Tips & 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.



  • Roadworks

    Know the rules for roadworks

    Roadworks can slow down your journey, cause major disruption and bring havoc to your day. With 6,590 traffic incidents reported on UK roads between 2016 and 2020, navigating the maze of roadworks on our highways has never been more important. IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Driving and Riding Standards, Richard Gladman, has some top tips to help make navigating them a little bit easier.

    More information
  • spring-1363860011cYo[1]

    Spring into action: Keep that pollen under control

    Pollen is in abundance during springtime, and this is when flowers start to bloom resulting in pollen levels becoming high. To help you to cope better with your hay fever symptoms whilst driving and riding, IAM RoadSmart are on hand with their top tips for hitting the road with hay fever.

    More information
  • Sightseeing

    Driving abroad this Easter

    The Easter break is nearly upon us, and many people will be setting off on that Spring getaway for a chance to unwind. But with airports reporting cancellations and lengthy delays, will you be choosing to take the car?

    More information
  • Open road

    IAM RoadSmart checklist: Before you start the engine

    Welcome to the first in IAM RoadSmart’s new series of expert driving tips from Head of Driving & Riding Standards Richard Gladman. Over the coming weeks we’ll cover everything from safe motorway driving to how to navigate a single-track road, a steep incline or preparing for driving abroad. This week Richard talks us through what we need to think about before we’ve even left home.

    More information
  • Dog in car

    National Puppy Day: What does the Highway Code say about pets in the car?

    The Highway Code was updated earlier this year to introduce a risk-based hierarchy of road users, which places more responsibility on the drivers of larger vehicles to look after more vulnerable road users. But are pet owners aware of the rule that relates to having four-legged passengers in the car?

    More information
The list is empty


Blog posts

  • BMW Skills Day Plus

    Driving skills put to the test

    IAM RoadSmart’s Skills Days not only allow you to test yourself as a driver in a safe environment, but also ensure you learn some top driving tips from the pros to help you to be more confident and assured in your ability to handle different every day driving challenges.

    More information
  • Sky

    Advanced Rider Reflections – Part 2

    In the second of his review of his IAM Road Smart Advanced Rider Course, Paul Oxborough, Founder of Mental Health Motorbike, talks us through his week two reflections and what he feels he’s learned as a result.

    More information
  • PaulMHM2

    24-hour reflection – part 1

    "In the last 24 hours I started my IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider Course and it’s surprising to me just how much I’ve been reflecting in that time. " Paul Oxborough, Founder of Mental Health Motorbike, has written the latest blog on what he's learnt so far on his journey to becoming an IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider.

    More information
  • Clear blue sky

    Bigger Than Us

    "This year, these last three months have been so very hard. My mum was diagnosed with cancer at the end of December and then we lost her at the end of March. This has created a ripple affect across the family..."

    More information
  • Electric vehicle charging

    The good, the bad and the ugly - my electrifying experience (Part 1)

    Richard Gladman, Head of Driving and Riding Standards at IAM RoadSmart, is writing a series of blogs to shine a light on the realities of driving an electric car.

    More information
  • Driving test

    A gear shift for driving test processes?

    Changes could be on their way to not only improve much-needed driving test availability, but also safety. If they go ahead, these will be the most significant changes since 2017 when new elements were introduced to the test itself, including learning to follow satnav instructions, testing different manoeuvres, such as driving into and reversing out of a parking space learning how to park and pull away facing oncoming traffic.

    More information
  • Carli

    Carrying precious cargo

    "It’s not that I didn’t trust my partner, but with the most precious cargo we’ve ever carried in the car, I wanted to do everything I could to protect him." Carli Ann Smith received the IAM Roadsmart Advanced Driver course from her grandad as a Christmas gift, and you can read all about her journey here.

    More information
  • London driving

    Vision Zero: Launch of UN Second Decade of Action on Road Safety

    Neil Grieg, IAM RoadSmart's Director of Policy and Research, has written a blog on his appearance on Radio 4's 'Positive Thinking' programme on the big question ‘Can we make road deaths a thing of the past?’.

    More information
  • Adventure Biker Festival 2021

    The Adventure Bikes Riders Festival 2021 Warwickshire

    Here's a quick review of the recent Adventure Bikes Riders Festival 2021 at Ragley Hall and a few routes for you to try out around Warwickshire.

    More information
  • Driverless Car Large

    Automated and Autonomous Vehicles – What have they got to do with advanced driving?

    Rebecca Ashton, Head of Policy & Research explains the crucial role IAM RoadSmart and road safety play in the development and eventual creation of driverless cars. Why they need to perform at the same level as an Advanced Driver or Rider.

    More information
  • Whiplash

    The cost poor policies and procedures could have on your pocket! opinion piece by Tony Greenidge

    Opinion piece by Tony Greenidge on driving for work, lack of an appropriate company vehicle policy and procedures and the costs to the employer and the employee.

    More information
  • King of the road

    The joys of riding and driving

    Thoughts on driving and riding by Peter Herridge. Re-discovering the joys and challenges of riding and driving through the Advanced and Masters driving qualifications.

    More information
  • Ride road Rider

    Riding with a ‘Ride’ Journalist

    Mark Anstey Chief Observer Chelmsford & District Advanced Motorcyclists (CaDAM) takes journalist Jon Urry for a taster 'Ride', as an introduction to IAM RoadSmart's Motorcycle training.

    More information
  • MHM logo Fulltext WB

    Empowered Through Grief

    After 12+ months of lock down people's driving skills are very rusty and there is a sense of increased urgency to get places. To support and avoid a spike in road traffic accidents, Paul Oxborough, Founder of Mental Health Motorbike joined forces with Heidi Limbert from Bristol Advanced Motorcyclists to deliver a talk to IAM RoadSmart Solent on Enjoying a Smarter Ride encouraging members to check they are in the correct headspace before riding.

    More information
  • Taking the rural road

    Taking the Rural Road

    In this week’s blog ‘Taking the Rural Road or Route’, IAM RoadSmart member Denis Cartmel, who has made his career from teaching others to drive tractors safely, offers his insight into the world of driving agricultural vehicles and some of the key aspects other road users should be aware of.

    More information
  • Newborn baby

    Driving home from hospital

    Back in February 2020, as a soon-to-be first-time mum and a member of IAM RoadSmart, I had so many fears going through my mind as my due date crept around the corner. “What if I go into labour in the car?...What if I’m screaming in the car on the way to hospital and it distracts my other half from the road?"

    More information
  • Sharing Space

    Sharing the road

    We all share the same road space. We all need to coordinate our journey with those around us. But sometimes, when someone pulls out or fails to indicate, it annoys us. It tests our patience. We forget to share.

    More information
  • Chris Goffey Blog

    Still in Top Gear?

    How could anyone doubt my driving ability? I had driven hundreds of high-performance cars, road tested for Autocar, and presented Top Gear for years. I had even held a Class One HGV and a PSV double decker bus licence. And yet, and yet.

    More information
  • what comes next header

    What comes next?

    Tony Greenidge’s appointment as IAM RoadSmart’s CEO follows several years of change within the organisation, not least in 2020, which has brought some of the most significant challenges we have ever faced. In this blog Tony tells us a little more about his background, his career at IAM RoadSmart so far, and his vision for the future as we enter 2021.

    More information
  • The IAM Family

    The IAM Family

    In this week’s blog ‘The IAM Family’, Christopher Dunn, Vice Chairman of West Yorkshire Advanced Motorcyclists, shares his delight at how his IAM RoadSmart colleagues from across the country have rallied round to provide support when he and his local group have needed it.

    More information
  • RH_Car pic for blog_10 Dec 20

    Father and son: Black boxes and all things telematics

    Telematics policies, sometimes called ‘black box’ insurance, traditionally rely upon small pieces of kit known as black boxes installed in a vehicle to record driving style. In this week’s blog, Richard Hardesty, National Observer for the IAM Roadsmart Lincolnshire Group, and his new driver son Oliver share their thoughts on telematics insurance for younger drivers.

    More information
  • 068-073 - IAM training riders in Nepal_DEC-2 - IMAGE 3

    Conquering the Himalayas

    What do you get when you take a bunch of Nepalese riders and a couple of IAM RoadSmart trainers? The only trained bikers in the country, that’s what! Read about Area Service Delivery Managers Scott Tulip and Pete Doherty's trip to Nepal to deliver off-road motorcycle training to The Gurkha Welfare Trust on behalf of IAM RoadSmart. This blog is extracted from an article in Motorcycle Sport & Leisure magazine, December 2020.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_98747039

    Being back on the road

    Living in Bedfordshire I was commuting daily to Welwyn Garden City, around 35 miles each way via the busy A1. However, the thought of facing this again after so long started to play on my mind and I was getting increasingly anxious. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2013. My condition is well managed most of the time, but I still struggle when faced with something I can’t fully control.

    More information
  • JAG

    When opportunity and passion collide: the journey to IAM RoadSmart

    James Hall, IAM RoadSmart’s Director of Sales and Marketing shares the story of his life-long love for cars and bikes. "My passion for cars and motorbikes started at a very young age and has been heavily influenced by my father who is ex-military and slightly obsessive about his cars. He’s the only person I know who would remove the wheels to clean the inside alloy as well as the outside!"

    More information
  • Kiera Woods 2

    From slow to pro… the roads are my oyster thanks to IAM Lincolnshire!

    Kiera Woods shares her experience of taking the IAM RoadSmart Advanced driving course. "It had been over three years since I passed my driving test and I had only been driving short distances. I was keen to rebuild my confidence and skills when, at the start of 2020 the opportunity to join IAM Lincolnshire free of charge arose, thanks to the Police and Crime Commissioner initiative. I jumped at the chance."

    More information
  • 1

    Relaxed, well informed and in control

    Peter Burridge who is a motorcycle examiner, who has been an IAM RoadSmart member for 40 years delves into the finer aspects of motorcycle control. He says ‘This important area is not usually covered within the RoadSmart Advanced Motorcycle course. It is something that I am passionate about and I’d like to share some thoughts and ideas.

    More information
  • Busy Motorway

    Motorway Madness

    "There is a lot we can do as drivers to avoid accidents and road closures too." Advanced driver Struan Stevenson, columnist with the ‘The Herald’ (Scotland), shares some motorway madness stories with us.

    More information
  • 4

    IAM RoadSmart Motorcycle Training Review

    Craig Shaw recently passed his IAM RoadSmart Advanced Rider test. Having enjoyed his experience, he put together a few words about his training journey and the positive experience and skills it gave him.

    More information
  • picture 2

    A young couple advance together

    Jacob Dossett and Ella Pearson are a young couple from Lincolnshire who have recently become advanced drivers together. In this blog, they reflect on their advanced driving coaching experience and the benefits it’s brought.

    More information
  • Sarah and car

    What does road safety mean to me?

    What does road safety mean to me? This is the question we asked Sarah Rajalingam when she joined the IAM RoadSmart team recently as Senior Communications Executive. Read on for her reflections after 10 years driving experience.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_323796328

    Let’s rock down to electric avenue

    Barry Sloan Publicity officer for Bolton and District Advanced Motorists, talks about his first experience of an all-electric vehicle, bringing the car to the people until the people can come to the cars at an event, now planned for 2021.

    More information
  • 021

    If people say it can’t be done, I’ll find a way to do it

    Dr Andy Arnott has been a member of IAM RoadSmart since 2018 and has a long association with the National Association of Bikers with a Disability (NABD). He has written our latest blog about encouraging more bikers with disabilities to become Advanced Riders.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_292119391

    Many crashes take place many hours after drinking has stopped

    Stephen Willmott is one of the trainers who delivers the Drink Drive Rehabilitation Course for IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy. In 2019/20 our drink drive rehabilitation services helped almost 5,000 convicted drink drivers understand the dangers of alcohol, not only in relation to driving but to their health and lives in general.

    More information
  • Triumph

    Motoring - was it better back in the day?

    I’m sure like me during lockdown you spent some time tidying things up, recycling & repurposing. After sorting through some old photographic slides my mother sent me an envelope containing a print picture that just got me wondering, was motoring really better back in the day or are we simply looking through rose-tinted glasses?

    More information
  • KIA on charge

    It's hybrid-matic!

    For the past two years, I’ve been driving a hybrid Kia e-Niro and thought it was about time I shared the experience with you all.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_175135806

    Resuming on road activities, Bristol Fashion

    Most people can seemingly remember where they were or what they were doing when, for example, the news broke that John F Kennedy had been assassinated, when England won the World Cup, when Princess Diana died or when the twin towers where hit on 9/11. Does the 16th March 2020 hold any significance for you?

    More information
  • car wing mirror

    From observed to observing

    "I passed my driving test aged 21, just two days before embarking on my career as a teacher. After finishing university, I needed to learn to drive quickly, so my lessons took place over the space of just one month."

    More information
  • 20200722_163811

    Getting back on the road post lockdown

    "After laying off motorcycling following a bad accident at the age of 18 in 1990, I reached the age of 40 and it felt like it was time to try it again." Read our latest blog by James Balls who took on the Advanced Rider Course post lockdown.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_162456542_11 June 20_rural road sunrise sunshine clouds

    "Remember the blue skies are still there"

    "I’m a firm believer that mental health is every bit as important as physical health. And when a challenging spell came along recently, I turned to Ben, a charity dedicated to supporting the people of the automotive industry, for support." Read our latest blog about the power of learning good mental health habits.

    More information
  • Bailey Phoenix 2

    Caravanning: Staycation’s New King?

    “What began as an accidental holiday evolved into caravanning trips across 30 countries, some of which would’ve been ‘interesting’ without IAM RoadSmart training.” Lee Davey, IAM RoadSmart member and Caravan and Motorhome Club member, has written the latest blog about his family adventures in the humble caravan.

    More information
  • MarkBlog

    On the road again

    Mark Anstey, Chief Observer at Chelmsford & District Advanced Motorcyclists (CaDAM), has written the latest blog on getting back on the road following lockdown.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_24091195_Dad daughter shoes

    Dad knows best

    On Father’s Day, Pete Doherty, Area Service Delivery Manager, reflects on how his daughter is following in his career and Advanced Driving footsteps and what that means to him.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_162456542_11 June 20_rural road sunrise sunshine clouds

    Like father, like daughter

    In this week's blog, Kate Tonge, IAM RoadSmart Director of Marketing & Communications, writes about her father's love of Advanced Driving and his commitment to road safety, and the impact these had on her own driving.

    More information
  • Henny Cameron 2_Jun 20

    Making a difference with IAM RoadSmart

    To mark Volunteer Week (1-7 June), guest blogger Henny Cameron writes about her work with Northampton Advanced Motorists, explaining how much she enjoys the work she does with the Group, members and local community to support road safety in her area.

    More information
  • Derek Baker

    As a volunteer the reward is knowing I have given back to others

    To mark Volunteer Week (1-7 June), Derek Baker, Chief Observer and Group Secretary of Kidderminster Advanced Bikers, reflects on what volunteering for IAM RoadSmart means to him in this guest blog.

    More information
  • IAM_PORTRAITS_0088_Shaun Cronin

    "It's life Jim, but not as we know it"

    "If I can just save one life by my actions, it is all worthwhile. And I know our observers and members feel the same way." As Shaun Cronin, IAM RoadSmart Regional Service Delivery Manager (Southern), like many of us during the COVID-19 pandemic, spends more time off the road, he ponders what his life would have been like were the country not in lockdown. His blog highlights how much he values all the work he does with IAM RoadSmart members, groups and volunteers in helping to improve road safety, and how much he's looking forward to continuing to make a difference when restrictions are lifted.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_276078922_27APR20_QuietCountryRoadSunshine

    How much can change in a month

    Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart CEO, reflects on how much has changed for IAM RoadSmart members, groups, staff and communities over recent weeks as the country reacts to the impact of COVID-19 and ongoing lockdown. He shares his thoughts on the effects the Coronavirus has had on our work to improve road safety and how, collectively, we have responded to the extraordinary challenges faced.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_168859621_20 Apr 20_Motorbike at night

    Some thoughts on night riding – part two

    In the second instalment of his blog, Derek McMullan, Chairman of IAM RoadSmart Chairman, explores his views and experiences of night riding, with tips and advice for those taking to the road after dark.

    More information
  • AdobeStock_158922140_15 Apr 2020_Motorbike night

    Some thoughts on night riding - part one

    Derek McMullan, Chairman of IAM RoadSmart Chairman, has written this week's blog on night riding. The second instalment follows soon.

    More information
  • 2019 Road funding award l-r - Chief Constable Nick Adderley, Group Chair John Norrie, me (Henny Cameron) and PFCC Stephen Mold

    The Northampton 22

    Henny Cameron from Northampton Advanced Motorists has written the latest blog on building the 'Northampton 22'.

    More information
  • apple-car-carplay-apple-carplay

    Why are infotainment systems so distracting?

    "The launch of our TRL simulator study on 17 March was in some ways a welcome diversion from the endless Covid-19 reports in the media." Read the latest blog from Neil Greig, Policy and Research Director at IAM RoadSmart.

    More information
  • Cuba_blog_EM

    Castro GTX: the smell of Cuban motoring

    Nothing says ‘you’ve just arrived in a foreign land’ better than that waft of intriguing aromas as you step off the plane. This week's blog is written by Gary Bates, Marketing Manager at IAM RoadSmart.

    More information
  • DisneylandParis_Blog2_March2020

    A magical break to Disneyland Paris

    Most people know that travelling with children can be quite stressful. This week’s blog has been written by Kelly Mitchell on her first experience of travelling abroad with her two-year daughter.

    More information

    Just call me Pete!

    So what kind of a driver are you? Rodney Kumar, media relations manager at IAM RoadSmart, finds he's more of a Practical Pete after taking the new driver and rider persona quiz.

    More information
  • potholes2

    Potholes are a top safety risk for riders

    Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at IAM RoadSmart, has written the latest blog following the research that showed riders and cyclists are 34 times more likely than car drivers to be killed on UK roads.

    More information
  • Alex's Car Crash

    Been in a car crash? This is what you need to know

    Most people know someone who has been involved in a crash, while some have unfortunately experienced it for themselves. Emma Mitchell, IAM RoadSmart senior digital communications executive, writes from her own personal experience.

    More information
  • Car technology

    In-car technology is baffling drivers

    IAM RoadSmart’s road safety expert, Tim Shallcross, explains his concerns about the impact that this technology can have on a motorist’s ability to drive safely.

    More information
  • e-scooter Peter Roger

    Are e-scooters the transport of the future?

    With e-scooters becoming an increasingly more popular mode of transport Peter Rodger, head of driver advice at IAM RoadSmart, writes about this experience of riding an e-scooter.

    More information
  • gbfe_2020b-730x548

    A fleeting visit into the future

    The Great British Fleet Event took place on Thursday 30th January at Novotel London West, Hammersmith, hosting Masterclass Conferences and a fleet-focused exhibition. Rodney Kumar, IAM RoadSmart media relations manager, talks about the power of new technology at the event.

    More information
  • driver 3

    Vive la difference – road safety policy after Brexit?

    I have recently returned from Brussels where I attend three meetings per year of the FIA Region 1 Transport and Mobility Working Party. The FIA maintains a large office in Brussels to lobby the European Parliament and EU Commission on their numerous proposals.

    More information
  • Caravan

    Some forward thinking when going backwards

    Jim Bedigan, creator of Reverse My Trailer, explains the motivation behind the creation of his trailer-reversing simulator program. A few years ago, I found myself watching Caravanner of the Year on BBC2. I don’t own a caravan myself but nevertheless found it surprisingly good viewing.

    More information
  • Benedict

    The world of IAM RoadSmart … as seen by a teenage musician

    I do not drive … yet. There’s nothing really stopping me beyond financial problems, but as of last week I have a part time job and will soon be able to learn.

    More information
  • electric car

    Living in electric dreams?

    Christmas was an opportunity to catch up with family, friends…and the odd bit of tv. Relaxing on the sofa, surrounded by abandoned chocolate wrappers, I was struck by the car ads I saw. So many of them were for electric vehicles, the drive to a greener and more environmentally friendly approach to travel seems to have finally taken off.

    More information
  • christmas car

    Driving home for Christmas

    Having racked up 1,000 miles over the last five days on a variety of motorways and A roads, I thought I’d share my reflections and tips whilst they are still fresh in my mind. These tips are for anyone contemplating driving home for Christmas or driving to visit family over the festive period.

    More information
  • QT at RSGB

    A recap of the 2019 National Road Safety Conference

    Last week I attended the National Road Safety Conference in Telford which is a highlight event for the road safety industry. It’s been running for 11 years and each November the road safety community get together to catch up with the latest information and to share ideas.

    More information
  • blog 1 - ducati

    My advanced riding journey

    Our latest blog has been written by Advanced Rider and member, Martin Bridgehouse, on his experience when meeting with his local group, and starting his Advanced Course.

    More information
  • mental health

    Dark clouds and getting blue skies back

    On paper my life seems great. I have a mortgage-free house, parents not far away, plus I mentor autistic children which I love to bits. I am also a full-time staff member at IAM RoadSmart, doing a job that I totally love.

    More information
  • lewis hamilton

    Don't be a drama queen

    You can’t have failed to notice that Lewis Hamilton recently became six times winner of the Formula 1 World Championship, thus becoming the second most successful F1 driver of all time behind Michael Schumacher.

    More information
  • bike and car lights

    Winter draws on and we all need to see the light

    The last few weeks out on the roads have had a recurring theme for me – lights, or more specifically the shocking lack of them. Driving home in the gathering gloom in the days immediately before the clocks went back, I was shocked by the number of cars I saw driving apparently without lights.

    More information
  • Older driver 3

    At the end of the drive

    Some conversations are never easy. Telling a close relative that their driving is no longer up to par is certainly one of them. Just figuring out a way to broach the topic is hard enough.

    More information
  • electric car

    The future is green – even our number plates

    Amidst the ups and downs of Brexit, the Department of Transport managed to hit the streets recently with an announcement on green number plates.

    More information
  • amsterdam canal

    Un-clog our roads the Dutch way

    I’ve just got back from an excellent weekend away in Amsterdam, and the quirky mixture of transport solutions actually makes it a fascinating place from a road user’s point of view, so I thought I’d share a few observations.

    More information
  • fatigue

    Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    From 2003 until 2015 I was diagnosed with ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which affected my mental and physical health. I was pretty low for much of the time, and this affected my self-confidence and also my confidence on the road.

    More information
  • Mike BMW blog -edit

    The Italian job

    Today's blog will be continuing my mini-series of providing hints and tips for those considering hiring a car to drive in Europe.

    More information
  • Mental health blog

    Coping with mental health challenges on the road

    Having a mental illness is something that certainly makes you question things, and anyone who has one of the myriad conditions that we’re aware of these days also knows that others might start to question your ability to manage things as well, like driving.

    More information
  • winding country road 2

    You never know what’s around the corner

    I joined the (then) IAM following an Advanced Driver Course in 1996 which was followed by an Advanced Rider Course in 1997. I used the driving and riding skills occupationally throughout my career and was confident that I was a safe and skilled driver and rider.

    More information
  • bipolar

    Driving with bipolar

    I passed my driving test in 2006 and in 2013 I was diagnosed with Bipolar. After seven years of driving I was faced with the fear that my licence could be taken away from me.

    More information
  • bikers

    IAM RoadSmart’s Motorcycle Skills Day: what to expect

    Have you ever been to an IAM RoadSmart Skills Days? I had the pleasure of going along to a Ladies Motorcycle Skills Day and was able to see first-hand what the day was all about.

    More information
  • Jenson

    Uncommonly good classics

    Some classic cars are classics because they look stunning and were popular right from the outset, whilst still holding a good price. Others never sold very well, they weren’t popular and only achieved the classic status years later, because their unpopularity resulted in them becoming rare.

    More information
  • mini broken down

    Breaking down is not for the faint hearted

    It happened as most breakdowns do; as a very unexpected and unwelcome event. I was on my way home from a meeting in Bristol, when my car alerted me to say that it was getting a little warm and requested for me to drive moderately

    More information
  • gateway

    An inconvenient question – should I have a car at all?

    I read with great interest a report from a group of parliamentarians last month saying that technology alone cannot solve the problem of greenhouse gas emissions from transport. It echoes a report from an Oxford-based group of academics who warned that even electric cars produce pollution through their tyres and brakes.

    More information
  • traffic

    The joys of commuting...NOT!

    It’s one of the ‘joys’ of being a grown up … from being ferried around by mum and dad or walking a short distance; suddenly you have a job, a car, and you are driving across several counties (maybe) to your job.

    More information
  • Horse

    Riding on the road - the horse edition

    Whenever I tell people I’m a horse rider I always get a look of shock and: “Are you really?” like it’s a foreign hobby.

    More information
  • c lassic

    Advanced driving skills – how do these improve your drive in a classic car?

    Like many others I never got around to doing the IAM RoadSmart advanced driver course for a long time. Mainly because as a classic car driver I felt that I was competent on the road and mechanically knowledgeable.

    More information
  • garybike

    The work commute - car or motorbike?

    If you’ve read any of my previous motorcycling blogs, you’ll be aware that I like touring and dislike rain, therefore you might assume that my biking life is all about holidays and weekend jaunts.

    More information
  • e-scooter

    The chief executive and the e-scooter

    Have you hired an e-scooter whilst on holiday or even in the UK? Our CEO Mike Quinton has written about his experience whilst in Warsaw.

    More information
  • 20190726_134941000_iOS

    Driving abroad - the dos, the don’ts and the things to remember

    Driving abroad - the dos the don'ts and the things to remember. If you're planning on driving abroad this summer, have a read of our latest blog and ensure you don't get caught out with any hidden charges!

    More information
  • ferrari

    What makes a classic?

    I was asked to pop along to Thruxton Motorsport Centre to make a video about the differences between a ‘classic’ car and a modern car. With all the techno wizardry, it seemed an easy message to convey - a modern car is better. How wrong was I?

    More information
  • Dogs for hero page

    How to travel safely with pets

    It’s now summer and that means lots of trips and weekends away with plenty of new adventures with your pets. Learn how to keep your pet safe on your travels.

    More information
  • Self driving cars

    Self driving cars, the law and the nitty-gritty

    Following The Law Commission’s three month consultation on automated vehicle safety assurance and legal liability which closed in February, Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, talked about what could happen in a future with self-driving vehicles and the law.

    More information
  • Roadsmart tyres

    Not getting tyred

    Crispin d’Albertanson, chief observer at Wey Valley Advanced Motorcyclists and an IAM RoadSmart lead Skills Day instructor, spent a school day with Ron Haslam learning about Dunlop’s new range of tyres.

    More information
  • IMG_6284

    Self driving cars? Hang on a second

    Whether you like it or not – they’re coming! An unstoppable tsunami of technology, a deluge of data and hardware that is being “sold” to the human race as a game changer.

    More information
  • signs

    Sign of the times?

    You’ve all experienced it - you’re running late, not sure where you are … ah yes a road sign! Where’s my town? Oh it’s gone! And I didn’t take it in at all, yikes!

    More information
  • JA advanced driving

    It’s true, the ‘nervous middle’ can become advanced drivers

    Before I started at IAM RoadSmart, I hadn’t heard of the charity and I’d never given advanced driving a second thought. I reluctantly took up driving lessons after university to help broaden my job search so I could find a role further afield from home, if needed.

    More information
  • Autonomous drive

    Three into five will go

    I was really interested to read recently that experts at the German equivalent of the AA (ADAC) have suggested a new classification scheme to help drivers understand the different types of driverless car.

    More information
  • Electric cars

    Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

    The year is 1979 and we are just about to enter the 80s, technology and innovation is running rampant. Sir Clive Sinclair is leading a generation of young people into the world of computers with the ZX80, soon to be followed by the ZX81 with its massive 1K of built in memory.

    More information
  • Mike Spain 2

    The rain in Spain fell initially on my BMW

    Having just returned from a long weekend visiting relatives in Spain, here are my reflections and top tips for anyone contemplating driving a hire car on the continent this summer.

    More information
  • Truck Stop

    A Blustery Bank Holiday Biking Blog … if I May!

    Having recently become an Advanced Driver (did I mention I got a F1RST) my attentions have now turned to applying the same developments to my riding skills.

    More information
  • Tyres 1

    Driving under pressure

    We all know that new cars these days are bristling with new technologies aimed at keeping us, and other road users, safe.

    More information
  • YDF2

    Has technology gone too far?

    I recently attended the Young Driver Focus event at the RAC Club in London with our CEO Mike Quinton - it was my first time going to this event so I didn’t know what to expect, but the 15 or so presentations in the day certainly kept me on my toes.

    More information
  • Alloy wheel

    A wheely big problem

    Alloy wheel theft was a problem years ago, when a smart set of wheels made your mundane car stand out from the crowd.

    More information
  • 23/04/19

    Adventure ride to Bonneville Salt Flats

    As a young teenager in the 1970s I ached for a motorbike and the object of my desire was the Triumph Bonneville. It was not until later that I discovered the bike had been named in honour of Triumph’s 1956 speed record set at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA.

    More information
  • AP with observer Howard Rowlands Lichfield Adv Motorcyclists

    My biking journey so far…

    For most of my life I always drove a car and didn’t dare think of riding a motorcycle. I’d spoken to a lot of riders and motorcycle groups during my career as a road safety officer with Staffordshire and Derbyshire County Councils, but motorcycle casualties were always a concern to me.

    More information
  • Disneyland-Disneyland-Paris-France-Disney-Paris-2272907

    The Disney dilemma

    It seemed a good idea at the time; a road trip to Disneyland Paris, and why not offer to take the 12-year-old nephew with me? A boys’ road trip, what could be more fun!

    More information
  • Singer tools

    A spanner in the works?

    I was visiting a classic car show recently and chanced across The Motor Repair Manual, a book for the home mechanic dating from the 1930s. The term DIY wasn’t invented back then, but the sub title A Practical Handbook for Owner Drivers And Amateur Mechanics makes the intended readership clear.

    More information
  • Kelly Dowling

    Women in action...

    Back in 2017 I attended a Ladies Skills Day at Thruxton for the first time. Whilst very nervous to start, I learnt loads. 2018 was even better as I was looking forward to it, knew what to expect and was excited by the anticipation of meeting Maria Costello. The day exceeded all expectations.

    More information
  • Young rider conference

    The springtime of a lifetime of riding

    A few weeks ago it seemed that spring had arrived. I bought a shiny new helmet, and with temperatures in the high teens I had a most enjoyable weekend ride up to a bright, balmy Dunstable Downs and rejoiced at the arrival of the new biking season (for fair-weather riders like me).

    More information
  • Peter bus

    Driving down memory lane for Comic Relief

    Preliminary discussions had settled the plan … along with two friends I would share the crewing of a 1960s Routemaster bus on London’s number 25 bus route, the capital’s busiest – collecting for Red Nose Day instead of taking fares.

    More information
  • 14516_177_GraingePhotography

    The boys done good ... and feeling like a parent on exam day

    It was a pleasant surprise to receive an email from my area manager not long ago asking if I would be free to help with an IAM RoadSmart event at Silverstone for a couple of days. Being an out and out petrol head of course I said yes.

    More information
  • NZ 1

    Driving in the Land of the Long White Cloud

    I love to reminisce sometimes about the many road trips I used to go on when living in New Zealand. Most weekends began by heading off from home in Christchurch on a new adventure as soon as work finished on a Friday. I really loved the feeling of peace, and freedom, travelling along the empty highways.

    More information
  • Mini V3

    The “nervous middle” – an update

    You may recall that I wrote a blog in December reflecting on my step-daughter’s crash late at night on the M1 which resulted in her Mini being written off. Not a pleasant phone call to take, I can assure you!

    More information
  • Kate

    When would you hang up your keys?

    All the media furore and ensuing debate about older drivers following the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent decision to voluntarily hand in his driving licence at the aged of 97 - and the crash that preceded his decision - has struck a personal chord with me.

    More information
  • IMG_0178

    Roads Policing Conference 2019

    It’s not every day you overhear someone recounting a tale of high-speed motorway driving, making contact with another vehicle at great speed, going in the wrong direction and seemingly being quite proud of it all.

    More information
  • Alston v2

    The beautiful south, and the even more beautiful north

    As a bit of a naturalised southerner I often find myself coming out with phrases such as, ‘there are some cracking bits of road in Hertfordshire’ or ‘you don’t have to get far away from London to get to some proper driver’s roads’ and of course both of those phrases are true (honestly), but if pushed on the subject of my favourite road I need to go much further north.

    More information
  • What Car 2

    Essential bedtime reading - and getting banned from car magazines

    What was your bedtime reading as a child? Depending on your era, was it the Famous Five, Winnie the Pooh, Ben 10, Spongebob, or something off an iPad? For me as a motoring obsessed youngster in the 80s, it was the latest issue of What Car?

    More information
  • The Great British Fleet Event 2019 - 001

    Becoming fleet of foot

    As a road safety organisation we’re often heard talking about ‘high-risk drivers’ and ‘vulnerable road users’. Depending on who you speak to, these categories tend to be assumed to include such groups as young drivers, elderly drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

    More information
  • Catalytic converter

    Rats who steal CATs

    Catalytic converters have been in the news lately, prompted by videos of some outrageously brazen thefts posted online.

    More information
  • Motorcycle and man

    Bikers and technology – making the right connections?

    I read a lot about autonomous and connected cars every day in my work but very little about how these technologies could help improve motorcycling safety. This week however, I have come across two reports which suggest great potential if we can get researchers, bike manufacturers and riders to work together to embrace new technology.

    More information
  • 14516_183_GraingePhotography

    The young, the not so young and the media

    Hopefully you will have seen some of the publicity around our #FormulaDriveSmart event held at the start of December, run in partnership with the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) where we put 15 of the brightest young racing stars in the UK through the advanced driving test at Silverstone in an intensive two-day schedule.

    More information
  • Kate

    Of gyms, dogs and driving … how much resolve have I got?

    Welcome to 2019! I hope you’ve made it to the other side of the festivities in one piece and are looking forward to putting dark nights, grey days and winter chills behind you. After an eventful 2018, I for one am pleased to have turned over this new leaf.

    More information
  • PICT0262

    Nostalgia: should it be a thing of the past?

    In his last blog, Shaun Cronin cast his mind back to a tragic incident he had attended, early in his career as a police traffic officer. In a recent staff presentation Shaun shared an image of the incident in question. Without describing it in detail here, it was obvious from the wreckage of the car, an Austin Allegro, that its driver had no chance of surviving the impact.

    More information
  • Airbag

    Suddenly, but it’s OK … as I’m dead right

    With the festive season now upon us my mind occasionally turns back to Christmas 1990, 14 December to be precise on a very cold early turn. An ordinary routine patrol day now etched forever on my memory.

    More information
  • Motorway at night

    The dangers that lurk on our safest roads – motorways

    On Wednesday night I sensibly got an early night, conscious that the following day would be a busy one – our Annual General Meeting preceded by a meeting with our trustees.

    More information
  • Iceland two

    Wheels of steel

    I was lucky enough to spend a few days on holiday in Iceland recently and as always I could not resist comparing their driving with our own back here in the UK. I would have looked out for the odd biker but I don’t recall seeing any at all!

    More information
  • London Transport Museum collection

    Following in my grandfather’s footsteps

    It is 100 years since the end of World War I. This month is also 100 years since my grandfather died of his wounds, at home in Scotland. He was a steam vehicle driver in the Army Service Corps (now the Royal Logistics Corps).

    More information
  • P1160257

    Bear with me – a blog about Canada

    I’ve just got back from two weeks in Canada where I learned an interesting fact: the technique used by the indigenous Squamish and Lil’wat tribespeople for tanning a moose’s hide was to soak the hide in the moose’s own brain.

    More information
  • single carriageway

    Getting back on track

    On Tuesday 30 October I attended the launch of the 2018 results of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP) for Britain. The study has been running for six years and assesses the risks of each of Britain’s major roads by measuring KSI (Killed and Seriously Injured) statistics across definable stretches of the road network.

    More information
  • 2012_Abu_Dhabi_GP_Winner

    As the great Kimi would say ... leave me alone, I know what I'm doing

    We hear frequently about distraction factors and how they are a major cause of road crashes. A lot of IAM RoadSmart research looks into the causes of distraction and what can be done to prevent them.

    More information
  • Photo 18-10-2018, 16 39 08 (1)

    How far can you go?

    Miles per gallon or kilowatts per hour is all meaningless if your car can’t get anywhere near the claimed figures for economy.

    More information
  • fatal 4

    Prepare to drive down apathy street

    The term ‘road rage’ is sure to strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest driver. Have you ever been the victim of it?

    More information
  • Baby on board

    Are you using the correct car seat for your children?

    In 2016 I was approached by the Mum and Baby Academy (part of Life Cycle Marketing) for my expertise as a midwife and internationally renowned midwifery academic to become part of their professional consultant editorial team that review online modules covering a range of topics relevant to the role of practising healthcare professionals.

    More information
  • Continental - Gary

    Vision Zero: Getting to grips with the future of road safety

    What do you get if you cover your entire car windscreen in cardboard? Zero vision. This is not to be confused with Vision Zero: that is something quite different, which I’ll explain in a moment. And in fact, if your car happens to be equipped with 360-degree cameras, then having zero vision through the windscreen is not the insurmountable obstacle that you might assume it to be. I’ll come back to that a bit later too.

    More information
  • Cherbourg peninsula

    Technology and travel – friend or foe?

    I always find a driving holiday in France a splendid way to unwind, but it’s been a few years since we’ve managed to arrange a trip over the channel. Technology makes life very easy these days – a couple of smartphone apps made light work of booking the ferry and a cottage in the Dordogne. It’s a long drive, but more trusty apps mean we can find a hotel easily wherever we feel like stopping for the night.

    More information
  • swan edit

    It’s a swan’s life

    As I drive around the corner, there it is. A bright orange beak, elongated curved neck and white feathered body are before me. Small dark beady eyes cautiously survey the growling monster which is my car as I come to a brisk stop on the road.

    More information
  • Cat in carrier 2

    Paws, claws and one very cautious dog

    I recently had to take my seven year old cat, Mojo, on a short 10 minute car journey. From previous experiences driving to the vets, I was already aware that she wasn’t too keen on her cat carrier – this probably had something to do with the size of her!

    More information
  • handbrake

    To ratchet or not to ratchet, that is the question...

    When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet these first world problems didn’t exist. Horse drawn carts had a rudimentary form of parking or handbrake to stop them rolling away, whilst you fed and watered the horse or left it parked overnight in your thatched and oak-beamed cart port.

    More information
  • FIA_F2_Austria_2018_Nr__19_Norris_(1)

    Lando lands at McLaren - an F1 nut's point of view

    For those of you that follow Formula 1 avidly (I do!) the big news of the week so far was the signing of 18-year-old Lando Norris to race for McLaren in 2019.

    More information
  • 1970_Volkswagen_Beetle

    How have cars changed in the past century?

    It’s a time of substantial change for our cars and how they work. The push towards automation has been making a difference, with small steps towards full automation giving instructions to keep cars far enough apart in queues, to keep them in lane, to assist emergency braking on one way or another and so on.

    More information
  • car training v2

    What did the actress say to the advanced driver…

    As IAM RoadSmart’s Head of Retraining, I’m in the thick of it when it comes to the commercial side of the business. However, learning about the charity side of the organisation is something I’ve been keen on knowing more about. So when I was invited to my local group’s recent event, I used this opportunity to mingle with members and find out more about what they do.

    More information
  • Gear stick v2

    Three into two will go!

    Last week, two teenage would-be car thieves in Nashville, Tennessee, were thwarted by a manual gearbox. Having stolen a shopper’s keys, they were confronted with a mysterious third pedal and a stick in the floor. With no idea how to make the car move, they ran away in confusion and were later arrested.

    More information
  • driving view

    A Slovenian road trip through the mountains

    During July, I visited Lake Bled in Slovenia for a week where I hired a car for the majority of the time. My nerves had already kicked in a week before my trip at the thought of travelling on the “wrong” side of the road.

    More information
  • Auto circus

    A serious bit of clowning around

    Have you ever wondered why cars are the way they are? There are of course lots of different types of cars, with various engine types and seating configurations, front- or rear-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive and a huge range of optional equipment. Ignore all that stuff for the moment; I’m talking about the fundamentals of car design.

    More information
  • Tyre Close-up

    Stay safe with simple tyre checks

    Recently I attended the annual Tyre Safety Month Briefing in Coventry hosted by the UK charity TyreSafe, featuring guest speakers raising awareness about tyre safety. It provided a great opportunity for all who attended to learn more about correct car care and maintenance, essential for our safety in any vehicle.

    More information
  • IMG_0920

    Spending the day in a whole different gear

    I had the great pleasure of attending the Ladies Motorcycle Skills Day, with a special appearance by bike racer Maria Costello, at Thruxton Race Circuit last week. As well as getting some photo and video footage, it was a great way to chat to members and non-members - and browse the variety of stunning bikes - and talk to them about why they’re here and see first-hand the great work IAM RoadSmart does.

    More information
  • GPR 2

    It could have been worse, Lewis

    While it may not much have been a weekend to celebrate for Lewis Hamilton, for those of us that went to the British Grand Prix it was notable just how much the UK has to celebrate when it comes to technology and innovation, and most importantly firing up the kids of today into becoming the motorsport brains of the future.

    More information
  • Rodent under car v2

    Fruit of the loom

    I recently had expensive electrical problems with my car and the garage found that something had been chewing the wiring. The mechanic said they often see that nowadays, and it’s because the wiring is poor quality. Is this right, and how can I stop it happening again?

    More information
  • Blog - brakes

    Sending me to braking point

    I like building flat-pack furniture. Not enough to actually want to spend any time in IKEA, but enough to view flat-pack as a grown up version of Airfix, with a bit of added practical value. My colleagues and I agreed this morning that it can be an enjoyable, somewhat therapeutic pastime, but doesn’t always result in furniture that possesses a great deal of structural integrity.

    More information
  • Paddy Hopkirk and David Gallagher

    A day in the shoes of a rally hero

    It was 29 May and it was a beautiful, bright, hot sunny day. Later that evening I’d be doing my favourite type of presentation, a co-presentation with mature driver ambassador and rally driving legend, Paddy Hopkirk, to South of London Advanced Motorists.

    More information
  • Foot on brake

    Putting a brake on pollution

    It’s a sad fact of life that solving one problem almost invariably causes another. The widespread use of diesel engines in cars has helped to reduce transport carbon dioxide emissions to combat climate change. An unwelcome side effect has been the increase in urban pollution from diesel exhausts.

    More information
  • Saving fuel

    Fuel for change?

    According to recent RAC surveys the price of fuel has been going up by almost a penny a day in recent weeks. It seems to have steadied now but with diesel nudging into the low £1.30 a litre zone it is clear that the lower prices we have got used to may be a thing of the past - again!

    More information
  • 1983FordSierra

    Never meet your heroes

    When I say ‘never meet your heroes’ I don’t mean in terms of people you admire – I never got a chance to meet racing driver Ayrton Senna, but I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with 1992 Formula 1 World Champion Nigel Mansell several times in his capacity of IAM RoadSmart President, and talk at length with him about his career and viewpoints.

    More information
  • IMG_0723

    You always know when you have found 'the one'

    My car finally had enough. It had a successful three year stint until various problems started to arise, suggesting it may be time for me to start searching for something else. My little Night Fury (the name I gave my car due to the resemblance of the dragon’s eyes in the film ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and the headlights on my car) was ready to be passed on to someone who could put him on the operating table and fix him – something I couldn’t afford to do.

    More information
  • David

    Lights, camera, action!

    At the end of January I had the first taste of being in front of a camera in my role as IAM RoadSmart’s young driver ambassador. I was invited by Boston Advanced Motorists to join them at Listers Mini dealership in Boston. The group had organised an ‘assessed drive’ video to be created; the idea was to create a short video that demonstrates what an assessed drive involves, focussing on the stress-free element of these sessions.

    More information
  • Car-Service-and-Maintenance[1]

    Do you know about the changes coming to the MOT test?

    There are several changes coming to the MOT test, starting on 20 May (apart from in Northern Ireland, where they have a separate MOT system). The most obvious will be a new, more elaborate way of classifying defects. Currently, each item is simply marked as Fail or Pass. In future, defects leading to the car failing the test will be categorised as Dangerous or Major.

    More information
  • P1070587

    It must be a sign…

    I’m not superstitious but sometimes weird things happen that I can’t explain and I get a bit spooked. For example, one evening last week I was sitting in my favourite chair, thinking about plans for the weekend. Nothing unusual there. Suddenly I remembered that my girlfriend Kim (playing with her phone on the sofa opposite) had made some tentative plans to have lunch with a friend. “You still meeting Jen on Saturday?” I asked. At that precise moment, Kim’s phone went ‘ping’ announcing a text message from (you’ve guessed it) Jen, cancelling on lunch.

    More information
  • Pothole

    In a rut over potholes?

    The ‘beast from the east’ left many things in its wake; poor retail sales figures, an extended skiing season in the Scottish mountains and of course lots of potholes! Even before the storms, my phone had already started ringing with local journalists looking for comments on poor road surfaces and social media was full of pictures of bathtub sized holes.

    More information
  • music distraction

    A squirrel's point of view?

    At IAM RoadSmart we talk a lot about the dangers of distraction when it comes to driving – and yes distraction plays a very large part in many accidents. Music can be both a distraction and a way of keeping the driver alert. Too loud or too high the bpm, the greater the chance the driver will go faster and less able to hear of other things around them.

    More information
  • 6613046827_2e08905026_b

    Driving law enforcement: the human element

    It probably won’t come as much of a surprise that autonomous vehicle technology was a theme that came up repeatedly at the recent Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety (PACTS) ‘Streel Legal’ conference on 28 March. Over the last couple of years, it seems like almost every day has brought with it a new headline about vehicle technology in general, often centring on the latest developments in driverless cars.

    More information
  • dashborad - car

    Make your 'voice' be heard

    It doesn’t seem long since cars were content to tell us how fast we were going and how much fuel was in the tank. Some appealed to the repressed fighter pilot with extra gauges for engine speed, battery voltage, oil pressure and even inlet vacuum, but most had a quite straightforward dashboard, meriting only the occasional glance.

    More information
  • Gary's bike 1

    Of Meghan and motorbikes

    A short while ago Harry and Meghan announced their engagement and much of the nation descended into misty-eyed romance. Certain individuals (naming no names!) began helplessly bemoaning the fact that Britain’s most eligible bachelor was now officially ‘taken’. Some began speculating about what the dress would look like, or asking just how Britain would ever come to terms with having an American (shudder) in the royal family.

    More information
  • Rebecca Ashton_BBC North West Tonight_Mature drivers_17 Nov 17_1

    A day in the life of an IAM RoadSmart spokesperson

    I love my job. Being an IAM RoadSmart spokesperson can be a lot of fun. Much of the work is very spur of the moment, as we react to driving and road safety news stories as they break. No two days are ever the same!

    More information
  • Jonathan Millar Photography_JM1_1819

    What people say and what they do

    If you are to ask someone what do they think about people who speed, talk on handheld mobile phones and cut someone else up on the motorway, they will routinely say they are vehemently against such practices, and would never do it themselves.

    More information
  • 20180304_131038 (4)

    The 'Beast of the East' at large in the west

    Tuesday and Wednesday saw me working in Dolgellau in the heart of Snowdonia. Home these days is near Presteigne, on the England/Wales border. The trip’s 70 miles or so, depending on the route you take, but all of them involve hills – not gentle rolling slopes, but big, steep sided mounts where the roads have to zig-zag up one side and down the other.

    More information
  • rallydriving

    Does racing improve the breed?

    When it comes to the development of cars and motorcycles, manufacturers have proven time and again that the lessons they learn from putting their cars through their paces in racing environments, can eventually be used to improve their products for the general public on the road.

    More information
  • driverless cars

    MaaS transit or individual choice?

    A little discussed aspect of the growth of driverless cars is the related assumption that we will need many fewer vehicles overall.

    More information
  • Anjuli and her Clio

    The one that got away

    Ever since I sat in my first (toy) car and practised parking in imaginary parking spaces in my back garden at the age of two, I knew a love of driving that would surely last a lifetime had begun.

    More information
  • the changing face of driver risk

    The changing face of driver risk

    When I was growing up in the 1980s, my dad was a sales rep, whose working life revolved around a beige Vauxhall Cavalier. The Cav had become known as the quintessential rep-mobile of the time: a worthy all-rounder, reliable, good on the motorway and fitted with modern features perfect for long-distance drivers, such as a radio cassette player and… not much else.

    More information
  • PCyC Conference 25-01-18

    The devil is in the local detail

    Last night I felt a little like the proverbial Daniel entering the lion’s den. I was taking part in a sustainable transport debate at the University of Plymouth at the invitation of the Plymouth Cycling Campaign.

    More information
  • Dionne

    Driving with a baby on board

    This week’s blog is from guest author Dionne Wilsher, who writes about her experience of driving for the first time with her new born daughter in the car.

    More information
  • 608057421_1280x720satnav

    Can you see where to go and where you’re going?

    A police officer recently tweeted that the only legal place to mount a satnav is on the bottom right hand corner of the windscreen of a car. The tweet was taken down fairly quickly but had been seen by a journalist who has an interest in motoring and raised the question - was the police officer right?

    More information
  • potholes

    As the snow disappears, the potholes emerge

    The snow has come and gone…for now, and the big melt has revealed lots of fresh damage to road surfaces across the nation. If previous years are anything to go by, thousands of drivers will be considering a claim for damage to their car from driving through a newly formed pothole.

    More information
  • 13013570145_82a47ddf3d_b

    I don’t need to tell the DVLA, do I?

    On a recent visit to the medical section of the DVLA offices in Swansea, where I was taking part in a charity advisory day, I learnt that there are a lot of drivers who fail to disclose health problems such as anxiety, cancer, strokes and arthritis to the DVLA.

    More information
  • DSCN1812

    My experience driving through Iceland

    I recently visited Iceland to experience everything from the Golden Circle, the Blue Lagoon to the stunning Ice Caves. When researching excursions online, I realised that the prices including travel from place to place were extortionate, so I was better off just renting a car.

    More information
  • christmas blog

    An exclusive interview with Santa as he passes advanced sleigh test

    This year, Henny Cameron from Northampton Advanced Motorists was able to bag an interview with the man who on one night every December drives around the world bringing gifts and joy to millions, without ever being seen. By whichever name you know him - Father Christmas, St Nick, Santa - read on to find out more.

    More information
  • David Motorcycle Live_V2

    My experience riding a motorbike for the first time at Motorcycle Live

    When I started my position as young driver ambassador I soon learnt that the road safety world is a fairly small one, and you tend to see the same people in different places. As most people know each other, it’s quite a friendly and supportive community where anyone is more than happy to educate you on their respective field.

    More information
  • drink driving

    Six key drink driving learnings from an IAM RoadSmart newbie

    I joined IAM RoadSmart’s Marketing & Communication department recently. I’m in my third week now and have already learnt an incredible amount about driving. As I settle into the team, I’ve been asking the experts lots of questions, including some on issues that, even as a driver of over 2 years, I genuinely wasn’t too sure about.

    More information
  • Awards-Winners

    Now I would walk 5,800 miles and I would walk 5,800 more …

    Last week I attended the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Annual Christmas Awards in London – which before you say, is not just an excuse for a bunch of journalists to have an expensive knees up!

    More information
  • Mature Driver

    Are baby boomers the safest on the road?

    The media enjoy talking about age – everybody’s age matters, except our own of course. We’re always hearing things like “younger drivers are dangerous,” or “older drivers should be taken off the road.”

    More information
  • 7979445278_8421c8c3cb_b

    An L of a change

    It’s often easy to forget as advanced drivers that our journey started, as did everyone else’s, as a learner driver.

    More information
  • Nigel_Mansell_1988_Canada_2

    Who is next to me ...

    You may have read in the past week that Nigel Mansell, IAM RoadSmart President and 1992 Formula 1 World Champion, joined us with his IAM RoadSmart hat on to take part in a feature with The Times and The Sun to offer his advice on driving on the roads over the winter months.

    More information
  • IMG_2451

    Michael's Drive for Improvement, Part 2

    My last blog entry described my journey since passing my IAM test in 1971. In 2015 I’d had a wake-up call, realising my driving skills had slipped badly, and the subsequent few months had been devoted to recovering and improving – all leading to one thing.

    More information
  • IMG_2451

    Michael’s Drive for Improvement, Part 1

    It was something I’d said I would never allow to happen. I’d passed my IAM test in 1971, full of enthusiasm and grand intentions never to let my standards slip. Then someone pushed the fast-forward button while I slept and, like a latter-day Rip Van Winkle, I woke in 2015 in a very different world where driving was not fun but a stressful chore.

    More information
  • P1110878

    Hitting the big 3 -7

    There’s something extremely bland about turning 37. With the much-celebrated big 4-0 still well beyond the horizon, 37 is a beige age, possessing only the dubious honour of being ‘the beginning of your late 30's.’

    More information
  • M25_Motorway,_Near_Merstham_-_geograph_org_uk_-_1165399

    Learners on motorways – instant success or slow burner

    Government announcements – don’t you just love them? Well, yes and no. Yes, in that they bring IAM RoadSmart loads of media coverage, and no, because the latest came out at 10.30 on a Saturday evening – not easy to plan for! The latest was an important announcement about the long touted idea of allowing learners on motorways. We had already supported the concept in a consultation reply many months ago and it was good to see the government adopting all the recommendations we liked.

    More information
  • 3221242_0c911e64

    For the love of bikes

    I started motorcycling when I was 14, back in the ‘60s! Not on the road, but on our private farm lane and in the fields. With a group of friends I bought and sold British bikes for £5-£15 … those same bikes would be worth thousands today!

    More information
  • BMW_i3_charging_port

    It’s electrifying! Life with a BMW i3

    I was thinking the other day as I drove out of BMW Park Lane in an i3 I get all the bad jobs. Straight out into the traffic on Park Lane, the perfect place to develop your skills in relation to regenerative braking and virtual one pedal driving.

    More information
  • 7836578354_3ba4a65c02_b

    Diary of a newcomer

    Two years ago I started a new job which required me to travel each week as far south as Bath, as far north as Glasgow and as far east as Newcastle. This was a significant change for me and although I had always enjoyed driving, I quickly became aware that the statistical likelihood of having an accident had increased and was looking for some way to counter balance this and bring my risk back down to normal.

    More information
  • 74267002_dad8d73208_z

    I never take drugs and drive – really?

    What does having your driving licence mean to you? For me it represents freedom and independence; making it easy to get to the places I want or need to go to without having to deal with the restraints of public transport.

    More information
  • 541559349_1280x720

    Relaxed or de-skilled – what does automation hold for the driver of the future?

    I read an excellent report recently from the TRL Academy - Transport 2020: Addressing future mobility needs which sets out expert views on many of the challenges for society as we move towards more autonomous and connected vehicles. The report poses lots of questions – for many it will take several years before we have a definitive answer.

    More information
  • Foiling-Motorcycle-Suzuki-Gsx-r-Gixxer-1074948

    The birth of Tel’s tours

    I was chatting the other day about my first ever motorcycle trip to Europe, it was a big adventure being allowed to stay away overnight and spend all day riding around in a group of friends.

    More information
  • 4478993066_0a744052ca_z

    Emissions explained

    On 1 September two important, and complementary, changes to car fuel economy and exhaust emission figures took effect. The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, or WLTP for short, and the Real Driving Emissions test, RDE, were both introduced.

    More information
  • drink-driving-808790_960_720

    How would you know if you were fit to drive the morning after drinking alcohol

    The drink-driving conviction of television presenter Kirsty Gallacher has brought this issue into the spotlight, sadly at great cost to her, even though it appears that she did everything right the night before, taking a taxi home and planning to collect her car the next day. However, well into the following day, she was still found to be significantly over the alcohol limit.

    More information
  • 20170621_214904

    Biker Down! My experience

    I travelled down to Weymouth recently to join what I hoped would be an interesting evening - a BikerDown! course.

    More information
  • accident_two cars

    The blame game

    It certainly seems when it comes to car crashes, if there are no injuries the next most important thing to be decided is … who was to blame?

    More information
  • pexels-photo-191238.jpgdownlaod image

    So just who is ‘The Prince of Darkness?’

    Shaun Cronin, IAM RoadSmart regional service delivery manager (Southern) is a fan of that old rocker Ozzy Osbourne and we all know he really is ‘The Prince of Darkness’. However, back when cars were simple and motorcycles leaked oil, there was another man often referred to by this tag - way before black leather and long hair for men was considered in vogue.

    More information
  • fuel-gauge.jpgdownload

    Diesel, petrol and power

    Until comparatively recently, buying a diesel car was seen as good for the environment. Choosing diesel was encouraged by government through tax policies and promoted by car makers because it gave a relatively easy route to achieving the carbon reduction targets set by the EU.

    More information
  • 4628207318_247x174

    Advanced - the way to go

    In 1984 William Smith, Wilts and Bath Advanced Motorcyclists (WaBAM) advanced rider, as a 30-something callow young man bought a “hot hatch.” and thought he was a brilliant driver, and wanted an IAM RoadSmart red motorist’s badge on the grill, to prove it. Here's his story in our latest blog.

    More information
  • shutterstock_520843249.jpgDOWNLOAD IMAGE

    Rules are rules

    Every year IAM RoadSmart comments on the annual casualty statistics when they are published (usually in June), being pleased when the numbers fall and concerned when they stagnate. This year the publication has been delayed until the full tables are published in the autumn. That makes me suspect the news is not good, but that’s just speculation.

    More information
  • Download image2259

    Skyrocketing insurance costs – challenge or opportunity?

    It’s been a bad few weeks for car insurance costs with several stories emerging about record increases in car premiums, up by 11% in the last year according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI). Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research discusses whether the government can help hard pressed law abiding drivers by urgently reviewing the compensation system.

    More information
  • fashion-man-person-handdownload image

    Farewell to Pistons

    The government has given a signal to the car industry that it wants to end all sales of petrol and diesel only cars by 2040. Technically this is perfectly feasible – it doesn’t exclude hybrid vehicles and the industry has 23 years' notice. Volvo has already committed itself to this as a policy from 2020.

    More information
  • bob bloog 2, 3

    A lifetime on two wheels, mostly sunny side up!

    Retirement means different things to many people. To Bob Griffin, advanced rider of Cornwall Advanced Motorcyclists retiring to Cornwall was going to be the opportunity to take a lifetime’s passion for biking to new heights.

    More information
  • pexels-photo.jpgdownloads

    Hydrogen cars: the greatest challenge?

    Today, all sorts of engine technologies are fighting for prominence. There has been major development in battery powered cars, hybrids and plug in hybrids. Diesels have become ever more efficient and cleaner (yes, really) and petrol engines now rival diesel for fuel efficiency, at least on some types of journeys.

    More information
  • Sarah Sillars 1 grn_for 2

    The direct approach

    What is the point of being an advocate for change if it is being done behind closed doors? Sometimes you have to be direct and send your message out far and wide to make it succeed. And since our aim is so critical - to help drive down the number of people killed or serious injured on UK roads - this is exactly what IAM RoadSmart is aiming to achieve with our recently published manifesto.

    More information
  • c86a7ed3-a3f3-4c82-8cc8-c15a929eda3f

    TV Tales – The Camera Never Lies…?

    I hope you have noticed IAM RoadSmart on the TV during 2017. We have been very successful in getting our spokespeople onto BBC News and Sky News as spokespeople, and also onto other shows promoting our work as a road safety charity.

    More information
  • Eddie + model.jpgdo

    A driving ambition – Life on the road after strokes

    Edward Ruskin has been fascinated with cars and motorcycles from the age of 17. He took up driving lessons and passed first time and that started it. He had a brilliant driving instructor who luckily gave him some advanced type of training before he had even passed. And he celebrated passing by buying a motorbike (he never seemed to do the normal thing!).

    More information
  • LMS 1  2017 05 04.jpg download image

    IAM RoadSmart at The London Motor Show

    On Thursday 4 May 2017 Eloise Peabody-Rolf, IAM RoadSmart's younger driver ambassador headed up to Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park to the London Motor Show (LMS). As part of the events and activities planned for our 2017 Year of the Observer initiative, our hard working observers, examiners and group officials had been invited to attend a VIP Drinks Reception on the Thursday evening, the LMS’s opening day, and was delighted to be there as part of the IAM RoadSmart team.

    More information
  • old driver blog

    The Butterfly Effect

    There have been a number of highly publicised incidents involving older drivers in the last few weeks. Although these cases are very tragic, it would be harmful for us as a society to take these incidents, out of proportion. We highlight why.

    More information
  • imagery11IMG_3496bfree

    Times change and so do some practices.

    Sometimes when things change they do so loudly and with a great deal of publicity, with government announcements about policy change, or new laws. We’ve changed all sorts of things, that way – introducing seat belt wearing would be an excellent (if old) example.

    More information
  • fashion-man-person-handdownload image

    The offside rule

    I'm more of a rugby man than football in truth but my true interests are in motorsport and motorcycling in all its various guises. In field sport the offside rule is often discussed and is the subject of numerous video replays each weekend at sporting fixtures.

    More information
  • 2000px-Lplate_svgDownload image

    Driving in the 21st century

    If you didn’t know the Practical Driving test is changing on December 4th 2017. The intention is to make the driving test similar to “real life”. I am sure most of you have heard people say: “you learn to drive after passing your test”. These changes will make the test more realistic to the candidate demonstrating that they are ready to face driving in today’s modern driving conditions.

    More information
  • Nigel_Mansell_2007[1]download image

    A high - tech brain for a high tech car?

    With the Formula 1 season having just started, all eyes were focussed on all the technological changes that have been brought in for the 2017 season. Many were worried in case the changes reduced the quality of the racing or made running a Formula 1 team too expensive.

    More information
  • Downlaod image

    Drugs and driving, drivers under the influence are easy to spot, right?

    I recently came across some stats regarding drug driving convictions and noticed a worrying trend starting to appear. This led me to wonder why this could be happening and if the wider driving community is clear on new laws governing this area.

    More information
  • imag3e downlodd

    Road safety is child’s play

    Aside from IAM RoadSmart and Tottenham Hotspur, one of my pleasures in life is buying and selling vintage toys and games, and every now and then my work and leisure worlds collide (not the best word to use I guess!)

    More information
  • 15104006386_1bf6bfe96a_b[1]download image

    Autonomous cars: will we let them be autonomous?

    The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee has been considering the implications of self driving cars. One part of their conclusion was this: “…autonomous cars could have negative implications for drivers' competence, making drivers complacent and overly reliant on technology. This is of particular concern in emergency situations, where a driver may react slowly to taking back control of a vehicle.”

    More information
  • cary tyres download image

    Tyred and emotional: why we should tread carefully

    During the course of a week Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards spends his time engaged with professionals and very talented volunteers in the field of road safety. It is easy to forget when surrounded by this peer group that for a lot of us, a car is just a car and the tyres are just at the corners to stop the wheel rims getting scratched on the road.

    More information
  • silverstone Feb 2009 005roy craig

    Falling Standards

    I can't imagine I'm alone in thinking that the standard of driving on UK roads and especially in my own area is so bad as to becoming intolerable. Whilst reading the Bucks Free Press last week, I was astounded at the amount of crash related stories there were, but however it does seem to be any, everyday occurrence.

    More information
  • spring-276014_960_720[1] download image

    Has Spring Sprung?

    Personally I am looking forward to the clocks springing forward an hour to take advantage of longer daylight hours – with a new dog in the family being able to get out with him after work is much more fun in the daylight. Does changing the hour have a positive effect on road safety though? – Well yes, I believe it does.

    More information
  • unspecifiedman in suit download image

    Time for a sharp Brexit…?

    I drive a car. A car from a European manufacturer that builds lots of cars. Lately, my car has taken on certain stereotypical characteristics akin to its place of birth. It’s defiant (absolutely no need for all of the electrics to work properly), it’s passionate (about guzzling tyre tread at an alarming rate) and it’s suave; given a clean it looks pretty good and gives the impression, albeit falsely in this case, of a real mover.

    More information
  • makeup download image

    I’m just trying being cool

    I was told when I was little that your face should be seen as a statement piece. Now I don’t want to expose the little birdy that told me this, so I’ll end this here but I can’t help and believe that this affects many people even subconsciously as this is becoming more and more reflective of how we operate in society.

    More information
  • car-light-85977download image

    I have seen the light

    A recent enquiry about headlight dazzle got me thinking about how lights have developed since the days of my old BMC Mini. The at best flickering yellow glow the front end of my old friend was made even worse by a wiring malady which, despite the best efforts of a number of ‘auto sparks’ and talented workers (in their own eyes), was never cured.

    More information
  • 3054900_ea28a153downloadimage

    Are we all in it together, or just why do average speed cameras work so well?

    I write this after having driven up and down the longest average speed camera equipped road in the UK (and possibly the world), which is the A9 from Dunblane to Inverness. IAM RoadSmart is a member of the A9 safety group; we normally meet at the southern end but this time round we were in Inverness, giving me the ideal opportunity to see the entire system in action again.

    More information
  • car-1865856_960_720[1]download

    Older, wiser and driving for love: diary of an advanced driver

    I took my first advanced driving test in September 1976 at the age of 30. I had thought about doing this for so long as I was a professional driver at the time but like so many people I thought: “Why should I volunteer for this when I have a license to drive?” I did however want to prove that I could drive better than. Mr. Average and be able to discuss the finer points of driving with at least some authority.

    More information
  • rod at 3download image

    My life starts once I’ve got there

    If you didn’t already know, I really love cars. There is a picture of me age three at my parents’ house taken by a professional photographer where I am pointing at something off camera. Years later when I asked them what I was pointing at, they said: “You were pointing at a toy car on the window sill,” – and I wouldn’t stop pointing at it. Eventually the photographer gave me the car!

    More information
  • Downlaod image

    Drug-driving: high time we took note

    When individuals purchase psychoactive substances, there is usually little or no information at all provided about what the ‘high’ contains. In fact many cases present in A&E are difficult to treat for this very reason. If you do not know what you have taken, how can you know how it will affect you?

    More information
  • karencanner blog image

    Commemoration to my father

    We are encouraging our members to write blogs for us, letting us know the reasons behind them taking the advanced test. Karen Canner of Birmingham Advanced Motorists shares the story behind her taking her test to honour her late father, Sergeant Ron Hardwick (formerly West Midlands Police) who taught her to drive over 30 years ago to the standard of Roadcraft.

    More information
  • suit driving

    “Why this car is automatic, it’s systematic, it’s hydromatic, why its grease lightning”

    John Travolta couldn’t have sung it any better way back in the late 70’s, there he was talking about driving an automatic car in a systematic way. That’s what I think now I know about a little book called Roadcraft. Are you singing the tune in your head now? Yes, me too.

    More information
  • Sarah Sillars 3 grn 33

    Making an impact

    Whilst 2016 was an eventful year for many companies, for IAM RoadSmart it was a mammoth year! We implemented a huge change programme, one which will enable growth in the business and moreover enable us to achieve our mission to make better drivers and riders. Rebranding from The Institute to Advanced Motorists to IAM RoadSmart, launching our new web site, and moving our headquarters from Chiswick to Welwyn Garden City have made for a busy year, and there is room for even more growth and development in 2017.

    More information
  • mobile-1209058_960_720download image

    Don’t be a ‘tweet’ behind the wheel

    I am a big advocate of social media. My job revolves around planning and executing social media campaigns, so it’s quite hard not to be! However, I am also a strong believer of maintaining a safe and healthy balance.

    More information
  • pexels-photo-242276[1]download image

    Road safety as a business

    IAM RoadSmart is about to carry out a survey with the business driving community to find out more about how they manage their fleet and driver risk, including how they stay compliant with regulations and the law.

    More information