in the driving seat
........ Reveal more Information
No longer content
with sitting in the passenger seat, map in hand and checking their
looks in the wing mirror, the modern woman prefers to see herself
as one of those Thelma and Louise style Peugeot chicks on the road
to nowhere or the wild woman who throws her man's belongings out
the window for having the cheek to drive her beloved Fiat Punto.
Either that or they believe that "size matters" like Renault with
their nifty Clio.
Well the facts
speak for themselves ladies. With women forking out 12 billion pounds
in the motor market each year, women now buy 50 per cent of all
new and used cars. And it seems our numbers on the road can only
At the moment
there are five women learning to drive for every three men and,
already, one major city, Edinburgh, has got into gear with its female
only driving school, the Ladies School of Motoring. So the next
time your bloke sniggers at stories of women taking half an hour
to get into a car parking space you could fit a bus in, just tell
him that "size matters".
Fed up of being
bamboozled by a mechanic in greasy overalls blinding you with car
jargon? Well, you're not alone. More than half of British women
think they get worse treatment than men at garages and 90 per cent
admit to not knowing their fuse box from their battery, according
to the 1999 Lex Report on Motoring.
It found that
most women don't feel confident about doing even the simplest maintenance
jobs, such as checking tyre pressure, topping up oil or changing
the battery. This may be why garages find it so easy to rip you
the customer and it's your money they're after. If you feel you're
being patronised go elsewhere. Always shop around for a better deal
and don't be pressured into spending money on the spot.
clear of road rage
The best way
for a woman to avoid road rage is to flash a winning smile at the
A survey by
Green Flag, the car breakdown company, said a waved apology to the
wronged driver was the ideal way to defuse a confrontation.
While road rage
incidents occur less than you think, it is best to be prepared,
said a Green Flag spokesman. The survey suggests keeping stress
levels low by being polite and courteous, even when other drivers
do, don't allow yourself to be provoked or answer back.
If you are
followed, drive to the nearest police station or busy place such
as a garage forecourt and call for help. Drive with your door locked
at night in busy urban areas and keep the sunroof closed in areas
where you feel uncomfortable.
Young men are
twice as likely as women to be involved in an accident when they
are overtaking, according to an AA road safety report. However,
the difference diminishes as age increases.
79 per cent
of women say that if they and their partner are in the car together
during the day it's him that drives.
What if you
disagree with a Test Result? Do not carry out any repairs to your
If you think it has wrongly failed; you must complete an appeal
form (VT17) obtainable from any MOT test station or the Inspectorate
and return it to one of our offices within 14 working days of
the test along with a full test fee. We will then offer an appointment
within five days to recheck your vehicle. If your appeal is
successful some or all of the test fee will be refunded to you.
has wrongly passed; you must let us know as soon as possible.
We will then offer an appointment within 5 working days to recheck
your vehicle (without charge) provided not more than 3 months
has elapsed since the time of the test for a corrosion defect;
or (The address of your local VI office is displayed in the
MOT test station and can be found here
under HGV and PSV Annual Tests) Is there a problem with your
certificate? Please ring VIs MOT Hotline number on 0845 600
5977. Calls are charged at local rate. If you have lost or damaged
your test certificate:- A duplicate or replacement certificate
can be obtained from the MOT station where it was issued. If
the MOT station is no longer in business your local VI office
may be able to help provided you have details of where and when
it was issued.
The Highway Code applies to all road users: pedestrians, horse riders
and cyclists, as well as motorcyclists and drivers. Many of the
rules in the Code are legal requirements, the breach of which may
mean that you have committed a criminal offence. You may be fined,
given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving
and in the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Although
failure to comply with the Code will not, in itself, cause a person
to be prosecuted, The Highway Code may be used in evidence in any
court proceedings under the Road Traffic Acts to establish liability.
Knowing and applying the rules contained in The Highway Code could
significantly reduce road accident casualties thereby cutting the
number of deaths and injuries that occur on our roads every day.
View the Highway Code online at the Department
of Environment, Transport and Regions website.
If your vehicle
to one side when braking, it is most likely to be a brake fault
or incorrectly inflated tyres. Consult a garage or mechanic immediately
to bounce after pushing down on the front or rear, its shock absorbers
are worn. Worn shock absorbers can seriously affect the operation
of a vehicle and should be replaced
of anything unusual such as burning rubber, petrol or electrical;
investigate immediately. Do not risk a fire.
engines or fire
Most engines are water cooled. If your engine overheats you should
wait until it has cooled naturally. Only then remove the coolant
filler cap and add water or other coolant. If your vehicle catches
fire, get the occupants out of the vehicle quickly and to a safe
place. Do not attempt to extinguish a fire in the engine compartment,
as opening the bonnet will make the fire flare. Call the fire brigade.
or use a mobile phone on the forecourt of petrol stations as this
is a major fire risk and could cause an explosion.
When you leave
your vehicle you should remove the ignition key and engage the steering
lock lock the car, even if you only leave it for a few minutes close
the windows completely never leave children or pets in an unventilated
car take all contents with you, or lock them in the boot. Remember,
for all a thief knows a carrier bag may contain valuables. Never
leave vehicle documents in the car.
Fit an anti-theft device such as an alarm or immobiliser. If
you are buying a new car it is a good idea to check the level of
built-in security features. Consider having your registration number
etched on all your car windows. This is a cheap and effective deterrent
to professional thieves.
aid on the road
In the event of an accident, you can do a number of things to help,
even if you have had no training.
1. Deal with danger Further
collisions and fire are the main dangers following an accident.
Approach any vehicle involved with care. Switch off all engines
and, if possible, warn other traffic. Stop anyone from smoking.
2.Get help Try
to get the assistance of bystanders. Get someone to call the appropriate
emergency services as soon as possible. They will need to know the
exact location of the accident and the number of vehicles involved.
3. Help those
involved DO NOT move casualties still in vehicles unless further
danger is threatened. DO NOT remove a motorcyclist's helmet unless
it is essential. DO NOT give the casualty anything to eat or drink.
DO try to make them comfortable and prevent them from getting cold,
but avoid unnecessary movement. DO give reassurance confidently
to the casualty. They may be shocked but prompt treatment will minimise
4. Provide emergency
care Follow the ABC of First aid A is for Airway - check for and
relieve any obstruction to breathing. Remove any obvious obstruction
in the mouth. Breathing may begin and colour improve. B is for Breathing
- if breathing does not begin when the airway has been cleared,
lift the chin and tilt the head very gently backwards. Pinch the
casualty's nostrils and blow into the mouth until the chest rises;
withdraw, then repeat regularly once every four seconds until the
casualty can breathe unaided. C is for Circulation - prevent blood
loss to maintain circulation. If bleeding is present apply firm
hand pressure over the wound, preferably using some clean material,
without pressing on any foreign body in the wound. Secure a pad
with a bandage or length of cloth. Raise the limb to lessen the
bleeding, provided it is not broken.
5. Be prepared
Always carry a first aid kit. You could save a life by learning
emergency aid and first aid from a qualified organisation, such
as the local ambulance services, the St John Ambulance Association
and Brigade, St Andrew's Ambulance Association, the British Red
Cross or any suitable qualified body.
Computerised MOT scheme
You can use the
site to confirm the authenticity of an MOT Certificate issued using
MOT Computerisation or check on the status of a recent test conducted
on a vehicle or request the MOT Test history of a vehicle. You will
receive the response to this request 'on-line' via your Internet
If the vehicle has an old style MOT Certificate that was
not issued using MOT Computerisation, the site will have no record
of the test and any queries concerning the certificate should be
referred to the Vehicle Operator & Services Agency MOT Enquiry Service
on 0870 33 00 444 (calls charged at the national rate - your call
may be monitored or recorded for lawful purposes).
An old style MOT Certificate is completed by hand and is
embossed with the stamp of the issuing testing station.
An MOT Certificate issued using MOT Computerisation is usually
computer generated but may be handwritten under exceptional circumstances.
You may also have been issued with an 'Emergency Test MOT
here for more information and onlineservices