Drowsy drivers survey rings alarm bells

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
Auto News

Four million drivers have momentarily fallen asleep behind the wheel, shocking new research by IAM RoadSmart has revealed.

The study for the UK’s largest independent road safety charity is alarming because even the briefest lapse in concentration when driving can have devastating consequences because at 70mph a car travels at more than 100 feet per second.

One in 10 drivers surveyed admitted to momentarily closing their eyes because they were so tired, while more than half (equating to some 20 million motorists) said they were very concerned about fatigue when driving long distances.

Other results from the research revealed that one in 10 drivers admitted that they had hit the rumble strip, while 40% had turned down the heating or rolled down the windows in order to stop them from being tired.

On a slightly more positive note, around a quarter of drivers had pulled over for a rest and/or a coffee.

“Fatigue behind the wheel is a very serious problem, perhaps more concerning than previously thought of,” said Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy & Research.

“It is shocking to think a potential four million drivers have closed their eyes behind the wheel because they were so tired, even if it was just for a short time. The potential carnage that could result from even one accident doesn’t bear thinking about.

“Driving a long distance needs pre-planning to ensure there are plenty of available rest places and to make sure there’s enough time to complete the journey if delays are encountered.

Never drive for longer than two hours without a break and take particular care if driving when you would normally be asleep. This is even more important as the country reopens after the pandemic and not all facilities may be available yet.

“Drivers can then concentrate on staying alert behind the wheel rather than staving off tiredness by trying to reach their end destination without adequate rest breaks.”

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Toyota Mirai shatters 1,000-kilometre range barrier

Gareth Herincx

6 hours ago
Auto News

A Toyota Mirai has covered more than 1,000 kilometres – or a huge 621 miles – on a single tank of fuel, easily beating the previous long-distance record for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

The journey, undertaken in France during Paris de l’hydrogène – an exhibition on hydrogen and renewable energies – started in Orly and covered 1,003 kilometres of public roads in the Loir-et-Cher and Indre-et-Loire areas, with the distance and fuel consumption certified by an independent authority.

Green hydrogen was used to fuel the Mirai and overall consumption was measured at 0.55 kg/100km. Upon completing the challenge, the Mirai was refuelled within five minutes.

The previous hydrogen fuel cell range record of 778 km (484 miles) was set in May 2021 by a Hyundai Nexo.

“It’s an amazing result that we achieved with the new Mirai. One that embodies the mindset of Toyota’s Start your Impossible mentality of going beyond our own limits. This drives us and we proved it again today,” said Frank Marotte, CEO of Toyota France.

The new Mirai is the second-generation fuel cell electric vehicle from Toyota. It offers enhanced driving performance, better fuel efficiency, a 30 per cent greater range and a price tag almost 25 per cent lower than its predecessor.

The increased efficiency of the fuel cell system, coupled with a 1 kg increase in hydrogen capacity gives the Mirai a certified range of approximately 650 kilometres (400 miles), under normal driving conditions.

While the 1,000-kilometre marker was broken by Toyota’s drivers adopting an economical driving style, no techniques were used that could not be replicated in everyday driving.

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Eddie Irvine: Lewis Hamilton Is Probably Still The Top Driver

Tim Spacey

2 days ago
Auto News

An interview with Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine regarding the talent of Max Verstappen, the time he had with Michael Schumacher, and the 2021 title race.

2021 Formula 1 season is fast approaching. The former F1 driver Eddie Ervine talked to Betway and shared his thoughts about the impact of Drive to Survive, the title race between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, and being the teammate of Michael Schumacker.

With Channel 4’s coverage and Netflix’s Drive To Survive, how successfully is F1 engaging new audiences?

I think Formula 1 has done a great job with Drive to Survive. Everywhere I go, and I travel a lot in the US, the Bahamas and all over Europe, I get a lot of people telling me now that they love Formula 1 and they love Netflix. That’s what happens when you bring in new owners that are really into marketing. They’ve done an amazing job at making the content look as interesting as possible. It’s definitely attracted fans. The owners have got other issues to deal with, but on the issue of marketing to a new audience, they’ve done 10 out of 10 in my opinion.

Who was your favourite team-mate during your F1 career?

I would have to say Michael because we had a very good working relationship. I never had an issue with him at all. He performed the best he could every weekend, I performed the best I could every weekend. If I had to do something for the team, I had to do something for the team, and that was it. It was very simple.

We’ve already seen Hamilton and Verstappen go at each other in the press conferences. How hard is it not to get personal with your rivals?

I never had a problem with getting personal. For me it was all in one, the professional and personal situation. All’s fair in love and war and I see Formula 1 as war so I really had no problem with criticising or saying anything that I felt would help me. I was there for me and my team, and I didn’t care about anyone else.

What do you make of the 2021 F1 season so far?

The 2021 season so far has been amazing. Verstappen is definitely the fastest driver out there at the minute, but you have to say Lewis Hamilton is probably still the top driver. It’s been fantastic to watch those two guys go at it. I think it’s going to be a great season.

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Austin Allegro is a better investment than a Jaguar E-Type

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

Austin Allegro

Ordinary, everyday cars that were once the backbone of Britain are now proving so sought-after that many are rising in value faster than some versions of the Jaguar E-Type.

The latest data from the Hagerty Price Guide reveals many ‘unexceptional’ cars cars have enjoyed a bumper year of growth, with values rising as much as 20 per cent year on year.

Models including the Ford Cortina, Renault 4, Hillman Imp, Austin Princess, and the infamous Allegro have posted the biggest increases in value so far this year, posting gains in value of between 4.4 and 20.4 per cent for the top 10 performers, at a time when precious few bank savings accounts better a return of 1 per cent.

They’re joined by other strong performers that were once household names, including the Austin Metro and Vauxhall Cavalier.

With a healthy rise in value, these cars often offset any associated running and maintenance costs, making them a surprisingly sound investment.

Hagerty’s Top 10 best performers

  • 1965-1970 Triumph 1300 increase: 20.4 per cent
  • 1962-1966 Ford Cortina Mk1 increase: 19.4 per cent
  • 1973-1982 Austin Allegro increase: 13.6 per cent
  • 1962-1980 Renault 4 increase: 10.6 per cent
  • 1963-1976 Hillman Imp increase: 10.1 per cent
  • 1970-1976 Ford Cortina Mk3 increase: 7.8 per cent
  • 1968-1979 Renault 16 increase: 7.4 per cent
  • 1948-1960 Peugeot 203 increase: 5.2 per cent
  • 1975-1981 British Leyland Princess increase: 5.1 per cent
  • 1987-1994 Alfa Romeo 33 increase: 4.4 per cent

As a yardstick, the latest data from the Hagerty Price Guide shows that the Jaguar E-type Series III has risen by 8.2 per cent in the past year, from an average sale price of £54,988 across all models in 2020 to £59,500 in 2021. The Ferrari 308 GTB has gone from £61,200 to £65,475 too – a gain of just 7 per cent.

The 2021 Hagerty Festival of the Unexceptional takes place at Grimsthorpe Castle , Lincolnshire (Saturday 30th July) will showcase forgotten vehicles that were once a common sight on UK roads.

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Renault’s drive for clean school air

Gareth Herincx

1 day ago
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More than half of drivers would be willing to take a different route on their regular commute, if it meant avoiding and reducing congestion outside schools, claims new data.

This congestion, which leads to vehicles sitting with their engines running (also known as idling), is a key contributor to poor air quality – and there are more than 8,500 schools, nurseries and colleges in England, Scotland and Wales located in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution.

The findings, which form the latest part of Renault’s ongoing “Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” campaign, also revealed that a third of motorists (37%) said they know of a different route which doesn’t involve driving by a school, while 39% said the reason for not driving a different way to avoid a school was because they do a set route.

Despite the improvement in air quality that could be achieved through such a detour, 62% of drivers who had an alternate route to avoid a school said they don’t take it as it adds more time to their journey.

“Be Mindful, Don’t Idle” 

An idling engine contributes the equivalent of 150 party balloons-worth of emissions unnecessarily into the atmosphere every minute.

Renault found idling during the school drop-off and pick-up is more common in urban areas – with 50.1% admitting to doing it – compared to 12% in rural locations. More than 28% of people of those who admitted to idling said they leave their engines running for 6-10 minutes.

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Renault is a pioneer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles and is now Europe’s number one manufacturer for electric cars and vans.

In total, it sold more than 115,000 EVs across the continent in 2020, with the Zoe E-Tech 100% electric becoming the best-selling electric car (sales of more than 100,000).

It has broadened its electrified offering further to include the Renault Captur and Mégane Sport Tourer E-Tech plug-in hybrids as well as the Clio, Captur and All-New Arkana E-Tech hybrid.

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