Saturday, 21 May 2016
Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Try to minimise the effects by ensuring your car is clean and dust free and that you operate the air conditioning or ventilation to your advantage, making use of air recirculation where possible.
For anyone who hasn't been diagnosed with hay fever and is feeling under the weather, avoid driving or riding and arrange to see your GP as soon as possible. What you might think is just a slight cold can become a major distraction – so get it checked before it gets worse.
While over-the-counter medicines will help with a runny nose and sneezing symptoms, a lot of these tend to contain codeine, which can blur vision and make you feel drowsy – check with your GP what the best course of action is.
Your GP may advise you to take anti-histamines to control the symptoms, but make sure you take the non-drowsy ones. If you're unsure, read the leaflet or speak to your pharmacy for more advice.
If you need to get somewhere but don't feel well enough to drive or ride then see if someone you know can take you and drop you back. Whatever you do don't take yourself - you may just end up sneezing and travelling up to 50ft with your eyes closed and losing control of your vehicle!
Richard said: "If you are stopped by the police after taking a hay fever remedy and driving whilst impaired you could find yourself falling foul of drug driving regulations.
See attached link - https://www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law
"Be sure to check the medication thoroughly and see if it is suitable. But most importantly, concentrate on your route to recovery so you can get back onto the road sooner rather than later."
Saturday, 14 May 2016
Thursday, 12 May 2016
· Other than driving, and motorbike riding my favourite past-time is horseriding. Which has been an interest of mine since I was around 10 years old. So a good 40 years. As well as the IAM, I am also a member of the BHS(British Horse Society) who have similar ethics to the IAM - Safety. Road Safety. The BHS have been campaigning "slow down for horses on the road" for a long time. "Dead Slow or Dead?" is their latest road safety campaign.
The latest statistics from the BHS are horrifying but not surprising.
The launch of the campaign, Dead Slow, follows a number of high profile petitions calling for greater protection for horse and rider on the roads following the injury of horse carriage master Mark Evans and the death of his horse Wil, who was hit by a car in Wales a couple of months ago as he pulled a funeral cortege.
Over 200 horses have been killed on UK roads over the last five years which is a horrific number – along with horse fatalities over 30 riders have also been killed in those road accidents.. Im wondering therefore if there's anyway at all that I can get the IAM to join forces with the BHS in this Road Safety Campaign.
A quote from BHS website: Lee Hackett, BHS Director of Policy, said: "We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road. A lot of people aren't sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and so we have produced a video showing exactly how it should be done.
It's worth remembering that these statistics are just the accidents reported to us, there will be countless others. Almost everyone who rides horses can recount a story about a time they had a near miss on the roads.
We are campaigning for legislative change, but that can take a long time. That is why we are asking for this instant change in behaviour from drivers.
As mentioned earlier, Im a keen driver, motorcyclist and horse rider…and Ive been involved in a couple of road incidents with my horse. One resulted in my horse having chiropractor treatment, as he damaged himself trying to "get away" from two road users who thought it would be okay to sound their horns continually as they approached and went past us. There has been one vehicle in particular, that has been reported to the local police. He drives a Mercedes and when he sees horses, he speeds up and drives past too close. On one occasion he took the trouble to turn his Mercedes around and to drive back fast shaking his fist – which is when we got his registration number this is an elderly gentleman and to be frank, he is dangerous.
We ask drivers to pass wide because even the best trained horse MIGHT get "spooked" by something as silly as a squirrel – a horse is a "flight" creature. They are not predators. A great percentage of accidents involving horses and cars, happen because the driver drove far too close to the horse. (I have had cars squeeze past so close ive had to lift my leg a bit to ensure the car didn't get my stirrup scratch it. This happens when driver from behind cant wait for the oncoming car to come past so they try to overtake the horse instead.
We don't like taking our lives in our hands whatsoever…..we would much rather be riding on bridleways and restricted byways than the road (which is another campaign the BHS are rallying – the re-opening of many Bridleways and other access routes that are not in use. The BHS request that all riders on the road wear Hi Viz – so we can be seen easier. A lot of riders have taken to wearing Head Cams too. These have been very useful in catching a lot of bad drivers.
IAM drivers however, are different from the "norm" as we are more aware of whats going on around us and also what "might" happen – forward planning and forward thinking so we are prepared in case there's a horse or a tractor around the next bend - We drive responsibly, and in keeping with the road and weather conditions. As many drivers as possible should be encouraged to go on Advanced Driving courses from the moment they pass their test.
Always remember, that the child on the pony on the road ahead of you, is someones little sister/brother, daughter/granddaughter……..
I hope as many of you as possible will help us to change the way drivers react to horses on the road, by maybe encouraging your local councils to re-open bridleways and also to encourage more people to take their Advanced Driving Test.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
Take some time out to familiarise yourself with the rules and laws of the country you'll be travelling to. The European Commission's website has everything you need to know about differing regulations across continental Europe: http://bit.ly/1fUlidw.
Don't forget to register your driving licence details beforehand: http://bit.ly/1Mes73Q. Register up to 72 hours before you travel.
Upon collection, give the car a thorough inspection. If you spot any signs of wear and tear, damage to the bodywork, windscreen or wheels inform the rental company. If you're still not 100% happy, don't be afraid to ask for another vehicle.
Keep some handy telephone numbers with you – particularly of a breakdown recovery service in case of an emergency. And should you inadvertently find yourself on the wrong side of the law, the Foreign Office has some useful information about what you should do: http://bit.ly/1giXBwX.
Pack your sat nav and programme in your destination beforehand. But don't forget to switch off any speed camera information as it is illegal to use in many countries.
Richard said: "It's an easy one to overlook, when you're trying to fit your suitcases in the car and the kids need the loo. Again, always check the boot before you drive off. Some countries require a warning triangle by law. Others a high-vis jacket. Do your homework so you know what you need. And make sure you're given it.
"Also, if you have a smartphone take some pictures of all four sides of your hire car beforehand – this can be useful evidence if any damage claims arise. Have a read of the small print in the hire agreement so you know exactly what is covered, who can drive and what the excess will be. Most importantly, enjoy the drive – happy travelling!"
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Congratulations to David Clark, Sarah Lewis and Roland Parrott who have recently passed their Skill for Life challenge.
David, Sarah and Roland attended this months session to pick up their certificates from Chairman Linda Davies. David explained to our current associates that he wasn't sure at first what he'll gain from an Advanced Driving course. He went on to say that he found it most enjoyable and has helped improve his driving. Sarah's goal was to gain confidence on the road and practiced all the time to gain that confidence to pass the test. Roland took our alternative course, who found it helpful and enjoyable.