Thursday, 28 June 2012

New Suspension Rules For Driving Instructors Introduced

The UK government is to introduce new rules to protect learner driver insurance holders from driving instructors who are believed to pose a major risk to the public.

The new legislation was proposed in Parliament earlier this month as the current government believes that further efforts must be made to prevent road incidents.

Mike Penning, Road Safety Minister believes that the majority of driving instructors meet the high levels of practice required by the industry; however, there are rare cases when individuals do not meet the necessary standards. It is believed that these people pose a threat to themselves and others.

Mr Penning commented: “The vast majority of instructors meet the extremely high standards we require of them, but in the very rare cases where an instructor presents a significant danger to the public, it is right that we take prompt and effective action to protect learners and other road users.”

Under current law it takes an absolute minimum of 45 days to ban an instructor from being paid to teach learner drivers. As of 13th July this is set to change and the registrar of approved driving instructors is to be given powers to suspend instructors with immediate effect - both fully qualified registered instructors and those who are still trainees.

The registrar will also be given the power to suspend instructors who may have been convicted of a violent or sexual offence.

In spite of this driving instructors will be given the right to appeal against the ban. In addition to this they are within their rights to apply for compensation to cover any money they may have lost during their suspension.


Young Drivers Are Unfairly Discriminated Against

According to one comparison website* young drivers are not discriminated against - "they are just inexperienced."

Well - when I first read that my instant reaction was "What?!" It's one thing saying that young drivers are inexperienced but it's quite another thing to say that they are not being discriminated against... when they are.

A standard young driver's car insurance premium tends to be calculated based on a variety of factors. These include:

• Where the young driver lives (i.e. postcode)
• How old they are
• How long they have been driving for
• Gender (changes Dec 2012)
• Type of car they want to insure (i.e. engine size)

All of these aspects are based on a stereotypical picture put together by the insurance firm.

Stereotyping by its very nature is unfair and discriminatory. For example, it's like saying that every 17 year old male driver who lives in Billaracy, Essex and drives a Citreon Saxo is a boy racer... Ok, I know there is a joke here somewhere but I'll restrain myself.

But I am digressing... the point is young drivers do tend to be discriminated against. I accept the fact that they are inexperienced motorists but that doesn't automatically make them bad drivers... does it?

Well here at iKube we like to think otherwise - which is why we base our young driver insurance ratings on other factors as well.

We provide what's known as "black box car insurance". The policy is rated in a similar way to a standard insurance policy; however, we add a discount to the policy as long as the young driver agrees not to drive between 11pm - 5am (the red hours) as this is the most dangerous time to drive.

Is that a big ask? It won't suit every young driver but we believe it's perfect for people who don't need to drive late at night. We don't restrict you on mileage (like some) and we won't increase your premium if you do drive after 11pm. We understand that in some cases it's necessary (like in an emergency) - what we will do is simply charge you £100 if you do. Just think of it as a deterrent to keep you off the road during the riskiest time - it's about keeping you safe and your premiums low.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Summer Driving – Limiting Motoring Dangers For Young Drivers

With warmer weather closing in more and more of us will be taking to the road, however, it's important to be aware of the risks the hot weather could pose.

With winter and cold weather behind us (hopefully) and the summer months up-ahead It's all too easy to become lapse in driving safety.

We've put together a quick list of things to be aware of whilst driving in the summer:

1. Young drivers insurance
It's important to make sure the cover you get is the right young drivers insurance for you. For example, we use black box insurance technology to record data about your driving style. By driving with care you could be rewarded with substantial discounts at renewal. iKube also gives young drivers the ability to monitor their own driving style online so that you can adapt your technique to become a safer driver.

2. Limit the number of passengers you have in your car
It stands to reason that passengers can be quite distracting and, as a young driver it may be easier to simply limit the number of people you carry when you're driving around.

3. Turn off your mobile phone whilst driving
Using a mobile phone whilst on the road, whether you're phoning, texting or tweeting, is a risky business. So either switch off your phone or set it to silent and stick it in your car’s glove box, out of sight.

4. Learn about basic car maintenance
It's worth learning a little about car maintenance - even if it's just checking the oil and fluid levels and how to top them up. If you're unsure about anything there are plenty of resources available online or simply ask someone you trust to teach you some basics.

Friday, 8 June 2012

British Drivers Becoming More Polite?!

Young drivers could be in for some good news as; according to a recent poll British motorists are becoming far nicer on the roads.

Let me just say that again. "British" motorists are becoming far "nicer" on roads.

Incredibly it's true... at least if you believe the CarCraft / Opinion Matters survey carried out of over 2,000 drivers. If this is true then accidents and claims on young drivers insurance could reduce.

I can't say this is in-line with what I've seen when on the road, however, for the benefit of our readers I'll hold on to my opinion until the end.

Let's take a look at what the study revealed:

1. Over a third of motorists "smile" at other motorists when they're cutting lanes or pushing in queues.

2. Only 3% get angry and swear when getting cut up... the older generation (aged 45 – 54) tend to be the worst culprits when it comes to this behaviour.

3. Perhaps unsurprisingly motorists over the age of 55 smile the least of all age groups.

4. Women are more willing to use charm techniques than men.

5. Around 60% of motorists are willing to wait in traffic until it starts to flow, however, a quarter look to find an alternative route.

In addition to all of this only a minor few actually admitted to cutting queues and lane jumping... but then how many people will actually admit to this type of behaviour and how many do it without realising they've done it?

If true this could spell good news for young drivers taking to the road for the first time. As motorists become nicer and more patient on the roads the risk of accidents could well be reduced – in turn reducing the number of claims made on young drivers insurance.