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News Report Page 9 of 18
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Warning to Brits who are unknowingly dangerous driving caused by "lucky" rituals

NEW research reveals drivers are putting themselves, passengers and pedestrians at risk practising superstitious rituals to avoid bad luck. With 43% of motorists admitting to being superstitious, common customs such as:- saluting a magpie and travelling with a lucky mascot could see drivers face hefty fines; or worse!

A new study by CarStore, the new way to buy, sell or service a used vehicle, has revealed that Brits are going to extreme lengths to avoid bad luck on the roads; which ironically is putting them in danger and at risk of incurring hefty fines.

The most common rituals practised by drivers, as found in a survey of 1,000 drivers, have been revealed to be more trouble than they're worth, breaking the Highway Code or encouraging dangerous driving.

These include:-

Saluting to a magpie; practised by 36% of drivers; can be the cause of dangerous driving. It's illegal to drive without both hands on the wheel at all times, according to rule 60 of The Highway Code, with only a few exceptions; such as changing gears.

Raising your feet while crossing a bridge or railway track; an unusual tradition that 9% of drivers admit to doing, which could prevent a driver from initiating an emergency stop or decelerating/accelerating out of danger.

Honking your horn before entering a tunnel; a ritual that a surprising 15% of drivers admitted to; the Highway Code is very clear on the purpose of vehicle horns in rule 112, and states that they are only to be used to warn another road user of your presence.

Keeping trinkets or lucky mascots in/on your vehicle, such as hanging lucky dice off the rear view mirror; like 18% of drivers; could land drivers with 3 penalty points if they do not have a full view of the road and traffic ahead, or proper control of the vehicle.

Holding your breath while driving through a tunnel; shockingly practised by 16% of drivers; this could, on rare occasions, lead to a driver passing out or even an irregular heartbeat, particularly if you have pre-existing medical conditions. The UK's longest tunnel, the A3 Hindhead, is 1.4miles; meaning a minimum of 1 minute holding your breath, depending on traffic!

Mark Akbar, Managing Director at CarStore, shares his top tips for staying safe on the roads; with no need for luck:-

Swot up on the Highway Code; particularly if you've been driving for a long time; it's updated regularly, and the new and revised rules might surprise you! Among the recent updates is the inclusion of the:- "Dutch Reach," the safety practice whereby drivers and passengers use the hand furthest from the door to exit their vehicle. A shocking 21% of accidents are caused by careless driving, so it's important you keep up to speed with any changes.

Check the weather conditions before you leave home; pouring rain or slushy snow can feel unlucky on the best of days, especially if you have plans, but it also makes for dangerous driving conditions, putting drivers at risk of hydroplaning or damaging their vehicle; or a nasty accident.

Utilise an app, such as Google Maps or Waze to plan your rout; or listen to the local radio Station before you set off so you're aware of congestion and accidents. Delays can frustrate road users, having a knock on effect to their ability to calmy control a vehicle. But don't forget; using a device whilst driving can result in a fine of up to £1,000 or a whopping 6 points on your licence, so be sure to do so before you set off!

Remember the best way to keep yourself, your passengers and other road users safe is to regularly MOT and service your vehicle, and ensure you are buying a safe car in the 1st place. Vehicle faults cause 2% of road accidents every year; which might sound like a small number, but these are often avoidable.

For information about CarStore visit:- Carstore.Com.

Failing to reform puts industry recovery at risk

RESPONDING to the RMT's successful ballot for industrial action, the rail industry has set out why reform is necessary to securing the long term future of the railway, having received over £16bn since the beginning of the Pandemic to keep the railway running and passenger numbers dropping to 4% overnight.

This huge sum; equating to nearly £600 per household; leaves taxpayers out of pocket. With passenger numbers at around 75% of pre Pandemic levels and many travel patterns changing for good, the Government cannot continue to commit to increased levels of funding for the industry indefinitely.

Any industrial action organised by the RMT leadership risks disrupting passengers, damaging the economy and hitting recovering business. Train companies have already been working hard to put in place contingency plans and will do all they can to keep people and goods moving in the event of industrial action.

Commenting on the ballot announcement, Rail Delivery Group Chair, Steve Montgomery said:- "Our railways must adapt to attract more passengers back and reduce our running costs. It is not fair to ask taxpayers to continue to shoulder the burden when there are other vital services that need public support. Nobody wins when industrial action threatens to disrupt the lives and livelihoods of passengers and businesses and puts the industry's recovery at risk. We urge the RMT leadership to behave responsibly, and to talk to us to find a way to avoid damaging industrial action and secure the long-term future of the industry."

On pay, RDG Chair Steve Montgomery said:- "Every business wants to support its staff and the railway is no exception. All train operators want to offer their staff a pay rise and are working hard to make that happen. But, as an industry, we have to change our ways of working and improve productivity to help pay our own way; the alternatives of asking taxpayers to shoulder the burden after Government has contributed over £16bn to the industry during covid or asking passengers to pay even higher fares when they too are feeling the pinch, simply isn't fair."  

The ending of franchising and a move to a new contracting approach by the Government gives a unique opportunity to build a simpler, better railway that supports the country's economic recovery and drives growth and prosperity in every part of Great Britain. Prolonged industrial action would put the economic recovery at risk.  

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