• What drives British motorists mad?

    New survey shows what really drives British motorists mad

    Driving, it can be the best of times or the worst of times, but in this modern age of congestion and bad drivers it is becoming more frustrating by the day. A new survey by YourParkingSpace into the driving habits of the British has revealed just what drives motorists mad.

    The results showed that people not indicating annoyed British motorists the most, while using a mobile phone and bad parking both featured highly on the list. The survey polled 1,028 drivers throughout the UK asking ‘What annoys you the most about being a car driver in the UK?’ the full results are below:

    1. People not indicating (72%)
    2. Talking on a mobile phone (71%)
    3. Bad parking (56%)
    4. Traffic Jams (52%)
    5. Slow drivers (42%)
    6. Not being able to find a parking space (40%)

    The data also showed that men were more likely to get annoyed by slow drivers, but both sexes found not indicating and talking on a mobile phone to be equally as irritating. Furthermore 40% of drivers polled stated that trying to find a suitable parking space was frustrating.

    Bad parking- grr!

    Bad parking- grr!

    YourParkingSpace wanted to find out more about the issue of parking, so asked those participants who had chosen parking as their most frustrating option how they felt about parking charges in their local area.

    48% stated that they thought that parking charges were too expensive, while 29% said that they were reasonable in their local area.

    What do you think of parking charges in your local area?

    • Parking charges are too expensive – 48%
    • Parking charges are reasonable – 29%
    • Parking is free – 23%

    The data show that parking fee opinions varied greatly depending on location with over 40% of drivers in England stating that parking was too expensive, while only 29% of Scottish drivers felt the same. Coincidentally Scotland seemed to have the highest number of free parking spaces with a third of drivers from north of the border indicating they can park for free.

    Managing Director of YourParkingSpace, Harrison Woods, commented on the survey:

    “It is interesting to look into the psyche of the British driver, to see what they like and what irritates them about driving. People not indicating and using mobile phones when driving are not only irritating to other road users, but also very dangerous, causing accidents and damage as well as breaking the law. “

    He added:

    “One thing that didn’t surprise us was the fact that 40% of motorists become frustrated when searching for parking spaces and that a large proportion of those questioned felt that parking charges were too expensive. Parking spaces have become a premium commodity in recent years, especially in major cities, and the fact that parking spaces have been getting smaller and cars getting bigger has just exacerbated the situation.”

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  • The Start Of The Zombie Apocalypse

    Hollywood has an incredible imagination when it comes to the end of the world. From asteroids to earthquakes, floods to solar flares, you can always trust the wild minds of LA LA Land’s script writers to find new and interesting ways of decimating the world’s population.

    Viral diseases are the big one though. They’ve been through a bit of a renaissance in recent years, triggering a surge of fascination in the Zombie Apocalypse that’s spread like the very same plague into TV, book and videogames.

    Zombie Horde By Joakim Olofsson

    This is what you get for putting car park tickets in your mouth!

    When it only takes a little scratch or nibble to turn even the most dedicated vegan into a sausage-munching undead monster, there’s plenty of scope for Hollywood to get carried away, the virus spreading from host to host like wildfire. But I think I’ve spotted an untapped delivery method, a device yet to be written into a Hollywood blockbuster – car park barrier tickets.

    You know the credit card sized pieces of plastic that you slip into the machine to raise the barrier? When you jump in your car where do you put it? Hold it in your hand while fumbling for your seatbelt? No, too fiddly. Pop it onto the dash where it could slide away and disappear beneath a pile of old CDs? Not likely. Do you pop it in your mouth? Hmmm, tasty.

    So just think for a minute what’s happened to that sliver of plastic before you clamped it between your teeth. Cue flashback graphics as we wind the clock back a few hours.

    Jim, the bus driver, has had a bit of a bad tummy, and just before he handed the card over to you he’d had to make an emergency dash to the toilet. Trouble is, his hygiene isn’t great so he forgot to wash his hands before he rushed back onto the bus. He might not be licking the ticket, but by God, you don’t want to know what he’s added to it’s shiny surface.

    Car Park Barrier Ticket

    Just think where this has been before you clamp it between your teeth!

    Now we go further back in time to see the previous user of the ticket. We’ll call him Bob. He’s a large, sweaty bloke, who keeps everything in his trouser pockets. That includes the car park ticket, which sat nestled against his moist gentleman’s area for several hours before he popped it into his own mouth during his dash for the barrier.

    Uh-oh, flashback again, and there’s Barbara. The day before Bob had the ticket she’d chucked it into the bottom of her handbag, where it mixed with manky old chocolates and other unmentionables that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Oh, and there she goes, gripping the card with her teeth and drooling a little as she struggles to fasten up her seatbelt.

    Flashback to an attractive blonde who still manages to look glamorous even when she has a plastic card poking out from between her pouting, red lips. Further back, through old lady, stressed businessman, mum with screaming kids. All so desperate to get out of the car park as quickly as possible that they didn’t think twice about what they were putting in their mouths.

    Somewhere at the start of all this is Patient X. He’s a part-time laboratory assistant who accidentally mixed two strange formulas into one petri-dish, before spilling some on a familiar piece of white rectangular plastic that he’d chucked onto his workbench. The rest, as they might say if they hadn’t all been turned into mindless zombies, is history. Wind the clock forward to the present day and Bob, Barbara and the others are now all flesh-eating undead, having transferred the vile virus to one another by licking contaminated saliva from that one piece of plastic.

    So what’s the best way to stop this zombie plague from spreading? Simple. Don’t put the damned tickets IN YOUR MOUTH. It’s a disgusting habit anyway.

    Picture credit – Zombie Horde by Joakim Olofsson

    The Start Of The Zombie Apocalypse is a post by Chris Auty and was published on Driving Spirit.

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  • Simona in retrospect

    IndyCar is losing one of its unique characters with Simona de Silvestro moving on to Formula 1 with Sauber. Simona brought a different light to the IndyCar Series and was one to cheer for on race day.

    She was the first IndyCar driver I interviewed in September of 2012, so naturally I have always taken a liking to her, but there are several character traits that stood out to me than and now that also make her likeable. Her down to earth personality, plucky attitude and positive outlook on life are all things in her character that make her likeable.

    It was her resilience and her ability to punch above her own weight against better teams and drivers that made her stand out. During her rookie season, she drove for Keith Wiggins’ HVM Racing which operated on a miniscule budget compared to other teams. In her first race of the year at Sao Paulo, she took the lead with an off sequence pit stop. As the green flew back out, she held her own against the likes of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Dario Franchitti until a tire deflation took her out of contention.

    She won rookie of the year at the Indianapolis 500 and at Edmonton she qualified in the top 10 and had a great run until she was spun out and at Mid Ohio she turned a few heads with an 8th place finish. All the while in 2010 her team was using the oldest 2003 model Dallara still in play.

    Come 2011, with a new sponsorship package and a new car for the team, a breakout year was sure to come. At St. Pete, she flexed her muscle pulling a few Paul Tracy-esque moves on the first few restarts to charge from 17th to 2nd come lap 14. She hung in the top 5 the remainder of the race and fought with future KV Racing teammate Tony Kanaan for 3rd place. She finished 9th at Barber and at Sao Paulo she was involved in an early accident in the rain that put her several laps down. Once the race resumed a day later and her car repaired, she was the fastest car on the track and set her first fastest race lap despite finishing 20th.

    At Indianapolis, a defining moment of her career was set to unfold. She was involved in a practice crash, flipping over and catching on fire. She suffered burns to both hands and contemplated her future. When it was her turn in line to qualify, she courageously jumped in her 8 year old backup car (now known as Pork Chop thanks to HVM PR Manager Monica Hilton) with her hands bandaged to solidly qualify for the 500. Pure resilience.

    Simona describes the process of getting back in the car after her crash:

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  • Formula1blog.com Podcast #342- USGP review

    Join Paul, Simon and me as we discuss the USGP in Austin. We were there and we share our opinion on the reace and teh teams as they finished. Thanks to Shell and Lapizta for making this weekend possible and for all of the support.

    Big thank you to all the folks that came to the F1B Meet Up at the Hyatt Lost Pines, we had a terrific time with all of you.