Friday, 22 November 2013

Animated Film To Raise Awareness Of Ghost Brokers Amongst Young Drivers

Young motorists are being increasingly targeted by fraudulent companies selling fake car insurance for young drivers.

As a result an animated video warning newly qualified and young drivers of fraudsters has been released as part of a national awareness campaign by the charity Crimestoppers alongside the police and members of the insurance industry.

Check out the video below for more information:

These fraudulent businesses - also known as "ghost brokers", tend to target young male drivers with fake car insurance policies. With over 27.6 million cars insured in the UK last year alone and with new young drivers paying higher premiums many of these ghost brokers are profiteering off their misfortune by offering cheap deals online, in person, restaurants, cafes and even university and college campuses.

The problem with the policies these fraudsters are offering is the fact that young motorists are being exposed to a whole host of problems, including:

 - Driving without valid insurance - which means the young driver is not adequately covered.
 - The car could be seized by the police if it's not covered by a real insurance policy.
 - Young drivers could end up facing fines as well as risk incurring a criminal record.
 - The cost of bills for any damages or injuries if they cause an accident.

Commenting on the problem the Deputy Head of IFED, DI Dominic Parkin stated:

“Ghost broking is a nationwide problem which is now being met by a national law enforcement response. But making arrests and securing convictions is one piece of the puzzle - raising public awareness to prevent the fraudsters from duping young drivers is equally as important."

Here at iKube we recommend that young drivers do their research before buying a policy from any broker - online or otherwise. We work with a panel of insurers including Markerstudy, Equity Redstar, Sabre and Avive to help tailor a car insurance policy for young and learner drivers.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wintery Weather Warning On Driving Dangers

Recent statistics show that over 6,200 reported road accidents occured as a result of ice and snow last winter alone.

As a result we want to remind young drivers of the dangers of driving during the winter months.

In-spite of the fact that snow flurries and severe icy conditions are yet to hit, now is the perfect time to start preparing your car for the wintery weather.

 - Have the right equipment - including battery jumper cables, first-aid kit, spare warm clothing, etc. For more information check out this article: top 10 things to carry in your car during winter.

 - Carry out a check of your car at the start of winter - checking for oil levels, antifreeze, air filter, etc.

 - Defrost your car thoroughly before setting off on an icy day to ensure your windows and mirrors are clear of any ice.

 - Ensure your headlights are in working order. Winter days get darker far earlier than any other time of the year and with thick snow or rain showers it's essential that your vehicle's lights are in good working order.

 - Check your car's battery - checking to ensure the top of your battery is clean, dry and it's terminals are tight and free of corrosion are all important.

 - Drive carefully in strong winds since they can be quite unsettling or even (in extreme cases) move the car around. On a road with other motorists and road users you need to be more aware or others - especially when around larger vehicles such as lorries and trucks.

 - Be cautious when driving in icy or snowy conditions - the best advice is not to risk driving if you don't need to, however, if you do find yourself in this situation you should drive at a reduced speed to help prevent skidding. You should also leave yourself plenty of stopping room in case you need to brake.

 - If you get stuck whilst driving in snow then we recommend clearing the snow from the car's wheels and put a sack or old rug in front of the driving wheels to give your tyres more grip. Once moving it's recommended that you try not to stop until you reach firm ground.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Young Drivers Urged To Look After Their Eyesight

A recent survey undertaken by revealed that young drivers between 18 and 24 were more likely to have issues driving due to bad eyesight when compared to older motorists.

The "Think About Your Eyes" campaign aims to identify poor eyesight on the road.

The report showed that whilst over 50% of motorists over the age of 55 required glasses or corrective lenses when driving compared to just a third of young drivers, around 10% of younger motorists believe that they should probably be wearing glasses when they drive.

Perhaps more worryingly 1 in 7 young drivers are of the opinion that they have put themselves before the safety of their passengers due to eyesight, compared to 1 in 35 motorists over the age of 55.

The report also showed:

  • 1 in 5 young drivers say they have been unable to see road signs when compared to 1 in 20 older motorists.
  • 1 in 7 young drivers struggle to read number plates
  • A third of young motorists have driven onto a roundabout and narrowly missed being hit because they failed to spot the oncoming vehicle.
  • 40% of young drivers admitted to a near-miss because a vehicle came out of nowhere.

Whilst these figures do suggest that young motorists need to consider their eyesight and wear glasses - where appropriate, they also suggest that young drivers are simply less aware of other road-users and need to be more vigilant whilst driving to avoid claims on their car insurance.

With the weather getting colder and the night’s drawing in earlier iKube would like to remind young drivers to stay safe on the road. If you need to wear glasses whilst driving we strongly recommend doing so as you could be putting yourself and others at risk by not doing so.


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Young Drivers Snapping #DrivingSelfies On The Road

Eating, drinking, reading maps, making calls, texting and applying makeup are just part of a growing list of silly things that young drivers do whilst on the road.

According to Fox17 taking a photograph with a mobile phone (aka "selfies") whilst driving is the latest craze to add to the list.

The website has reported that almost 15,000 drivers have uploaded driving selfies to Instagram using hashtags like #drivingselfie, #drivingselfies and #drivingtowork. There are even those who have ironically used #IhopeIdontcrash...

Motoring experts in the US have called for young drivers to see common sense and curb their enthusiasm for selfies whilst on the road. Jackie Gillan, the president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety said:

“Taking a photo of yourself while you’re driving a 2,000-pound vehicle down the road at 50 or 60 miles per hour? That is putting your life in danger and putting the lives of those around you in danger.”

Governments, the police and road safety groups in the UK, US and in other areas of the World have been raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, with mobile phone usage being a primary concern. This includes texting, social media use and making calls whilst driving.

In the UK the Hampshire Constabulary in September this year launched Operation Tramline and detected 227 distracted driving offences in just 5 days! Commenting on this Seargent Paul Dimond, who headed up the operation said:

"Distracted driving is proven to be a significant factor in many of the collisions on our roads. The vast majority were holding phones in their lap and accessing applications or texting with their hands held low – this is incredibly dangerous both for the motorist and for other road users."

There are frequently stories in the press about motorists who crashed into other vehicles as a result of distracted driving, for example, the most recent was a lorry driver on the M25 who crashed into a queue of traffic as he was distracted whilst talking on the phone and checking his SatNav at the time - killing at least one other driver. Another truck driver in Arizona, USA crashed into a number of emergency vehicles, killing one police officer whilst distracted by semi-naked women on his smartphone.

Whilst taking a selfie whilst driving may seem like harmless fun at first it is still distracted driving and a moment's distraction could mean fatal consequences. Our advice – if you have to take a selfie in your car – make sure you’re not driving at the time…