Hastings Direct news: you never stop learning

Is there such a thing as good motoring news? Perhaps not, but it may be with good reason as there's little to be learnt from upbeat stories and, as everybody knows, you never stop learning as a driver. So while this week's round-up might sound somewhat negative, it might have a positive effect on your sub-conscious the next time you get behind the wheel.

Drivers wave goodbye to the map

sat nav

More drivers than not now own a sat nav, according to new data released this week, suggesting maps are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Some 52% of motorists questioned as part of the Department for Transport's National Travel Survey (NTS) said they now used the gadgets to help them get where they want to be - a rise of 20% since 2009.

However, the proliferation of sat navs is not necessarily good news, says road safety charity Brake, which is concerned motorists are becoming over reliant on the technology.

Gary Rae, Brake's campaigns manager, said: "The sat nav is there to help you keep focused on driving rather than worry about directions, but it's not there to make all the decisions for you.

"Driving is an unpredictable activity, so you still need to look at signs, particularly those warning of hazards or speed limits, and watch for people and unexpected problems."

With 7% of motorists stating in a Brake survey that they have had a near-miss because they were distracted by a sat nav, it appears there's a clear argument for having youngsters assessed in their use of a sat nav during lessons.

Drivers ignoring tyre checks

tyre depth

Whether or not they genuinely forget or conveniently forget; drivers are neglecting to carry out tyre checks despite the dangers associated with worn tyres being patently obvious.

Kwik Fit, whose latest findings suggest that as many as 3.6 million motorists put off buying new tyres until told to do so, says that many drivers are still not aware that the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across three-quarters of the tyre's width.

Those drivers who assume that it's OK to wait until their car's MoT to change tyres could be in for a shock, says the tyre specialist. Illegal tyres carry a fine of up to £2,500, and motorists can expect three penalty points on their driving licence.

It's the safety aspect that really concerns Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, however: "Tyres should be the number one priority for drivers — after all, they are the only part of a car which keeps it on the road. Even though at 1.6 millimetres of tread a tyre is legal, it will not have much grip on the road and travelling in adverse weather conditions can be treacherous."

Potholes top concern for drivers


Here at Hastings Direct, we're all too aware of what damage a pothole can do to a car. It comes as no surprise, then, that the condition of the UK's local roads is the primary concern for drivers going into pothole season.

One in ten motorists quizzed as part of the RAC's 2015 Report on Motoring said that improving local roads should be the government's main priority as far as road infrastructure is concerned, while a further 20% listed it as one of their four main issues.

Half of the 1,500 respondents claimed to have witnessed a worsening in the quality of roads in their area in the past 12 months, with only 10% noting an improvement.

However, any hope of significant improvement appears to have been dashed, with the Local Government Association recently commenting that current funding levels leave councils with little money to carry out long-term improvements on roads.

The Department for Transport was quick to assert, however, that it is "providing nearly £6 billion to councils in England to maintain local roads over the next six years".

The seven types of driver

angry driver

We end this week on a slightly less serious note, with a team of psychologists believing they have identified the seven types of driver.

After researchers at LSE sat down with drivers to determine how they respond to other motorists' uncertain behaviour and how this makes them feel, they were able to come up with seven common personality types.

Ranging from 'The Teacher' to 'The Escapee', the psychologists believe that motorists adopt one of the seven personality types for all or most of the time they are behind the wheel.

Dr. Chris Tennant, from LSE's Department of Social Psychology, who is leading the joint project between LSE and Goodyear, touched on how drivers might adopt multiple personalities.

He said: "From a psychological point of view, these different types of personalities represent different outlets that drivers use to deal with their frustrations and strong feelings. We are not always entirely one or the other. Depending on the situation and the interaction with others, most of us will find several of these profiles emerge."

More on LSE's seven driving personalities.

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