Vehicle Tracking Equipment – Part 2

In-Vehicle Monitoring Equipment (Telematics)

Until recently, in-vehicle monitoring equipment required a telematics device, sometimes called a black box to be retrofitted in vehicles, which was expensive due to the cost of the physical device and fitting it into the vehicle, however costs were often off-set with local vehicle insurance premiums, and was also seen as way for large transport companies to be able to get insurance that covered young drivers, or higher risk drivers, because of past offences, age or health conditions, and controlling who to blame culture.

Recently we have seen Smartphone App developments, which monitoring technology is provided as an app on a smartphone , which also helped to reduce cost because it does not require a physical device to be installed in a vehicle. As well as delivering the telematics software, apps can also deliver the feedback about the driving recorded by the software.

However, delivering the telematics function with an app requires the phone to be switched on while the vehicle is being driven, which may tempt some drivers to use it for other purposes while driving. The risk can be mitigated by making it clear to the driver that they should not use the phone while driving and making sure they understand that the monitoring technology will detect if they do so, and report this to the insurer. A driver may choose not to take the phone with them on journeys where they feel their driving may be a lower standard than normal, or to switch it on when they are being carried as a passenger in a vehicle driving by someone else, so the app would record the other person’s driving.


Continue reading “Vehicle Tracking Equipment – Part 2”

Vehicle Tracking Equipment – Part 1

Vehicle engineering has seen significant advances in the past 30 years, with the introduction of improved safety measures such as

  • seat belts
  • airbags
  • anti-lock braking systems (ABS)
  • electronic stability control (ESC)
  • independent vehicle safety testing

Vehicle manufacturers have also invested heavily in the research and development of technology that

  • helps a driver to avoid collision
  • protects the occupants of a vehicle as much as possible in the event of a collision.

More pressure has been put onto Companies, to improve driving, and more detailed reports regarding eco-driving. A lot of companies do have monitoring equipment in vehicles, recording driving behaviours, which may or may not used to your benefit. We also recommend to read about Eco-Driving before reading this article, and more importantly get yourself on one of our Driver CPC courses, where we can teach you to be more efficient, and improve your driving skills, performance, etc

Have you noticed whether the technology in your vehicle has led to a change in the way you drive? Do you feel safer and therefore take more risks?

Do you drive differently in new vehicles that you know have state-of-the-art safety systems and gadgets?

Continue reading “Vehicle Tracking Equipment – Part 1”

Driver CPC – Ecosafe Driving

As a professional driver, you have a responsibility to use your vehicle in a manner that’s sympathetic to the environment. Your company may have tracking equipment onboard recording your driving methods, which you may or may not be aware of.


If you follow the principles of driving with eco-awareness, you’ll become a more environmentally friendly driver.

I’ve been driving years, I don’t need someone to tell me how to drive ECOsafe!!

We all pick up bad habits, and not be aware of, these bad habits can be picked up, and nobody likes to get warnings, for example you transport manager, or worse enforcement authorities. Get yourself on one of our CPC courses, we will help you make your company goals.

  • Your journeys will be more comfortable for you, and you could considerably reduce the amount of fuel your vehicle uses (yes, the cost save you lots on my own car fuel costs), thereby reducing those emissions that damage the atmosphere, as well as saving on fuel costs. You’ll also be setting a professional example to other road users.

Have you received any comments from customers, clients, or even your boss saying “what a professional driver, an example to other drivers, a credit to your company”?

  • One of the main ways to be an ecosafe driver is to plan ahead, so that you’re prepared for potential hazards. Your ecosafe driving instruction will show you the ways in which this is done in practice, while keeping in mind your safety and that of other road users as you’re driving.
  • (E)very time you move off, do so smoothly – avoid harsh acceleration.
  • (C)hange down to the appropriate gear, but wait while speed decreases.
  • (O)n acceleration, try to skip gears where you can.
  • (N)ever leave it to chance – maintain your vehicle in good condition.
  • (O)bserve and keep within the rev counter green zone.
  • (M)inimise brake use – plan ahead and keep monitoring road conditions.
  • (Y)our speed should remain constant when possible.

Continue reading “Driver CPC – Ecosafe Driving”

What Smart about a Smart Motorway?

Yes, our motorways are smart, with pioneering ‘smart’  technology which has been developed to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow, avoiding the need for expensive and often controversial road-widening schemes.

What does it all mean?

A ‘smart’ motorway scheme involves:

  1. Converting the hard shoulder into an additional lane to reduce traffic jams
  2. Installing more cameras to enforce speed limits, and
  3. putting up new warning signs to let drivers know about impending hazards.


The Highways Agency has published a list of smart motorway rules to help us adapt to the new motorways.

On a smart motorway you should:

  1. never driver under a red “X”
  2. keep to the speed limit shown on the gantries
  3. a solid white line indicates the hard shoulder – don’t drive in it unless directed.
  4. a broken white line indicates a normal running lane
  5. use the refuge areas for emergencies if there’s no hard shoulder
  6. put your hazard lights on if you break down.

For more information, check the website below, or get yourself on one of our driver cpc courses and learn first hand from experienced instructors.

Driving Safely at Night


Driving at night is one of the most visually demanding tasks we will encounter. If you experience any problems with driving after dusk you should book an eye examination and discuss this with your optometrist, as they may be able to help.


The issues with driving at night:

Depth perception, ability to distinguish colour, and peripheral vision, are all worse in low-light conditions.

Xenon and LED headlights are becoming more common. They are brighter than conventional halogen headlights. This benefits the driver but can be problematic for people driving oncoming vehicles.

As we age the lenses inside our eyes lose their transparency, which can result in experiencing more glare when driving at night.

Drivers tend to be more tired at night.

Headlights do not illuminate as much of the road as broad daylight.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

Be aware that driver eye care and night-time driving advice applies to all drivers, not just professional drivers, but those attending occasional meetings or running errands too.

Ensure your eyesight is checked not matter how infrequently you drive to work, to ensure your eyesight is good enough for driving.


Try this!

Dim dashboard lights to avoid reflections and having to adjust your eyes from the dark road.

Turn your gaze away from the glare of oncoming headlights.

Keep windscreens and mirrors clean.

Reduce the effects of eye fatigue by keeping your eyes moving, scanning around the field of vision, rather than just focusing on one area.

Never wear dark or tinted lenses for driving at night.

Have your eyesight checked regularly – at least every two years. Eyesight can worsen gradually so changes are sometimes difficult to discern.

Have a look at the latest highway code manual for the latest information regarding our eyesight and driving.







Vehicle towing and loading

Vehicle towing and loading

The Highway Code applies to England, Scotland and Wales and is essential reading for everyone.
Rule 98

Vehicle towing and loading. As a driver

  • you MUST NOT tow more than your licence permits. If you passed a car test after 1 Jan 1997 you are restricted on the weight of trailer you can tow
  • you MUST NOT overload your vehicle or trailer. You should not tow a weight greater than that recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle
  • you MUST secure your load and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously. Make sure any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are secured safely. If there is a collision, they might hit someone inside the vehicle and cause serious injury
  • you should properly distribute the weight in your caravan or trailer with heavy items mainly over the axle(s) and ensure a downward load on the tow ball. Manufacturer’s recommended weight and tow ball load should not be exceeded. This should avoid the possibility of swerving or snaking and going out of control. If this does happen, ease off the accelerator and reduce speed gently to regain control
  • carrying a load or pulling a trailer may require you to adjust the headlights
  • In the event of a breakdown, be aware that towing a vehicle on a tow rope is potentially dangerous. You should consider professional recovery



Driving with a hangover

Driving with a hangover can land you with a criminal record

The new figures show that 58% of people who have four or more drinks on a night out sometimes take the risk and drive the following morning, with only a third (33%) aware that they could still be over the limit.

Even though a drink driving conviction can lose drivers their jobs, the most common reason for getting behind the wheel after a heavy night of drinking was to get to work (37%).

Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said:

Story from the Department for Transport.

Getting behind the wheel after a big night out is a risk that drivers just should not take. Not only are they putting themselves in danger, they also endanger others and their actions can destroy lives.

The safest way to make sure that your Christmas celebrations this year don’t end badly is to wait until you are sober before you think about driving.

Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead says, “The majority of drivers are aware that driving whilst impaired by drink or drugs is not worth the risk, but some do not think about how they will get home or to work the morning after a night out. Thinking ahead about getting home or to work safely the following morning is crucial and potentially if you are driving the morning after drinking you may need alternative travel arrangements. Driving under the influence is never worth the risk to yourself, to your future and to those you could injure or kill.”

On average it takes around one hour for the body to break down one unit of alcohol, meaning it could take as long as 12 hours for the alcohol from four pints of higher strength beer (or four large glasses of wine) to leave your system.

Research suggests drivers are unaware of the dangers, with a third (33%) of people surveyed mistakenly think that drinking water would make them safer to drive, along with sleeping (28%) and eating a large meal (21%).