If you’re driving around in an older vehicle model, you might cast a few jealous looks in the direction of the newer, state-of-the-art vehicles on the roads nowadays. Envy no more though, as Motorparks, who offer a range of practical cars including the used Mazda Cx5 is on hand to detail how you can bring your older set of wheels right up to date in next to no time at all…
Parking made easy: Parking sensors
As a nation, motorists across the UK seem to have quite a few nightmares when it comes to parking their vehicles. For instance, a survey that was commissioned by RAC Insurance revealed that 35 per cent of those questioned admitted to having their car pranged at least once after parking it in a car park. Thirty-one per cent said that they had experienced this on multiple occasions, with 28 per cent stating that they had recorded three lots of damage. Staggeringly, 23 per cent noted five incidences.
Mark Godfrey, the director of RAC Insurance, pointed out: “We all use car parks every day so the chances of your car picking up a dent or scratch are pretty high, especially as vehicles have got wider over the years while parking spaces generally haven’t.”
Then there’s research which has been carried out by Accident Exchange, which estimates that there are half a million car park collisions recorded every year and that the average repair claim came in at £1,428. Based on these figures, UK drivers are faced with a £716 million bill on an annual basis!
Looking into the possible reasons why there is so much chaos in car parks across the UK, Accident Exchange’s Liz Fisher noted that “visibility from inside the cabin of new cars is compromised compared to older vehicles, which used far more glass and had lower sills and narrower pillars”.
It’s not just collisions which are frustrating and worrying motorists though, as a study commissioned by the Accident Advice Helpline via OnePoll.com and involving 2,000 drivers across the UK revealed that parallel parking is the nation’s trickiest driving manoeuvre.
You could reduce the stress witnessed when parking your vehicle though by fitting parking sensors. For instance, the EchoMaster Rear Parking Display System which is available from Halfords can clearly alert drivers about how far their car is away from other vehicles and objects once the equipment has been installed.
Feel safer on the roads: Dash cams
Purchase a dash cam for your vehicle, such as the Nextbase Dash Cam 212G available at Argos that provides you with high-quality footage and the ability to record in Full 1080p HD at 30fps, and you’ll be joining a growing number of motorists who are turning to this technology in order to stay safe whenever they go for a drive.
This is because according to a survey by Aviva which involved close to 2,500 motorists, 27 per cent now use a dash cam when on UK roads — 72 per cent of those who say they have enhanced their vehicles with these devices have also encouraged other drivers to follow their lead. The study went on to reveal that 48 per cent of those with a dash cam believed the gadgets will provide them with peace of mind if they suffer a collision while driving, while 36 per cent of those who responded to the survey acknowledged that the devices help to make them feel safer on the road.
Any assistance when driving and assurance if you are involved in a bump should be embraced by motorists throughout the UK, since the Office for National Statistics found in 2018 that the nation’s roads are busier than they’ve ever been. In the year to March 2017, the organisation recorded that 324.3 billion vehicle miles were travelled on the nation’s road network and that car traffic had increased for the past four years by an average of 1.5 per cent per year.
Always see your blind spot: Blind spot mirrors
When you’re behind the wheel of a vehicle, a blind spot will be a portion of the road that you’re unable to see no matter if you’re looking forward out of the automobile’s windscreen or using the rear-view and side-view mirrors. Depending on the situation, these blind spots — generally seen on the rear left and right side of your vehicle — can cover a large enough area to block out a pedestrian, cyclist, motorbike or a car from your view.
The problems which motorists across the UK encounter when it comes to blind spots as they’re changing lanes or turning onto a new road is clear to see. GOV.UK has stated that vehicle blind spots were a contributing factor for 1,250 accidents recorded in 2016 alone, for example, while an analysis of 50,000 road collisions conducted by Accident Exchange revealed that the majority of these incidents were found to be due to issues with blind spot visibility.
Research carried out by Direct Line Car Insurance also acknowledged that over 11 million motorists have been caught up in a collision while driving either because they didn’t have their eyes on the road or had failed to check their blind spots. The insurance firm’s head of automotive technology, Nick Reid, reflected: “Letting our eyes drift away from the road while we drive or not checking our blind spot before manoeuvring is dangerous at best and potentially fatal at worst. We urge drivers to consider not just themselves but other road users and pedestrians when driving, as ‘I just didn’t see them’ is not a valid excuse for any collision.
“While nothing should replace driver vigilance, increased take up of driver assistance technologies such blind spot detection, pedestrian and cyclist warning and automatic braking systems could help reduce the number of unnecessary accidents on our roads.”
Plans are already in motion that could see blind spot information systems becoming a mandatory feature of all new lorries weighing over 3.5 tonnes. The draft containing the proposal was approved during a UN meeting held in Geneva in October 2018, with the law coming into force throughout the UK in October 2019 should the regulation be adopted at another session to be held in March.
To make our roads even safer, drivers of other vehicles should also be looking to improve the amount of visibility that they have around their vehicle’s blind spots. The convex, two-inch-wide, angled Summit Blind Spot Car Mirror stocked at Halfords should certainly help.
Emergency backup: A tyre inflator
Having a tyre inflator handy (stocked by Ring Automotive) is a simple yet effective way to make sure that your tyres are in good condition for the roads. These handy gadgets are extremely useful to have in your car, as they make it easy to check that your tyre pressure is within an acceptable range and inflate them whenever you need to. They can also be plugged into your cars 12v power socket and only take a few minutes to work. It’s handy to check your tyre pressure before heading off on a long journey, or if you’ve been driving for a while without inflating your tyres.
There you have it — three must-have gadgets to add to your car without delay which should certainly help make you a better driver and feel much safer whenever you go from A to B!