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News weekly update: Air pollution

Waiting at traffic lights isn't just an annoyance, it can also leave you in a build-up of air pollution, and this week's news discusses. We'll also look at business concerns for connected cars and the collected worth of possessions students take to university.

Build-up of air pollution at traffic lights

Exhaust emissions.

Did you know simply making a small adjustment to your car's ventilation could significantly reduce your exposure to air pollution?

That's the finding of a study by experts at the University of Surrey which revealed closing windows and turning fans off while stationary in traffic can reduce the toxic fumes inhaled by 76%. Having the fans on whilst the windows are closed can lead to pollutants being sucked into the vehicle.

This is particularly true when waiting at traffic lights, as the study found fumes can linger for some time even after the traffic has driven off.

Air pollution isn't something to be taken lightly, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) listed it as one of the top health risks facing humans, linking it to as many as seven million premature deaths every year.

Businesses' main concern for connected cars? Driver distraction

There are many uncertainties surrounding connected cars, but for more than half of businesses surveyed by RAC Business, driver distraction as a result of in-car technology was the top concern. This rose to 55% among small firms with 100 employees or fewer.

But driver distraction wasn't the only concern about introducing connected cars to fleets, as more than a third (35%) worried about the possibilities of driver data being hacked. What's more, almost a fifth (18%) were worried autonomous vehicles would take too much responsibility away from the driver.

But there were some positives associated with connected cars, namely it would help increase safety.

When asked about the benefits of connected car technology, 83% believe it will diagnose engine faults, while 72% believe it will increase fuel efficiency and 67% think it will help reduce wear and tear.

Have you protected your student possessions?

Whether you're heading off to your first year at university in halls or going back to live in your student home, it's an exciting time.

But in all that excitement, and no doubt some last minute rushing, there are some things you can end up overlooking, like insurance.

While there's an image of students eating pasta out of pots every night of the week, they own some very valuable possessions.

In fact, the Association of British Insurers estimates the average value of students' possessions clocks in at £3,500, made up of their laptops, smartphones and TVs.

Having insurance for these possessions seems like an even smarter idea, given data suggests around a fifth of students are likely to be victims of theft during their time at university.

But ensuring possessions are financially protected needn't be a hassle as it can be possible to extend an existing home insurance policy to cover possessions at university.

© M2 Bespoke 2016

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