When did you last test your brakes?
We all know about the standard ‘brake light bulb’ and ‘after-you-drive-through-water’ brake test, but seriously; when’s the last time you put your money where the manufacturer’s mouth is and really stomped on the stop lever? What happened?
Did you get more than you bargained for?
Richard Bremner of Autocar Magazine makes an interesting point in his article on the Autocar blog ‘Notes from a 10-car motorway pile-up’
A friend of mine had an accident recently, being part of a 10-car pile-up on the M1 one Saturday morning. Impressively, given that all 10 cars were doing around 70mph when their panic-braking began, everybody walked away…
My friend’s was car number three in the train of destruction, which was triggered by somebody undertaking and surprising the lead car, which my mate reckons may have been slow to react. But when its driver did brake it was hard enough to trigger his car’s emergency brake assist, prompting an older supermini without this feature to bury its nose beneath its tail, aided by the impact of my friend’s car hitting it too. My mate was hit by the car behind, and another seven cars followed that. Which was enough to close the motorway.
If you needed to stop in a hurry, you’d be glad of all the help you can get, but do you know exactly how your car will respond?
It’s important to make sure that you know how your car does what it does so that you in turn know what to ask it to do. For those of us who remember learning to drive in cars fitted with brakes which felt like you were pushing a rubber brick on to the tarmac directly, modern cars can surprise you with the level of braking available at the pedal.
Progressive power and feel are not necessarily the manufacturer’s prime consideration when deciding how to market a vehicle, as outright stopping distance is much easier to measure and use in sales marketting.
But of course you’ll be concentrating 100% on the car and the road ahead, anticipating the conditions to come, at one with your machine, not concentrating on anything or anyone else at all…
Distractions? What distractions?
Picture courtesy of The Daily Mail
The biggest distraction to drivers isn’t their cell phone, but their children claims recent research…Over a 16-minute car ride, drivers with kids in the car looked away from the road for an average of 3 minutes and 22 seconds – 21% of the time...According to Australian researchers AAA that means kids are twelve times more distracting while driving than talking on a cell phone.
Picture courtesy of ctvnews.ca
Picture courtesy of turnstylenews.com
The Safe Shoe survey by insurers Sheilas’ Wheels found 86 per cent of women admitted wearing unsuitable footwear while driving… As part of their awareness campaign, Sheilas’ Wheels have launched the Sheila Driving Heel, shoes with a retractable heel for driving.
If your car needs a service, if you want an MOT or if you just need help fitting a hands-free device or a bluetooth – enabled car radio, we can fit you in to our workshop and service centre in Oswestry, Shropshire.
Alternatively if you want Land Rover brake pads or discs, give us a call or visit our webshop, www.mcdonald4X4.co.uk
This post was written by Rupert Astbury