Seat Belt and Head Restraint: Why do we have them?
The purpose of the headrest is to stop your head rotating backwards. In order to set the headrest to you, you want the pointy bit at the back of your head to match up with the middle of your head restraint. The pointy bit is more correctly known as the occipital bone.
Your seatbelt is part of your vehicle’s passive safety system and in modern vehicles, you’ll find a 3 point lap and diagonal system which are specifically designed to contain you within your seat in the event of a collision. In an accident, anyone or thing that is not restrained will be thrown forward at the speed the vehicle was doing at the time of the collision.
If you hit a stationary vehicle at 30 mph anything or anyone not restrained will hit what is in front of them at 30 mph, a terrifying thought! For the driver, this will be the steering column and for passengers in the back, this will be the people in the front. Seat belts are designed to bear upon the bony parts of your body. This means the lap part should be across your pelvis and the diagonal across the chest and shoulder.
When using a seat belt, make sure to give it a tug (every time) to ensure the reels are working. Examine by a feel and a glance for cuts, tears and frays and always check the tongue is secure.
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Breaking Down a Break Down
Have you ever had a breakdown and just weren’t sure what to do? Or maybe you’re worried about breaking down and have no idea how to deal with it. We’ve got you covered.
If you don’t have a breakdown kit in your car, now’s the time to put one together. In ours, you’ll find:
- A warning triangle
- Some warm clothes and a plastic mac
- Spare bulbs and fuses
- Mobile phone charger
- Hi-Vis jacket
- Emergency numbers
- Bottled water and snack bar(s)
Lots of Banks offer breakdown cover with particular accounts, check yours to see if you’re covered. If not make sure you have breakdown cover. It will make your life so much easier!
In the Moment
- If you can, move your car to a safe space. Make sure you’re over to the left as far as possible and try and get those wheels pointing left too.
- Get those hazards on. Let other drivers know that you’re not going anywhere. If it’s dark or foggy, keep your sidelights on.
- Sounds obvious but please stay away from moving traffic! It’s usually safer to get out of the car but leave animals in the vehicle. Be sure to exit the vehicle by the door furthest from the traffic. If you break down on the motorway try and move up the bank or at the very least stand behind the barriers!
- Make sure you’re wearing the reflective/Hi-Vis jacket you have in your breakdown kit.
- DON’T put your warning triangle out if you’ve broken down on the motorway. It’s not safe! If you’ve broken down on a normal road, place your triangle approximately 45 meters behind your vehicle.
- If you’re on a motorway and you don’t have a mobile, run out of battery or have no signal. Walk (carefully) towards to an emergency phone. You can follow the arrows on the posts at the back of the hard shoulder. The phones are free and connect directly to the police. If you have broken down on a normal road and have no phone, walk (carefully) towards a local petrol station, shop etc. and ask to make a phone call. This is when your list of emergency numbers comes in very handy.
- If you are in any way vulnerable i.e. you have a disability, feel in danger from another person or can’t get to a hard shoulder, let the operator know.
ALWAYS act with caution and never put yourself or anyone else in danger. Do NOT try and carry out repairs on a motorway, even small ones. ALWAYS call for help. If you are in serious danger call the appropriate Emergency Services IMMEDIATELY.
The Highways Agency National Switchboard: 0300 123 5000
Emergency Services: 999
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AI Conference at The University of Portsmouth
Thursday 13th June 2019 was the launch of the Intelligent Transport Cluster by The University of Portsmouth. One of our instructors, Liam had the good fortune to attend along with 144 other delegates and had the opportunity to listen to a wide range of speakers covering all aspects of transport.
Various points, by various people, were made concerning AI and transport. Such as:
- We are at a turning point with how the technology will migrate to the ordinary user
- The opinion of this is to crawl, walk…then run
- Technology needs to be smart, efficient and sustainable
- The future will be different from how we imagine it will be
Transport is fundamental to us as people and efficient transport means an efficient economy.
However, technology and transport merging could have a number of problems:
Legal problems are bound to arise, regulation and insurance will most definitely be affected but it seems as though we cannot predict the diverse problems we might incur. Particularly if we’re talking about self-driving cars. Liam is of the opinion that technology may lag behind its capabilities due to courts and legislation.
As an example, an insurance company will at some point be facing a large claim and will want someone else to pay it. Think of the Selby rail crash 2001 caused by a Range Rover. The insurer sued the DoT for part of the £22 million pound settlement.
If the driver is ever expected to take over the vehicle in the event of the unexpected and they are doing nothing on these journeys. How are they going to keep up a level of attention to do so? Will insurance companies offer cover on vehicles where the driver is regularly unable to maintain full attention?
On trains, there is a device called the dead man’s handle. It requires the driver to always be holding it and therefore awake. Telsa have a device that requires you to hold the steering wheel however, other companies sell devices that allow you to circumvent this so you can have a nice sleep.
Which will be inertia and focus. There are already systems in place so why change? Any change will require an investment that goes far beyond the mere physicality of a thing. There will be new routines and behaviours to be learnt. New pecking orders and turf to be established. There will have to be some clearly defined benefits from change.
Will the focus be in the right place? As an example, with traffic flow, would some paint in the road be a better solution than a smart system for monitoring it? Would a dedicated bicycle lane solve a lot of the congestion and air pollution problems?
Ultimately we will have electric vehicles and they will be part of Intelligent Transport Systems. But where should the focus be? How will we solve the problems of now and the future? These questions will get answered by how the budget is set. Put your money where your wheels are.