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Drink driving New to driving Driving in snow The number 999 Ambulance response Police response Revision approach Revision techniques Exam preparation Before the exam The exam itself 4
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Car and road safety
Tiredness Driver tiredness is the biggest killer on our roads, particularly on motorways and other monotonous roads. One in five crashes on these roads is estimated to have been caused by drivers nodding off at the wheel and the ratio of serious injuries is even higher because a sleeping driver doesn’t brake before an accident. Driving at night or during the afternoon dip are the most dangerous times. Some of the things people do when they are feeling tired whilst driving are opening a window, turning up the volume of the radio or just trying to fight sleep off. They don’t prevent sleep, especially the “micro sleeps” of just a few seconds. 6
The Government’s recommendations if you feel tired while driving are:
Drink two cups of coffee or, ideally, a high-caffeine drink. Take a ten minute snooze to give the caffeine time to kick in. If you are still tired don’t drive any further. The advice adds that the effect of the caffeine only last 60 – 90 minutes and the only real solution is not to be tired in the first place.
Some of the things that can be done are:
Get enough sleep – Obvious enough but it is impossible to stop yourself eventually falling asleep if you are shattered. Let people know if you are having trouble sleeping and take it into account when planning journeys. Make sure that any medication you take doesn’t cause drowsiness. Drive carefully and calmly and think about any possible hazards (like the nutter who is swapping lanes and cutting up cars in front of you to get wherever they are going a minute quicker, if they are lucky). It helps prevent boredom if nothing else. Be especially alert on long monotonous roads. Cruise control is a nice technological advance but can make it even easier to fall asleep.
Drink driving The Dangers of Drinking and Driving It is not the aim of this site to play down the risks of drinking and driving. Alcohol and motor vehicles represent a dangerous and potentially lethal cocktail. Although the figures have been falling steadily in recent years, each year in Britain over 400 people are killed in road accidents where excess alcohol is a factor. Thousands more are seriously injured. Being below the legal alcohol limit is no guarantee that your driving ability will not be impaired. At 50% above the limit, your chances of being involved in a fatal or serious injury accident are five times higher than those of a completely sober driver. Twice the legal limit, and that figure rises to twenty times once you have had a few drinks, the only thing that will reduce your alcohol level is time, and plenty of time at that. Your body can only metabolise one unit of alcohol per hour (the equivalent of a half-pint of ordinary strength beer). After a heavy drinking session, you could still be over the limit the following morning, or even much later in the day. 8
There are cases of people being convicted of drink -driving when they had not had a drink for twenty -four hours. Black coffee or hangover medicines might make you feel better, but they will not bring your alcohol level down any quicker. And if you are so arrogant and thoughtless that you couldn't care less about endangering the lives of others, bear in mind that 60% of the deaths in drink-related accidents are of the drinking driver himself. Drinking and driving really does wreck lives, and the life it is most likely to wreck is your own.
New to driving
Once you have passed the driving test you will be able to drive on your own. This will provide you with lots of opportunities but you need to remain safe. Even though you have shown you have the skills you need to drive safely, many newly qualified drivers lack experience. You need to continue to develop your skills, especially anticipating other road users’ behaviour to avoid having a collision. As many as one new driver in five has some kind of collision in their first year of driving. many of the worst collisions happen at night. Between midnight and 6 am is a time of high risk for new drivers. Avoid driving then unless it’s really necessary
if you are driving with passengers, you are responsible for their safety. Don’t let them distract you or encourage you to take risks. Tell your passengers that you need to concentrate if you are to get to your destination safely
never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly don’t drive if you have consumed any alcohol or taken drugs. Even over-the-counter medicines can affect your ability to drive safely - read the label to see if they may affect your driving make sure everyone in the car is wearing a seat belt throughout the journey keep your speed down - many serious collisions happen because the driver loses control, particularly on bends. most new drivers have no experience of driving highpowered or sporty cars. Unless you have learnt to drive in such a vehicle you need to get plenty of experience driving on your own before driving a more powerful car driving while uninsured is an offence. See 'Motor vehicle documentation and learner driver requirements' for information on types of insurance cover
Driving in snow When driving in snow, get your speed right - not too fast so that you risk losing control, but not so slow that you risk losing momentum when you need it and brake, steer and accelerate as smoothly as possible. Start gently from stationary, avoiding high revs. If you get yourself into a skid the main thing to remember is to take your foot off the pedals and steer. Only use the brake if you cannot steer out of trouble. Double or even triple your normal stopping distance from the vehicle in front. Drive so that you do not rely on your brakes to be able to stop - on an icy surface they simply may not do that for you! If your vehicle has ABS in very slippery conditions it will not give you the same control it would in others. Do not rely on it. 16
Plan your journey around busier roads as they are more likely to have been gritted. Avoid using shortcuts on minor roads - they are less likely to be cleared or treated with salt, especially country lanes. On motorways stay in the clearest lane where possible, away from slush and ice. Keep within the clear tyre tracks if you can. Stay in a higher gear for better control, and if it is slippery, in a manual car move off in a higher gear, rather than just using first. On a downhill slope get your speed low before you start the descent, and do not let it build up - it is much easier to keep it low than to try to slow down once things get slippery In falling snow use dipped headlights or fog lights to make yourself visible to others (especially pedestrians) - but as conditions improve make sure your fog lights are only on if necessary as they can dazzle other drivers If you are following another vehicle at night, using their lights to see ahead can cause you to drive dangerously close - keep well back from other traffic. 17
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET STUCK IN THE SNOW Hundreds of drivers have been caught out by the weather in recent years. While it can be dangerous there are ways to avoid the worst effects of spending hours in a cold car, miles from anywhere. First of all, make sure you have packed your emergency snow kit. This should include warm clothing, some food, water and a mobile phone. If you are trapped in your car, you can stay warm by running the engine. However, it is vital that the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow. If the engine fumes cannot escape, you could be overwhelmed by carbon monoxide gas, which is highly toxic. If there is any risk the fumes can come into the car, do not run the engine. Even if it is safe, do not run the engine for more than 10 or 15 minutes in each hour. Stay in or close to your car. In heavy snow it is easy to get disorientated and lost or separated from your vehicle. If necessary you can always hang a piece of brightly coloured cloth on your car to let others know you are there.
The number 999 .999 can be used to summon assistance from the three main emergency services, Police, Fire and Rescue and Ambulance, or more specialist services such as HM Coastguard. Calls to the 999 service are free. Calls from the European Union standard emergency number 112 are automatically routed to 999 operators. Introduced first in the London area in 1937, the UK 999 number is the world's oldest emergency call service. The 9-9-9 format was chosen based on the Button A and Button B design of pre-payment coin operated publicpayphones in wide use, (first introduced in 1925), which could be easily modified to allow free use of the 9 digit on the rotary dial, without allowing free use of any other number combination With the introduction of mobile telephones, accidental or "silent" 999 calls have become an increasing problem. Hoax and improper use of the 999 system are also an issue for the service. For these reasons, there are frequent public information campaigns in the UK on the correct use of the 999 system. Alternative three-digit numbers for non-emergency calls have also been introduced in recent years. 101 is used for non-urgent calls to the Police throughout Wales and in a few trial areas in England  . Meanwhile, trials of 111 as a number to access health services in England for urgent but not life-threatening cases began in 2010. 999 is used to contact the emergency services upon witnessing or being involved in an emergency. In the United Kingdom, the numbers 999 and 112 both correspond to the same line, and there is no priority or charge for either of them. 20
An emergency can be: ▪ A person in immediate danger of injury or their life is at risk ▪ Suspicion that a crime is in progress ▪ Another serious incident which needs immediate emergency service attendance On dialling 999 an operator will come onto the line and ask "Emergency. Which service?".Previously operators asked "Which service do you require?" (approximately up to the mid-90s). If the caller is unsure as to which service they require, the operator will default the call to the Police, and if an incident requires more than one service, for instance a Road Traffic Collisionwith injuries and trapped persons, depending on the service the caller has chosen, the service will alert the other services for the caller (while the BT/C&W/etc Operator has to also contact each emergency service individually, regardless of whether the caller has remained on the line). The caller will be connected to the service which covers the area that they are (or appear to be) calling from. On 6 October 1998, BT introduced a new system whereby all the information about the location of the calling telephone was transmitted electronically to the relevant service rather than having to read it out (with the possibility of errors). This system is called EISEC (Enhanced Information Service for Emergency Calls). Previously, the operator had to start the connection to the emergency service control room by stating the location of the operator, followed by the caller’s telephone number, e.g. "Bangor connecting 01248 300 000". It was common for the person calling to be confused as to why the operator was talking to the Emergency service, and the caller frequently talked over the operator. Only around 50% of the EAs (Emergency Authorities) have EISEC, although the number is ever increasing, so, in those cases without EISEC present, the Operator still has to pass their location and the caller's number. The rooms in which operators work are called OAC's - "Operator Assistance Centres". In Wales they are located in Newport and Bangor. 999/112 calls from Mobile phones are usually answered in an OAC in Inverness, Scotland or Blackburn, Lancashire. The rooms in which emergency response operators work are called ECCs - "Emergency Control Centres".
The ambulance service has a national target that states 75% of Category A emergencies should have an ambulance at the scene within 8 minutes of the call. Other ambulance services such as Rapid Response vehicles and Life Cycles help reach this target. The targets also state that 95% of Category B calls should be responded to within the times listed.
(Life Threatening) Category B
Urban - 14 minutes Rural - 19 minutes
There is no national standard for police responses to incidents. Target times for responding to urgent incidents vary between forces, but a typical standard is 10 minutes for urban calls and 20 minutes for rural calls. Non urgent calls are judged on the individual circumstances. They may warrant a response with in a few hours, or a few days, or no response at all. The police also have standards for the speed in which calls are answered. Typically 999 calls will be answered within 15 seconds and other calls will be answered within 30 seconds.
Revision - Approach If you feel it will help you, set a revision timetable, revising certain subjects at certain times. ·
If you feel the need for silence while revising, try to make this possible. ·
If you like to work to music, get some headphones and listen to your favourite album whilst you work. Try to listen to something that is familiar and "one of your favourites" - this will help to put you in a positive frame of mind during your revision - it can also reduce the risk of distraction, under the right circumstances. ·
Make sure you have a break from revision - try to arrange things so that you have a "day off" revising. This will mean when you re-start your revision, you will be a little fresher. ·
Try to revise one section of notes, or one set of topics together. ·
If you have trouble with specific details of topics, at least try to understand the topic generally and try not to get too bogged down with details. If you just choose to "ignore" topics, you may be limiting your options too much when it comes to answering questions - try to gain a broad understanding, as this is often sufficient to answer most or part of a question. (Quite often, details are supplied anyway - you just have to tie them together. 27
Revision - Techniques Try to develop your own technique for revision. Different techniques work for different people and depending on the type of subject being revised, some techniques are more suitable than others. Here are some:·
Read and Memorise.
Summary notes - short version of main notes.
List of keywords for each topic covered, which can act as "triggers" for other ideas. ·
Some kind of diagrammatic representation of notes can be helpful. ·
Revise with a friend or colleague - if possible, exchange ideas during revision - this can be very helpful to both people in understanding topics and building confidence. ·
Questions and Answers - get a friend to ask you specific questions about topics and think up questions to ask your friend. This will test and help to build your own understanding. ·
Make up a set of revision cards - with one main topic per card, each topic listing ideas or information for this topic. You can carry these cards with you and, if you choose, get them out and revise whilst a passenger in a car or on the bus or train, or when queuing somewhere. ·
If possible, ask your teacher or tutor to revise topics you are unsure about and try to get the tutor to help you to fully understand the topic. 30
Exam Preparation Try not to treat the exam as anything other than a normal school or college day, other than that you are doing an exam. Try to follow your normal routine as this will help you relax. ·
Try to think that at least after the exam, you can relax and won't have to do any further revision - this will help you relax before the event too. ·
Get a good night's sleep - do not stay up till "all hours" revising unless you feel this is vital. A final review of topics and a review of your "strong" and "weaker" areas would be best. ·
Take sufficient pens / pencil, rubber ruler etc. Try to use the same pens etc. as you would normally use in class as this too, can be a small psychological booster - just use new pens for "spares". ·
Take a wristwatch or small traveller's clock - make sure any alarms / hourly chimes are disabled. ·
Before The Exam ·
Make your way slowly to your position and sit yourself comfortably.
Make sure you listen very carefully to instructions that are given or any announcements that are made. If anything is unclear, ask questions before you start as this may save you a great deal of time later. ·
Set out your pens / pencils etc. and set up your clock or wristwatch so that you can see it just by looking up and not having to move anything out of the way. ·
Make sure that you have everything necessary - question paper, answer papers, additional sheets etc. Ask the invigilator if something appears to be missing.
The Exam Itself Read all the paper and all the instructions carefully - check that you know exactly how many questions you have to answer and carefully note any constraints such as "Answer 1 question from each section" or "Answer 2 questions from Section A and 1 question from Section B" etc. ·
"Speed Read" the paper to get an idea of what questions are in it but then...
Read each question carefully and thoroughly and make sure you understand what it is asking. Read all parts of the question before deciding whether or not to answer it. ·
Try work out how much time you will need to answer each question, but allow some time for reading / checking at the end of the time. ·
Try to write neatly.
If you are doing mathematical questions always show your working. Simply stating an answer will not get full marks. If you get a question partially correct, and have shown your working, you may be given some marks. ·
Relax as much as possible and try to think clearly and keep confident.
In a given question, concentrate of what you do know rather than what you don't know. ·
Use what you know to maximum effect, but remember to ANSWER THE QUESTION. ·
Do the questions you feel most confident about first (it rarely matters which order you answer questions in). This will help to build your confidence and you may find yourself remembering more things. ·
Sometimes, intense thought whilst answering a question can facilitate understanding. If you find this happening, try to use it to maximum effect. ·
Keep thinking positive and do the best you can. Just answer as much as you can. ·
If, after reading a question, you genuinely feel it is ambiguous or too broadly based, state this in the first part of your answer and explain briefly your reason for trying to answer a question in a particular way. The examiner will then have a better chance of empathising with your answer. ·
Answer the question.
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