sadly, it will rise even higher thanks to Brexit. Try to choose a car that is cheap to run. Driving carefully can also reduce the amount of petrol you use. Avoid hard accelerations and using the air conditioning excessively. The best way to reduce the amount of fuel you use is to reduce the amount of driving you do. If you can use public transport to get to work, see if this works out cheaper over the year than buying another car.

Of course, the convenience of having a car at your disposal is great. You may have got used to walking the kids to preschool or nursery. Perhaps you became fitter too. But when that cold and wet weather comes in, chances are you’ll be glad you have a car. Turning up to work soaked and windswept isn’t a great look either. Having a second car in the family may be a little more expense each month, but it could also be the key to getting the job of your dreams.

 

The Day I Ran Over a Cyclist

Last Sunday started off a day like any other. Burrito Baby had been poorly for a couple of days, showing what we thought were the initial signs of chicken pox, which threatened to get our holidays off to a really rubbish start. However, after a very long sleep she woke up seeming much better and the sun was shining so I hatched a plan to take the girls out and surprise them by taking them for breakfast and buying them a paddling pool for the garden. We got dressed, covered in sun cream and left the house.

Living where we do means that we get a LOT of walkers and cyclists using the roads, especially on sunny days, so I’m always careful when taking the winding single lane road which leads away from home, and this day was no exception. I made it up to the junction which takes us out onto the National Speed limit lane at the end of our road and stopped to let a car and a cyclist go past. It’s a poorly-sighted road so I always give an extra couple of looks to make sure the road is clear.

Just as I pulled away, a cyclist came around the corner and into the path of my car. I swerved one way to avoid him, he swerved another way to avoid me, but we hit. He, and his bike, rolled over my bonnet and onto the concrete as I brought the car to a halt. I think I shouted a few expletives as I jumped out of the car and, stupidly, asked “shall I call an ambulance?”. Of course he needed a fucking ambulance; he’d just been hit by a car.

As I was calling for an ambulance, a few other people from the larger part of our village stopped their cars and came over to see what was going on, an older couple who went into help-mode and started propping umbrellas over the injured cyclist (who by this point, although conscious, was bleeding from his mouth and his knee and seemed pretty badly in shock), and a woman of about my age but heavily pregnant who asked if she could check on my girls in the back of the car.

The call to 999 was, frankly, excruciating. Our road doesn’t have a name and aside from a farm or two has no major landmarks, so trying to direct them to where to go was virtually impossible. In the end, I gave them my own address and told them to just aim for there because they couldn’t miss us. In fact, the police turned up after just ten minutes while the ambulance took a full 45 minutes to arrive. The people who stopped joked about how they suddenly understood why there was a defibrillator at both ends of our village. The injured man had been cycling with a friend who had made it to their destination, realised his friend wasn’t showing up and cycled back to find him.

I won’t lie; I was shitting myself. Until the police arrived, I was convinced that I was going to be clapped in irons and thrown in a cell. Although I was sure that I hadn’t driven recklessly nor made any careless mistakes, I’ve never been involved in this sort of thing and had NO idea how I would be dealt with. The first response car had two male officers on board, one of whom took me into the back of his car to ask me a whole bunch of questions and take my details, warning that I may be questioned under caution and breathalysed when the traffic unit arrived.

Low and behold, when the Traffic guys turned up, I was questioned again (the “anything you do say may be given in evidence”, etc, was casually dropped into the conversation but felt hugely surreal nonetheless) and given a Breathalyzer. I hadn’t had an alcoholic drink for about a week before the accident, but I was still relieved when the display read ZERO. The officer took photos of the car, questioned me and the cyclist and did a load of other bits before telling me that he was convinced that it was “just one of those things”, an accident which was unavoidable and which wasn’t due to anyone being at fault.

He said that the speedo on the man’s bicycle showed that he’d been doing 23mph around the corner as we collided and that it was a sharp bend, meaning it could have happened to anyone. His injuries (a broken tooth and a badly scuffed knee) were largely superficial because I was only going slowly as I pulled away. At the most, I may have to attend a course to prove my hazard perceptions skills but I wouldn’t be in trouble or even get any points on my licence.

Obviously I was relieved that the blame wasn’t being laid on me but I was also gutted that I had contributed to someone getting hurt, so I asked the man’s friend to apologise to him for me. As the ambulance pulled away, the officer who’d taken the cyclists statement came to me and said “He asked me to tell you to try not to feel guilty, he knows you weren’t at fault”, which made me feel mildly better.

Skip forward to 5 days later; I haven’t heard anything else about the man, so I assume he is on the mend. Despite the full force of a human man and a bike hitting my car, there’s a dent on the bonnet about the size of a fifty pence piece, so Volvo FTW. Sausage seems pretty unfazed by it all and BB has only mentioned it once – they were both in the back, Sausage looking down at Pokemon Go, so I don’t think they really saw much.

As for me…well, I don’t really know. I’ve had nightmares a couple of nights since it happened and I keep seeing the guy’s face as he rolled off of my bonnet onto the tarmac, the image popping into my head at random. I got straight back into the car and drove again because me being able to drive is basically essential to us living in our dream house here in the country, but I won’t lie; I feel sick every time I see a cyclist on the road and I have visions of them swerving in front of me as I overtake. The whole thing could have been a whole lot worse, but I still feel awful about it all.

Why am I writing this, you may ask? Well, I don’t know…catharsis, maybe? A warning to be extra, EXTRA vigilant for cyclists on the road? Maybe just to get it all off of my chest in the hope it stops swirling around in my brain at any opportunity. Who knows?

Maybe as an opportunity to thank a few people – My fellow villagers for reminding me exactly why we wanted to live in a small, friendly community. The Cuthberts for making me strong tea, showing me their garden and their kindness and introducing us to their chickens – all of which calmed me down massively. My in-laws for, as ever, being on my team and making me feel less like a bad person. My kids for being resilient little buggers. Mostly Husband for hugging me, telling me that it wasn’t my fault and giving my hand a little squeeze whenever we have to drive past a cyclist. And the Police for realising that I wasn’t a hapless criminal, just a very shocked Mum of two on a Sunday morning drive.

I doubt the cyclist will ever read this but I hope he’s okay and that he’ll be back on his bike as soon as he’s able. I’d hate to think that his love of cycling was tarnished by this. Most of all I just hope that he and I are both able to get back behind the wheel and never have anything like this happen to either of us again.

get well soon

Have you heard of these motoring acronyms?

car-482683_1280Do you know your ABS from your AFM? How about EDC and ECU? Many motoring terms can be quite complex, necessitating industry-standard acronyms that are easy for people – mechanics, salespeople and drivers, to remember. Some are now readily familiar as they have become shorthand for common features sold with every car, such as AC, yes; even in Newcastle cars need air conditioning from time to time! Here’s a list of some of common acronyms that it’s good to keep in mind when shopping for a new car…

ABS – Anti-lock Braking System. If you need to slam on the brakes in a hurry, your ABS will kick in with a series of electronic sensors to prevent them from locking up, thereby stopping the car from skidding, or at least cutting the risk of it. Basically it releases and then reapplies the brakes in rapid succession, simultaneously reducing speed, thereby letting the driver steer and maintain control. Note that it is not a substitute for a sensible stopping distance!

PAS – Power Assisted Steering. Larger, heavier cars, the adoption of front wheel drive in many vehicles, and wider tyres all mean that it would be difficult to effectively steer many cars at low speeds without PAS. You can have a hydraulic or electric system depending on the type of car you drive, and if you’ve ever tried steering a car without PAS, you’ll have noticed the difference immediately.

SRS – Supplementary Restraint System. This is your airbags. Using a series of sensors dotted around the car to determine likely impact should you have a crash, the airbags deploy as a further in-car safety measure, working alongside your seatbelt to cushion you from the blow. The algorithms used to deploy the airbags are increasingly complex, and may now take into account not just the speed you’re going, but your weight, whether the seatbelt is being used, and where you’re sitting in the car to judge when and at what speed to trigger the airbag.

EFI – Electronic Fuel Injection. This is now the primary means of getting the fuel into your car’s engine, having replaced carburetors over the last few decades. The fuel is atomised and then injected through a tiny nozzle at high speeds – a more efficient and environmentally-friendly method than the previous suction technique, that will also save you money. Similarly, DDI, for Direct Diesel Injection.

LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas. A mix of propane and butane that can be used in some vehicles as an alternative to petrol or diesel. While it is considered to be more eco-friendly, burning more cleanly and containing fewer particulates, it is generally thought that LPG-powered vehicles have a higher fuel consumption.

ECU – Electronic Control Unit. These are your car’s brains. Think of your car as like an octopus. Its eight arms each have a mind of their own, able to coordinate and problem-solve, do their own thinking almost, without needing to consult the octopus’ main brain. Modern cars have many ECUs, up to around 80 in some vehicles, each with their own function, such as controlling the powertrain or the suspension. They are all connected to the car’s main computer(s), which collects and collates data from each ECU and passes information to the driver so decisions can be made.

ACC – Automatic Cruise Control. This one is very clever. When your car is in cruise control on the motorway, on-board sensors note the proximity of traffic from vehicles ahead of you and adjust throttle or brakes to keep you a safe distance away. Expect this to advance in the future to use satellites and radar, and even cooperation with a similar system in the car in front to prevent crashes.

Basically, if there are any acronyms listed for the car you want to buy that you don’t understand, ask for them to be explained before making a purchase, as they may be important. Got all that? OK, TTFN.

Take Your Theory Test and Win an iPad!

Husband and I often talk about road theory when we’re in the car; I’ve been driving for 13 years and although he doesn’t have a car licence, he’s ridden bikes for many years which means his road sense is exemplary. We’ve wondered, on more than one occasion whether people on the road would pass their tests, were they to take them now and as it turns out, road safety charity Brake, along with We Buy Any Car wondered the same thing!

They conducted a survey which showed that that 2 out of 3 drivers on the road today would actually fail their driving theory test if they were to take it today, which is quite shocking when you think about it. The thought of that many drivers lacking basic knowledge needed to navigate the roads in a safe and competent fashion scares me! Here’s a quiz for you to take to see if your road theory is up to scratch:

This quiz was created byWeBuyAnyCar.com

I’m very pleased to say that I passed the test first time, with a mark of 80%, but it has also alerted me to the fact that there are definite holes in my knowledge, even after all these years on the road, so I’ll definitely be buying a copy of the Highway Code and brushing up!theory test pass

I’d love it if you took the test too and left me a comment, letting me know your score and whether you’re still up to scratch – and BE HONEST! If you enter your email address when you try the test, there’s a chance to win an iPad, so it’s definitely worth a go!

How Much Do You Value Your Dad?

ud_ultimate_supercar_half_day_ferrari_astonWith Fathers’ Day just around the corner, everyone’s thoughts are turning to Dads and how much they mean to us. It’s hard to measure the ‘worth’ of a person but someone below seems to think they’ve got the method sorted, so I thought I’d share thisvideo with you, which I thought was rather funny!

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The lovely people at The Car Buying Service are running a competition to win a supercar track day for your Dad, as they think it would be the perfect way for you to show your Dad how much you love him on Fathers’ Day. I’m lucky enough to have two Dads, both of whom mean the world to me, however one of them would be happier with a motorbike day and the other would would be in his element with some kind of surfing or skateboarding prize, so I may just keep the supercar experience for myself as it sounds like something I’d LOVE!

Now that I’m older and married with kids, Husband is also a Dad who’s super important to me; Sausage and BB are lucky to have a Dad who is devoted, kind and loving and everything I could hope for in the father to my children. He might be a pain in the bum who never remembers to take his towel into the shower with him (causing an inevitable cry of ‘Jaaaaayne….I’ve forgotten my towel…” every single time!) but he’s genuinely an awesome Dad and Sausage and I are planning a few surprises for this Fathers’ Day so that we can all tell him how much he means to us.

I asked Husband a few weeks ago if there was anything he needed or wanted the girls to get him for Fathers’ Day and he said that all he wanted was a picture drawn for him by Sausage, which will be no problem at all as the girl seems to have a pen or pencil in her hand for most of her waking hours. She loves nothing more that drawing pictures for people to show how much she loves them, so we’ll be doing something extra special for Daddy this year.

How about you? Are you planning anything special for your Husband or Dad? Do you think they’d love a day of messing around with supercars? Are you lucky enough to have two wonderful Dads? Do leave me a comment below and let me know.