Eco Driving for Fun and Profit

Save Cash and keep your car happy with Eco driving

If you want to save money on fuel and help protect the world we live in then get yourself an economical driving style. You will learn about thiseco driving lessons nottingham during driving lessons and it’s also an item that’s marked on the driving test. What does eco driving involve and how can you get some I hear you ask?

Environmental issues are all over the television and internet so we’re all aware of how we are harming the planet. You can do your bit to help by driving in a way that cuts down on pollution and uses less natural resources. As well as being safer on the road you will help look after your vehicle as well. Pedestrians with breathing difficulties can suffer from the low level pollution caused by burning fossil fuels like petrol and diesel.

If you want to drive in an environmentally friendly way you’ll have to practice looking well ahead and planning your drive. If you do this you’ll make the most use of the car’s momentum and have less need to use the accelerator and brakes. Keep a good distance from the vehicle ahead so when things slow down you can just let the car roll instead of stopping and moving off again. Only a fool breaks the two second rule as they say.

Why not take an Eco- driving lesson?

When you move off try to do it smoothly without over revving the engine. This can be hard to do when you are moving off uphill. Too many revs can also lead to clutch wear which can be expensive. Keep a smooth engine tone whether you are moving off uphill or on a level. Taking your foot off the gas when driving down hill can save fuel without compromising safety but don’t coast with the clutch in. This may lead to loss of control of the vehicle. If you are waiting for any length of time then it may be worth turning off the engine. This can be the case at level crossings. If you do switch off the engine, watch the lights and anticipate when traffic will begin to move again. This will allow you to switch the engine back on in good time.

When I’ve finished giving driving lessons I always take the roof sign off my car as it produces a lot of drag. There are things you can do to reduce drag and therefore fuel consumption in your own vehicle. Don’t keep heavy items you’re not going to need in the boot. Remove them to make the car lighter. Take off the roof rack if you’ve got one fitted and won’t be using it for some time. If it’s mainly short journeys you make only half fill the fuel tank each time. Carrying the weight of a full tank makes the engine work harder than it needs to. At slower speeds open the windows instead of using the air conditioning.

Keep the car as light as possible, use the controls smoothly and combine this with good forward planning to save pounds on fuel over the years to come.

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Flood Season is Here Again

Take care when driving through flood water

It’s raining heavily out there so we will have to brave the weather on our driving lessons. Never fear, there is always something new to learn driving instructors nottingham floodsand wet roads just add to the challenge. Let’s have a look at what you can do to drive on flooded roads safely.

First thing to do is remain calm. When the rain is pounding down on to the roof of your car it can make a lot of noise. If you are learning to drive it can mask the noise of the engine making moving off more difficult. Add to this the movement of the windscreen wipers and the blowing of the demisters and things can seem quite scary.

If you come across large pools of water on the road pull up and try to determine how deep the water might be. If you know the area it can be easy to guess how deep it is, otherwise look for clues before you try to drive through. Believe it or not a car will float in about two feet of water and then you’ll have no control whatsoever. The car door is only about six inches above the ground so any deeper than this and you might get water seeping in and damaging the carpets. If the water is flowing at speed it will need to be even more shallow to avoid danger.

The water will be at it’s most shallow at the centre line of the road. This is higher than it is at the kerb for drainage purposes, often referred to as the camber. If you’ve got oncoming traffic then it would be difficult to drive up the middle of the road so check the water is not too deep at the kerb.

Pouring rain on driving lessons.

Drivers of large 4×4 vehicles need to spare a thought for those of us in cars. Driving through water at speed creates a bow wave which can cause real problems for smaller vehicles. Try to bear this in mind when you’re piling on through unhindered. Keep your speed down so you don’t cause a wave.

Keep your engine revs high when driving through water and the vehicle speed low by slipping the clutch. Doing this stops water from going down the exhaust pipe and choking the engine causing the car to stall. This is a bit of a challenge for a learner driver who may have difficulty controlling the clutch bite for any length of time. Could be time to use the dual controls if you’re a driving instructor.

A lot of driving instructors will work in areas prone to flooding and should be able to teach you these techniques. I was on a lesson in Lowdham during a heavy shower and the rural roads were flooding as the lesson went on. It made for an interesting learning experience. Brakes don’t work so well when they are wet so dry them off once you are through the water. This is best done with the left foot gently pressing the brake pedal as the car is being driven. Once the braking is restored you’re home and dry.

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No Passengers for Young Drivers?

Improved driver education is the answer

It looks like new restrictions are to come into force for young drivers. If you’ve finished your driving lessons and recently passed your test you young driving lessons nottinghamwill be prevented from carrying friends, though you may be allowed to drive your immediate family around. Should young people have these restrictions placed upon them or is improved traffic education the most effective way to keep the roads safe?

One of the new proposals concerns having a complete ban on carrying passengers. This may stop young drivers gaining the real world driving experience they need. The new driver will have never driven alone before. Either a parent or friend, your driving instructor and finally the test examiner will have been in the car with you while you learned to drive. Driving accompanied while learning and then being forced to drive alone immediately after the test can be a contributing factor in traffic accidents.

Those first few journeys with nobody else in the car can be a frightening experience. Nervous drivers can present a high risk on the road. If you’re in busy traffic with no one there for support it can become overwhelming. Having a friend in the car who has some driving experience can be helpful. Family members can help but can also add to the tension by being critical and commenting on the drive. Driving is supposed to be enjoyable and the best way to achieve this is to be well trained before the test and have a positive attitude at the wheel.

Young drivers at risk.

It would be difficult to enforce these restrictions as there is a distinct lack of traffic police on our roads. Young drivers would need to be pulled over and their license checked to see if the restrictions applied to them. Any passengers in the car would possibly need to prove that they were immediate family members. This would be a long process and the cost of police time would be substantial.

If you took driving lessons in the summer months then chances are you will have never driven in the dark before passing your test. There may also be a ban on driving during the hours of darkness. Some training in driving at night before passing a test would be beneficial. Roads are much quieter at night so present less risk from other traffic. People who work night shifts may need to drive to get to work as there are few buses through the night. A short post test night driving course would surely be better than restrictions.

Young employees may be required to drive unattended. These restrictions could lead to limited job prospects until a time when the person can legally drive alone. As young people are important to our economy it is important they can drive as part of a job. Surely the answer is improved driver education with road safety courses starting early in schools. Attitude is all important in safe driving and this has to be introduced at a young age.

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I Was a Poor Pedestrian…

But I turned into an OK Driving Instructor.

It may make me sound old but it seems the younger people of today have no road sense. They wonder out in front of cars staring at a mobile phone while texting a mate seemingly oblivious to the vehicle heading towards them. When the car stops they stare at it like it’s the drivers fault. I like to think I’ve always been a good pedestrian but this is not the case.

My first brush with death came when I was about 10 years old and was walking around in my snorkel parker. I couldn’t see left of right owing to the furry edged hood being zipped right up. I decided to just run out into the road and I was shocked by the sound of screeching tyres. The driver of the vehicle which nearly killed me got out and gave me a good shouting at. I’ve got to say it worked cos I was very careful from then on.

The police came round to do a presentation when I was in the cubs. The copper showed us exactly how long it took to stop a car which surprised me and I must say I didn’t quite believe it. We practised crossing the road in a reasonable way and at the end were all given a badge.

Fast forward to when I became a teenager and was forced to display manliness in front of my mates. We would challenge each other to see who could walk the closest to an oncoming car without actually being hit with the door mirror and being spun around. I don’t recommend doing this at all.

Watch out for crazy kids when you drive up to pedestrian crossings.

Back then the art of being a good pedestrian was promoted on the television all the time. Who can forget Darth Vader telling us all to use the Green Cross Code while dressed in green lycra? Classic entertainment. Before that there was the Tufty club featuring Tufty the road safety squirrel. Kids of today might find tufty a bit lame but back then he really got the message across.

I think we need a modern mainstream promotion about being a good pedestrian. Some of the people I see walking out in front of the car during driving lessons are easily old enough to know better. Youths walk out onto Zebra crossings with an arrogance that beggars belief. Not taking even one tiny glance to see what’s coming.

Attitudes that are ingrained at an early age tend to stick. By teaching children how to look after themselves and others as pedestrians it would help engender safe attitudes towards driving.

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The Haunting of George’s Lane

Ghosts on the Road in Nottingham

After starting driving lessons with a new pupil in Nottingham I have been introduced to a haunted road. George’s Lane near Calverton has a longdriving instructors nottingham ghosts tradition of spooky goings on. After some research at the Calverton Ghost Stories website I am certainly intrigued. Let’s have a look at some of the cases.
George’s Lane is frightening enough from a purely driving perspective. Many accidents have occurred on the road owing to it being a windy road with many blind corners. Deadly if you meet a bus coming the other way. The road is unlit adding to the spooky nature and ramping up the danger level for the unwary driver. Add the wet weather we’re having at the moment and it’s a recipe for disaster which must be handled with care.
So what’s been happening down there? A mysterious figure in a black robe has been seen on several occasions since the 1930s. With a hood masking the face except for a large hook nose it has terrified those out walking when the clock chimes midnight. The figure chased a Mr Lawrence Bardill for some distance and he was ill for several days afterwards. Could this have been someone with a coat on walking along who happened to have a big nose? I’ll let you decide. Pedestrians would be well advised to wear a high vis tabbard and carry a torch to avoid being run over or being mistaken for a supernatural entity.

Maybe there’s a haunted driving school.

Some local taxi drivers refuse to use the road and always take another route. You can hardly blame them when motorists have seen a figure in black sitting in the back seat of their car. Apparently the figure disappears when you turn round to look and can only be seen in the rear view mirror. I wouldn’t advise taking your eyes off the road on George’s Lane, even with a ghost on the back seat. You’re just asking to smash into the trees if you do that. Pull up safely, apply the handbrake and then look for the ghost.
In 1977 eerie mists were seen along the road the road as well as swirling black vapour. As country roads are prone to thick patches of fog I hardly think this is paranormal. Unlike the time in 1992 when villagers Bill and Allison saw a pair of legs, just legs mind, clad in white riding breeches running across the road. No easy explanation here. It happened as a bus was coming the other way so big potential for an accident. Could have been a large duck or swan, could have been a pair of ghost legs.
If you are brave enough to venture along George’s lane I would make sure you keep your speed down on the bends. Make sure your windscreen is clean of smears and put your headlights on as soon as it gets gloomy. Don’t wait for it to get too dark. Position well to the left to avoid oncoming traffic and don’t be distracted by ghosts.
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Nottingham is a Traffic Jam

Why does the sign say Road works when it doesn’t?

The roads out there in Nottingham are more congested than ever with the installation of the new tram system and numerous other projects driving lessons nottingham traffic jamgoing on which involve digging up the road. This can have a big effect on the content of intensive driving lessons and the ability of the driving instructor to get there on time. Believe me, the day is long when you’re sat in a jam half the day and doing lessons in between.

More people than ever now own their own car. In areas with old narrow streets with cars double parked it can be a real problem getting through. New learners need to stay away from these areas when practising until they have gained some experience. A dodgy slip of the clutch while moving off or poor judgement of space could lead to a prang and loss of door mirrors.

Traffic is at it’s busiest when people are on their way to and from work and at the beginning and end of the school day. This can cause a lot of traffic queues so may not be the best time to take a test, though being caught in traffic during a test has it’s advantages. So long as you don’t hit the car in front time will just tick away without the opportunity to commit any faults.

Learning to deal with busy driving.

Remember the time shown for a journey on internet route planners or on your sat nav does not take into account traffic congestion. Make sure you allow plenty of extra time for your journey. It can be maddening to be sitting in traffic when you’ve got to be somewhere else. Drivers are prone to make snap decisions to gain advantage without really thinking them through so be prepared for sudden moves from other drivers. If you’ve had enough and you leave the traffic queue by a side road your sat nav will reprogram another route but be aware that they are notorious for sending people the wrong way down one way streets. Always check for signs and markings.

Don’t be getting your mobile phone out to text ahead while the engine is running. It’s illegal even if you are sat still in traffic. Use a hands free kit for the call or get a passenger to do it for you. If you have a driving lesson and you end up in traffic do not despair. Keep calm while your friendly instructor thinks up another route and you make your escape.

Congestion is controlled on motorways by means of variable speed limits. You will see these displayed on the overhead gantry signs. Make sure you obey these and stay in the left hand lane unless you’re overtaking. When traffic is super busy it can often be the left hand lane which is moving faster. This can be very annoying if you moved to the right hand lane thinking that it was going to be quicker. Don’t think you’re missing out or the world is against you. It only seems like the other lanes are moving faster. Happy days.

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Older Drivers Staying Safe on the Road

You’re never too old to improve your driving

These days we are all living longer which means the number of drivers above the age of 70 is set to increase. As we become older the effects ofcourses for older drivers in nottingham ageing can mean that our driving is not up to a reasonably safe standard. It’s important that older drivers have their driving checked and their skills updated to remain on the road.

Driving is a great source of freedom and independence for us all, especially older people who may have difficulty using public transport, cycling or walking long distances to shops and making other essential journeys.

First thing to consider is the car being driven. As older people tend to drive less miles the car may have been used for a number of years so needs to be checked to make sure it is properly maintained. As we become physically weaker a newer and lighter handling car may be more appropriate. A stiff handbrake lever or gear stick as well as lack of power assisted steering can effect safe handling of the vehicle.

Eyesight is an important factor. It must reach the legal standard of being able to read a standard number plate at 20m. As we age vision night vision can suffer making driving after dark a problem. The eyes lose the ability to refocus quickly when looking at dashboard instruments and the back at the road. This strain on the eyes can lead to fatigue and loss of concentration. If the driver is taking prescription medicines then the this problem can be made worse.

Assessments for older drivers.

It’s important that older drivers have the support of their families when making decisions about their driving. Assessments by a qualified driving instructor are a good idea. An objective view of driving ability can help older drivers to find a way forward. There are many possibilities to explore before deciding to give up a licence entirely.  An older person could restrict themselves to daylight driving on familiar roads avoiding peak traffic times. This would reduce risk considerably. Perhaps a smaller car that is easier to handle especially when it comes to parking and other close manoeuvres would prove more manageable. If an older person finds physical movement limited a couple of extra mirrors fixed to the windscreen may solve the problem.

An assessment can also be a tremendous learning experience for an older driver. They probably passed their test many years ago and have had no further training since. A few lessons followed by a second assessment may show that driving has improved enough to now be considered safe. Topping up this training every few years for the over 70s would increase their level of safety and provide peace of mind for their loved ones.

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