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Tips for city driving, rural driving, and dealing with other drivers

Posted on 14 August 2017, under the category Uncategorized

There can be quite a few challenges for the newly qualified driver setting out on their own for the first time. City and rural driving have their own unique scenarios and there are strict rules to adhere to if you are unfortunate enough to have an accident with another car. To help ease the stress, here are some tips to keep you or someone you know safe on those first forays onto the road after passing the test.

City Driving
City driving is where everyone is in rush, but no one is going anywhere fast. Traffic is mostly slow moving at best and can be at crawling pace during peak hours. You need to accept the fact that there is absolutely no point in being in a hurry. Surrender yourself to the pace of traffic and you’ll have a less stressful experience.

If you’re going to start driving into the city for work, get to know your route beforehand by driving it in the evening with an experienced driver. Note where you have to change lanes and familiarise yourself with the road signs and what they mean.

Quite often, people can get lost down one-way systems in town. If this happens, don’t panic, find somewhere to pull in, park safely and work your route out calmly. If you’re still unsure, ask a local business or Gardaí for directions.

Probably the most important skill you’ll need for city driving is concentration. With buses, vans and lorries all vying for space, your view is very restricted. Expect cars, motorbikes, cyclists and pedestrians engrossed in their smartphones to suddenly appear in front of you. Constantly check all your mirrors and beware car doors opening suddenly.

Rural Driving
While driving in the country is vastly different to the city, it does bring its own set of unique challenges like farm machinery, livestock and narrow winding roads with tight bends.

Driving on a winding narrow country road can be difficult. There is quite a bit of gear changing, braking and steering as you navigate around the bends. Some of these roads may have a speed limit of 80 km per hour, but if you attempt to drive at that speed on these unfamiliar twists and turns, you could quickly end up in a ditch or a hedge. Driving at night can be even more tricky, so drive at a pace that you are comfortable and feel safe with.

On National or N roads, the speed limit can be up to 100 km per hour. Occasionally where there are hard shoulders, drivers will move towards them and slow to let following traffic pass without having to cross into the oncoming lane. This a courtesy and not a rule of the road.

It can be quite frustrating for some country drivers when, all of a sudden, their momentum is slowed right down by a tractor in front. This is to be expected though, so don’t let your frustrations get the better of you. The farmer or tractor driver will usually pull in as soon as he/she finds a space to let you pass, often they’ll wave for you to overtake when they can see that the road ahead is clear. You should also be cautious when you approach a tractor coming the other way as it could be towing a low wide load that may cross into your lane.

Another common obstacle to be expected is livestock. Farmers often drive herds of cows or sheep along roads to bring them to another field or shed. Be patient and wait till the farmer clears them off the road for you before proceeding slowly. You should also be aware of farm animals roaming free. Slow down and pass them with great care and attention.

Other Drivers
It’s important to remember that how you drive can affect other drivers, so always be mindful of the other cars on the road.

Don’t tailgate. This is where you drive too close to the car in front of you. Not only are you not allowing enough braking distance, but it’s also extremely distracting for the driver in front.

Always signal your intent. How can other drivers anticipate what you’ are going to do if you don’t signal?

Let others merge. When other cars are trying to merge, move over into the outside lane to give them room.

Don’t hog the outside lane. The outside lane on a motorway or duel-carriageway is used for overtaking and is not meant for cruising in.

Monitor your high beams. Don’t use your high beams when there is other traffic on the road as they can cause temporary blindness in other drivers.

Unfortunately, not all drivers show due care and consideration to their fellow motorists and their use of the horn can be somewhat overzealous. A common mishap for those starting out on their own is stalling at traffic lights. If this happens to you, ignore the car horns, take a deep breath and go through your starting procedure,  check it is safe to proceed , before driving off calmly.

Accidents and what to do
If you are unlucky enough to be involved in an accident, there are certain things you are required to do by law, and other things you should do for safety and to protect yourself from financial loss.

First things first, stop the vehicle – if you are in a dangerous location or obstructing traffic, move the car only so far that it is in a safer location.

When you are in a safe location and at a standstill, turn off the ignition and breathe. A running car can be a safety hazard, turning it off reduces the risk of a fire. Try to remain calm and take a moment for several deep breaths, this will help you better handle the situation.

Next, you will need to get out of the car and mark the scene. Flares, cones or reflective markers will make the accident area more visible for other drivers. Check for injuries on yourself and on any other drivers or passengers who may be involved.

Depending on the severity of the accident and if there are any injuries, you may need to call the Gardaí, who will then alert other emergency services if required.

If you are involved in a more minor crash with no injuries, exchange car insurance details with the other driver and take photos on your phone of the accident site as these will help to explain what happened at a later date.

Our final piece of advice is to enjoy your new-found freedom on the road. Drive safely and calmly, and you should avoid any mishaps. Happy driving.

There’s more to driving than the basics and Liberty Insurance is here to make sure you’re ready for any challenges that you might meet. For more information, visit their safety centre and for a quick and easy car insurance quote, visit LibertyInsurance.ie.

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Changes to Identification Required for Driver Theory Test

Posted on 12 May 2017, under the category RSA Press Release

From 17June 2017 any person sitting the Driver Theory Test will be required to present a Public Services Card at the Test Centre as proof of ID. At the time of booking the test, applicants will be asked to confirm that they possess a public services card.

In the test centre, the only acceptable form of ID will be the Public Services Card. The card will be used to verify name, PPS number and identity of the person attending for the test. Applicants will need to ensure that the spelling of the name in which they book their test matches exactly the spelling of their name on the card.

Theory tests can be taken at 41 test centre locations around the country as part of the RSA’s driver testing and licensing process.

For more information on how to apply for a Public Services Card, please visit the Department of Social Protection website.

If you don’t yet have a Public Services Card you can make an appointment to get one either by using MyWelfare.ie or by calling into your local Intreo Centre or social welfare local office and any queries about this application process should be made to telephone 1890 927 999

https://www.ndls.ie/news/114-changes-to-identification-required-for-driver-theory-test.html

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New driver information leaflets published for drivers with health problems

Posted on 29 April 2017, under the category RSA Press Release

New information leaflets will provide helpful advice on driving with Epilepsy, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) and driving after an injury

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in association with the National Office for Traffic Medicine (NOTM) today published three new driver information leaflets at the 2017 update of the Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines for Group 1 & 2 Drivers at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

 
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GARDAÍ CAN NOW TEST MOTORISTS FOR DRUGS AT THE ROADSIDE

Posted on 13 April 2017, under the category RSA Press Release

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross has today, Wednesday 12th April, announced the commencement of the drug driving provisions in the Road Traffic Act 2016. One of the key measures in the legislation provides for Preliminary Drug Testing, which will enable Gardaí to test motorists whom they suspect of driving under the influence of drugs at the roadside. The launch of the new measures, in conjunction with An Garda Síochána, the Medical Bureau for Road Safety (MBRS) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) took place at Store Street Garda Station in Dublin.
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Important information regarding VAT on M50 and Dublin Tunnel tolls

Posted on 4 April 2017, under the category Guest Blogger

Hi,

We wanted to make you aware of the recent CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) ruling in relation to VAT on tolls on the M50 and Dublin Tunnel, and how it impacts you.
Following the CJEU ruling, Revenue have advised Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) that VAT should not be applied to tolls levied by TII, it being a state agency.
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Oversteering: Why It Happens and How to Manage It?

Posted on 31 January 2017, under the category Guest Blogger

Oversteering is when the back of your car loses grip on corners and travels much faster than its front, and, as a result, you cannot tuck into the corner. And although it happens oftener in computer games or speed racing than in a real life, ordinary car drivers must be aware of oversteering as well. According to the experts from the online shop tyres.ie, which sells all season tyres and wheel accessories, oversteer can have lots of reasons, not just bad rear tyre traction. It will be more likely in rear wheel drive cars. But can still happen in front wheel drive cars. So let’s see how it can be managed.

Improper tyres and other reasons for oversteer.

The first and obvious reason why oversteering happens is the insufficient traction of rear tyres. This issue can be solved by fitting seasonal tyres according to the weather conditions you are driving in. Opt for winter/mud tyres when driving in snow, ice, or sludge. Generally the tyres used in Ireland are all year tyres. But this is not always the case. Some second hand tyres may not be suitable.

Another reason hides in a low tyre pressure of the rear axle tyres. Ensure you keep your tyres inflated equally and to the pressure index specified by the vehicle’s manufacturer (you can find it on the driver’s door jamb).

What other reasons can provoke over-steering? Maybe you hurry to accelerate when out of corners or apply brakes too late. Ultimately, you need to drive at the correct speed for the car and the conditions.

How to deal with oversteering while cornering?

Regardless of the reason that caused oversteering, the driver must react immediately to prevent the car from spinning. To get the car back in the line, you need to do the trick called the ‘counter-steering’ or the ‘opposite lock’: quickly turn the wheel in the direction that is opposite to the road’s bend. Turn the steering wheel to the same angle as your car’s back stepped out. For example, if you are turning to the right and your rear tyres are travelling 30 degrees to the left, make the opposite lock (turn to the left) by 30 degrees.

The crucial point here is not to slam on the brakes in panic; otherwise, the oversteering effect will only increase. The best you can do is to let your car glide by removing your feet from both pedals until the car restores its balance by itself.

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