Tips and blogs

IAM RoadSmart has more than 60 years’ unrivalled knowledge and experience of riding and driving. Our regular tips provide helpful hints for all road users.



  • nightdriving image

    Welcome to the dark side

    As we prepare to lose an hour of sleep the days are getting shorter and darkness is falling all over. Many of us will be off on the morning commute and it can be daunting driving in the dark for the first time in months. Here are some tips to prepare drivers and riders for driving in the twilight zone from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

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  • antifreeze-sad

    A chill in the air…guess Jack Frost is near

    The Indian summer was fun while it lasted but make way for the hats, scarves and wellies because winter is on its way. The temperature is gradually dropping reminding us that we have to make sure we have our de-icers ready. Here are some tips to prepare motor users for the winter from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

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  • Iam Roadsmart Dog download image

    Peace, love and muddy paws

    Many of us take to the road with our pets and if we are lucky enough might even have a place for them at our desks. But much as we love them, now and again our furry friends can pose a few challenges when we’re driving. Here are some tips for those driving with pets from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards Richard Gladman.

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    Distraction: the enemy of action

    The daily commute can often get repetitive and could tempt you to look to your car for entertainment. A favourite song may come to mind or even the thought of calling someone from a hand held mobile phone to pass time. Here are some driving tips to avoid distractions from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

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  • Young driver hands33

    Let the all-nighters begin

    Freshers’ week is beginning for many, and students are going to be making their way north, south, east and west to begin their higher education. For some this will be the longest journey they’ve ever driven, to a new area, with a car fully laden with all their worldly goods. Here are some driving tips for those packing their bags up for the big trip to university from IAM RoadSmart’s communications manager Caroline Holmes.

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Blog posts

  • Gender (Man vs woman blog)

    The big debate – which sex makes the better driver?

    When I used to teach people to drive I was asked this all the time. I’d immediately ask what they meant by a better driver. This is where it became obvious that being a better driver means different things to different people.

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  • fleet_world_mpg_marathon_2015_07122

    MPG Marathon

    I really can’t believe it’s been a year since I competed in the MPG Marathon! Two weeks before this event I hadn’t passed my test, driven on a motorway or tried ‘economy’ driving. This was an amazing opportunity for both me and my co-driver Rory Carmichael, and although it was a competition we had a lot of fun.

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  • Download image for blog road rage

    Is it really worth it?

    Arguments in the car can be incredibly annoying. And I’m sure that it anyone claimed they never had one, would be a bit of a lie. Some motorists can be inconsiderate and be bullies on the road. They miss the point that everybody is entitled to be there. After the frenzy, you are left thinking: was it really worth it?

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  • depression 3323

    World mental health day

    Experiencing a mental health problem, whether it be a bout or ongoing, is daunting and lonely in itself. The worry that it may also take away independence and freedoms on top of that is of no greater comfort. However the issue of driving and mental health is one that we do need to discuss. Not least, because, like so many other aspects of mental health, it is an issue that is overlooked. For the interests of both road safety and personal wellbeing, it cannot afford to be. More of us need to be aware of the risks as well as our rights on the road, and with today being World Mental Health Day, there’s no better time for us to start.

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  • Driverless cars piece download image

    We need to talk – driverless cars consultation just a start

    I recently signed off IAM RoadSmart’s response to the government’s Pathway to driverless cars consultation. The topic was discussed amongst our experts and we also ran a web poll among our members to gauge their opinions on the debate. The interest was high with almost 1200 responses

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  • IAM David Williams

    IAM RoadSmart, a personal view

    As a journalist I’ve worked closely with the IAM – now IAM RoadSmart - for decades. It started 30 years ago when I proudly won my Advanced Driver certificate. Since then I’ve been chosen for the organisation’s ‘Road Safety Writer of the Year’ award twice. I care deeply about road safety and the IAM RoadSmart has helped me research many articles on the subject for newspapers and magazines.

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  • downlaod image

    It is sometimes illuminating to drive in the rain

    Some comments received after the recent edition of RoadSmart magazine got me thinking about automatic systems fitted to our vehicles and how reliant upon them we can allow ourselves to become.

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  • Eloise PR with car

    Great opportunities to develop your skills: IAM RoadSmart Skills Day

    Would you enjoy an opportunity to hone your skills? Practice with your own vehicle in a controlled environment with expert guidance? Skills you can then put into practice whilst on the road. If so, read on …

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  • schoolgirls22

    Avoiding dangers on your doorstep

    This is a busy week in the calendar for many parents and carers as the new school year gets into full swing. As the busy mornings and tight schedules take over, basic safety measures and considerations can be unintentionally overlooked. Although we often hear about accidents involving children as pedestrians or passengers in cars that crash, we are less likely to hear about those incidents that take place within our own driveways or close to home. Yet these events can be just as severe and are often easily avoided

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  • Drink driving

    Drink Driving – that’s something that went out in the 70’s, right?

    Many people today believe drink driving has been consigned to the past and all drivers are aware of the serious dangers and consequences it can have; not only to the driver but the public around them. Sadly this isn’t the case and around 35,000 drink drive offences were recorded in the first nine months of 2015; whilst this number is lower than previous years, it shows this is not a problem left to the past but one that still confronts each and every road user today.

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  • FRM, roadside, Overtake risk, tractor-country-road.jpeg44

    Tractors on roads – love them or hate them?

    Living in the countryside is lovely, lots of fresh air (most of the time) less noise and traffic than in towns and some would say a slower pace of life. However I have noticed a few changes since my childhood: tractors for one have really changed.

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  • Eloise in car - CH - 25.07.16 download iamge

    My new role and the IAM RoadSmart 60th birthday car party

    You may seen the announcement and introduction of my new role and what I hope to achieve the previous blog by Sarah Sillars IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer. I’m really excited and proud to say I will be working with IAM RoadSmart during my gap year.

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  • eloise and carli copy

    Don’t dream it’s over

    “Careless” and “reckless,” are words we often hear associated with young drivers. Adding to this stigmatisation are the statistics in 2013 the Department of Transport found that 17% of young car drivers that were involved in crashes were careless, reckless or in a hurry, for 16% of accidents loss of control was determined to be a contributory factor and 22% were either travelling too fast for conditions or performed a poor turn or manoeuvre we need to support younger drivers, understand and moreover inspire them to be better drivers.

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  • Social media networking transportation and vehicle-distractions

    We need you! Using social media to spread the road safety agenda!

    There are 2.3 billion active social media users across the globe. In the past year there was a 176 million increase and 81% of small to medium sized organisations are using it for their business needs. It would be foolish of us not to embrace the advantages that come from this growing digital experience.

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  • Sarah Sillars 3 grn 33

    Let's support younger drivers

    ‘Stop, Look and Listen’ is a phrase that is constantly drummed into children at school but the momentum is often lost and does not always transcend into adulthood. So when young drivers extend an olive branch and want to get involved with driving and road safety activities we would be would be foolish not to answer. In my last blog I talked about how we’ve been around for sixty years previous blog. In that time there have been significant changes in the way people learn and develop. Nowhere is this more true than for younger drivers and riders.

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  • Happy mum with a sleeping baby in the car-family (tinified and cropped) 44

    Formula for Happiness

    ‘Always make sure you spend less than you have in the bank,’ to sum up Charles Dickens’ character Wilkins Micawber's thoughts on budgeting. This can be extended to always make sure what you spend delivers what you are trying to achieve: a good look, a full tummy or a great service.

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  • Business driver at wheel inside car 2

    Steering – 'Power is nothing without control'

    IAM RoadSmart has now launched its new Advanced Driver course training material and steering featured in the roll out to observers and examiners. What I still find amusing is that rotational steering, first featured in the 2007 edition of Roadcraft and yet, here we are nine years on with some still denying its very existence.

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  • IMG_9486-443

    Pokemon – but not on the GO.

    Last Thursday I downloaded Pokémon GO, just a couple of hours after its UK launch. And if not exactly hooked, trying to ensnare Zubat on the bus or Golduck on the tube is a really fun way of passing time.

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  • C-Max on holiday beach

    Summer: the season of weddings, festivals and barbecues!

    The long awaited British summertime is here and the shorts are out! For many of us this spells a season of weddings, festivals and barbecues. It is also the perfect time, with sun roofs and windows open to their fullest, for taking to the roads.

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  • Paddy Hopkirk Photo 2

    Rallying support for IAM RoadSmart

    1964 Monte Carlo Rally winner and IAM RoadSmart Mature Driver Ambassador Paddy Hopkirk writes his first blog for us, talking about how everyone can be a better driver – even a race winner like himself.

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  • Ben Stables at IAM RoadSmart Tradeshow

    The IAM RoadSmart Summer Trade Show Circuit!

    Since the start of the summer, the IAM RoadSmart sales team has been busy, attending a number of trade shows. We’ve been everywhere in May and June, from the Company Car in Action 2016 at Millbrook, to the Safety & Health Expo 2016 at ExCeL London.

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  • dog-square[1]f

    Dogs love to travel!

    Having a dog is just expanding your family with a furry four-legged friend! Think about their safety when travelling in a car in the same way you would think of yours, your children or grandchildren.

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  • mature-older-driver-square-crop[2] copy

    The future's bright – the future's silver!

    As we all know 4th of July is Independence Day and this year, in London, it was marked by the launch of a report which should help guarantee better mobility and independence for older drivers in the future. The key official crash statistics show that the risk of older drivers hurting others in serious crashes is lower than middle-aged drivers and half that of young drivers.

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  • eloise-blog-download-image-1--22595dfa89022968e9a61eff00000def30[1]33

    My passion for road safety

    I am passionate about driver and road safety, particularly for young drivers, as I am one myself! However I’m not your typical teenager driving simply to get from point A to B, I like to go that extra mile.

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  • borders---john-cleland-thumbnail[1]443

    Scottish Borders Under17 Driving Event

    Back in January when I was standing in the middle of CharterHall estate on a disused racing circuit converted to a landing strip, in the cold and rain with John Cleland former Super Saloon racing champion and now Volvo and Jaguar dealer in Galashiels, Amanda Smith, Shaun Cronin, Gill Macgregor all from IAM RoadSmart, and Andy McClean Chief Inspector of Scottish Borders police, the idea of conducting an under 17 drivers event it seemed like the impossible.

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  • neil-thumbnail[1]

    If it’s Thursday it must be ….Hannover!

    IAM RoadSmart's director of policy and research shares with us what he got up to in Hannover. From learning about the use of driving simulators to assess dementia and minor cognitive impairments to gaining an insight into other research works going on around the world, Neil has the latest from his visit.

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    The Biker Down experience – an experience that’s totally worth it

    If you arrive on scene just after the incident will you be a help or a hazard? You may be the only chance the casualty has. The sad fact is if you are a motorcyclist in a group your casualty is likely to be someone in your group. Well, in true Dads Army fashion ‘Don’t Panic’ and why not get yourself along to a Biker Down course?

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  • rod-with-aston-3-thumbnail[2]33

    Getting to know you

    Last week, IAM RoadSmart's senior communications executive, Rodney Kumar, had the honour of being invited to the Western Group of Motoring Writers Annual Driving Day at Castle Combe circuit. To find out more about what he got up to and why such events can prove fruitful, read more.

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  • child-playing-1-thumbnail[2]11

    Are we there yet?

    As father of two young children in a family that likes to go to places varied and widespread, we do many a mile together on the UK’s roads. Car journeys account for 68% of all journeys made and leisure is the principle reason in 40% of all cases*, so we’re not alone.

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  • social-media-419944_960_720-thumbnail[2]22

    Be in the know: IAM RoadSmart social media channels

    If you don’t know much about our social media channels yet, then this is where you can find out more. Once you know more about some of our major channels, you can decide which one/ones best suit your needs. We have so much going on online, so much so, we want you to be a part of it!

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  • drink-driving-thumbnail[1]232

    Euro 2016 – Let’s avoid penalties this summer

    Research shows some 5,500 drivers/riders were convicted of drink driving last year on the morning after; worryingly this is seven per cent higher than 10 years ago and accounts for 20% of all convictions, demonstrating many drivers are completely unaware of the amount of alcohol remaining in their body from the previous night and how this places them over the legal limit. Read more.

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  • misc-motorcycle-in-traffic-headlight-on-bike-thumbnail[1]22

    SMART: Saw a Motorcyclist and Reacted Today

    As a driver who is looking at a junction or roundabout you often see what you expect to see. A motorcycle even with its headlamps on can merge into the background traffic, and the movement straight towards you can be difficult to spot. If, as drivers, we recognise this we may allow a bit more time to look for bikes and we may just save a life or at least a few grey hairs!

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  • neil-grieg-fia-download[2]223

    Helsinki – Hel yeah!

    IAM RoadSmart's director of policy and research, Neil Greig, was proud to represent IAM RoadSmart amongst 200 delegates from across 70 different countries at the annual FIA mobility conference held in Helsinki. Read more to find out about Neil's experience and what he got up to.

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  • dan-hart-thumbnail1[1]223

    Meet the biker behind the screen

    "My relationship with IAM RoadSmart is a very personal one for me. The skills I’ve learnt have changed my life. I’ve never looked back." Read more about observer and motorcyclist, Dan Hart's relationship with us and his passion for helping others improve their skills.

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  • steering-1-download[1]55

    Steering – ‘the old pull and push’

    As Regional Quality Manager for the South I get to travel about visiting different IAM groups and test Masters and National Observer candidates together with a few IAM RoadSmart Advanced Driver Tests. And steering as a core subject is often raised with me. Now as it’s IAM RoadSmart, several days could be lost in a discussion on the minutia of many subjects, but steering is a classic case. Read more.

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  • rod-as-baby-1-232[1]5435

    Step back in time (as Kylie once said)

    IAM RoadSmart may have just been launched as our new brand name, but that’s not the only exciting thing happening this year. We are in the midst of planning for our 60th anniversary too. From a new name to marking six decades of making better drivers and riders it’s all go.

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  • road-ahead-2[2]55

    The road ahead

    Becoming more observant will improve your driving, it can actually make the journey more fun too. You might be surprised by the things you notice when you really start taking in the scenery you drive through.

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    It’s not grey, it’s black and white

    Whether it's nipping out to the depot or going to a meeting or visiting a supplier; do enough companies consider the implications of an employee using their own vehicle for work?

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  • eloise-iam-balloon---download[1]4554

    Should road safety be in the national curriculum?

    Reflecting on my education I really wish that road safety had been part of the curriculum. Giving young people an understanding of risks and the consequences of actions on the road, whether as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian, would be invaluable.

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  • multitasking[1]ffd

    M4 musings on driverless cars

    A particularly gruelling journey recently set my mind to the topic of actually not having to drive at all. Autonomous cars.

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  • Mother with baby

    Be still my beating heart – calm those driving nerves

    Are you one of the 32 million people in the UK who drives? How much confidence do you have behind the wheel?

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  • Nigel Mansell

    Slow slow, quick quick, slow!

    Enjoyment on the road can come in many different forms. But the watchword when it comes to speed is …make sure you pick the right piece of tarmac for the occasion!

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  • Sarah Sillars

    We make better drivers and riders

    It’s not often an organisation has so many firsts on one day. But for us, today is a biggie. New brand. New website. New courses. New standards. And a new strapline, ‘we make better drivers and riders’. Because that’s what we do.

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  • Speed-Camera-Survey

    Speed cameras – the views of high mileage drivers

    Reading this, you might be reminded of a time when you were driving along and suddenly noticed the double flash of a speed camera behind your vehicle. Had you just been caught speeding or was it as a result of the way the vehicle in front or behind you was driving?

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  • RB-Safe-Driving-insight-guide-v3-1

    Safe Driving Guide

    Our standard policy wording is simple and straightforward, avoiding misunderstandings or ambiguity. It is intended to engage the driver and be simple to read. The contents page is hyper-linked to each section for ease of use when viewing in PDF rather than hardcopy. The document is 13 pages long, including the attractive front page and the coversheet, which requires a signature from the person responsible for the policy, plus the name of the person responsible for day-to-day enforcement, plus a date for review.

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  • RB-Driving-at-work-insight-guide

    Driving Licence Checking Facility

    The only way to ensure the driving licence is valid at the time of the check is via the DVLA, visual checking and taking a copy cannot ensure the licence is current or valid for the class of vehicle being driven on Company business. Frequency of these checks is dependent on your Company Policy and number of points on a driving licence.

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  • RB-Driving-at-work-insight-guide

    Driving at work policy

    Our standard policy wording is simple and straightforward, avoiding misunderstandings or ambiguity. It is intended to engage the driver and be simple to read. The contents page is hyper-linked to each section for ease of use when viewing in PDF rather than hardcopy.

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  • zebra crossing

    UK road casualties increase for first time in 18 years

    IAM Drive & Survive is very concerned at the alarming increase in road deaths in Britain, following the publication of the latest accident statistics from the Department for Transport today.

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  • Misc_motorcycle_in_traffic_headlight_on-road

    IAM establishes new industry group to guide driver risk management

    The UK’s leading road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), recently hosted the inaugural meeting of its new Business Customer Advisory Group (BCAG). The gathering saw industry professionals come together to give their opinions on what they need from innovative driver risk management programmes that will deliver safer and more efficient driver activities for their businesses.

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  • Driving_in_rain

    Corporate manslaughter and driving; your business may be at risk.

    « Errare humanum est » but when it’s about your employees’ health and safety, it is your responsibility to make your H&S policies robust and reliable. Recently sentencing for health and safety offences has got tougher and depends on the seriousness of the injury and the turnover of the company.

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  • bent metal 1

    White paper: Bent metal - an analysis of vehicle accidents amongst company fleets

    In this White Paper you will be able to find the result of a survey we commissioned in autumn 2014 to investigate what experiences businesses were having with regards to bent metal and its financial impact.

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  • Lack of DRM 1

    White paper: Is a lack of DRM hitting your fleet's performance?

    In today's busy working environments, it's easy to see how the health, safety and training of drivers might fall off the agenda. But instead, imagine the difficulty of managing the aftermath of a vehicle crash.

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  • Snowy winding oad pic from inside car_heavy traffic_winter-driving

    #Wheelsinwinter - IAM launches winter road safety drive

    In 2014, 12,445 accidents took place on built up roads that were either flooded or wet in the dark – a 19% increase since 2010 (1). As the days shorten and weather conditions worsen the IAM has launched its #wheelsinwinter campaign to support leisure and business travellers in driving safely this winter.

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    Road safety fears prompt summit

    The rising human and financial toll of accidents and injuries on North-East roads have prompted a new move to draw up a regional road safety strategy.

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    Winter is coming; 7 things to check for both you and your car that really matter

    It's that time of the year again; cold weather is coming back with fog and potentially, snow. How do you ensure that you and your car are ready for this and more?

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  • phone

    The potential dangers of "handsfree" behind the wheel

    Sending e-mails, even with voice activation, increases the driver's reaction time. With new cars now being fitted with voice-control functionality, it is now possible to write text messages and emails and communicate on Facebook, while driving. But this new technology has great potential for driver distraction, according to a study presented by the American Automobile Association (AAA), which warns against their growing use while driving.

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  • guidedrivingsafe_large

    The new driving dangers - selfies, video calls or just watching TV

    New research by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) reveals the shocking extent to which drivers use their phones and tablets to take selfies, make video calls and watch videos while driving.

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  • shattered windscreen

    The 2014 road casualties rise reasons.

    The reasons may be diverse but we do know that distracted driving is a huge problem for road safety. We are in an era of smartphones, 4G and all the apps that distract road users. (drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians) and a common reason for road casualties in 2014 is that the drivers' fail to see properly.

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  • zebra crossing

    The importance of responsible driving

    Companies today face multiple challenges and increasingly complex issues. Profitability, competitiveness, anticipating the needs of their customers, ensuring good working conditions for their employees and registering the company for environmental responsibility can all increase business pressure.

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  • Speeding on main road

    The worst cases of excessive speeding

    IAM Drive & Survive has lifted the lid on the worst examples of excessive speeding caught on safety cameras across England and Wales last year (2014). Britain’s two worst speeders were caught at 146mph, both by Kent Police on the M25. One was travelling anti-clockwise at Junction 5 at Clacket Lane Services, the other going clockwise at Swanley.

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  • Fleets really leaner 1

    White paper: Fuel Efficiency and carbon reduction

    In the summer of 2013 we commissioned a survey to investigate how important environmental factors and fuel-saving were in influencing the decisions companies made regarding vehicle choice. All participants were key fleet decision makers or had some influence with the fleet decision making process. Whilst it is encouraging to see the acknowledged relevance of fuel-efficiency and environmental factors in the responses, it is concerning that relatively little is being done to facilitate the delivery of driver improvements through training and assessment.

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