Author Archives: bevmin

Safety Items To Keep In Your Car At All Times

Whether you’re a new driver or have been driving for a while now, you may be wondering if there are any essential items that you should be keeping in your car for safety.  

Across Europe, there are many places that require you by law to carry certain safety items to protect yourself and others in the event of an emergency. It’s important to remember these rules if you plan on driving abroad, and it doesn’t hurt to follow them in the UK too. (Even though we are not required to carry these).

At Beverly Slater, we are all about making sure you and your passengers are kept informed and safe when out on the road!

With that being said, here’s everything you need to know about essential driving safety in Europe and the UK. 

The Recommended Safety Items In The UK

In the UK, we have a few recommended safety items that drivers should be carrying with them in their cars. These rules are to keep everyone safe. These items are to be used in emergencies to help yourself or the people around you. Accidents can happen on the road so it’s important to be prepared. 

The recommended car safety items are:

  • – A spare bulb set
  • – A fire extinguisher
  • – A warning triangle 
  • – A first aid kit

These safety items are highly recommended when driving in the UK, it’s better to be prepared for any unwanted incidents. A first aid kit is especially important, you don’t want to be without plasters, bandages, painkillers, and antibacterial wipes when you need them.

The Essential Safety Items in Europe

Most countries in Europe will expect you to carry certain required safety items. These vary from country to country so it’s important to look up the rules of the country you’re planning to visit. The most common ones that feature in many countries lists are:

  • – A warning triangle
  • – A first aid kit
  • – A reflective jacket
  • – A fire extinguisher

These rules are very similar to the UK’s, with the exception of a reflective jacket. So when you’re planning a trip to Europe, remember these key items if you’re taking your car!

General Safety Advice

As a driver, you’ve taken tests to ensure you know how to safely drive, but it’s always good to be reminded! If you think you need a refresher on how to safely drive on the motorway or in harsh weather conditions, consider booking a pass plus course

For any questions, feel free to contact us today. Our team at Beverly Slater will be happy to help. 

New Driver

5 Helpful Tips For New Drivers

When you pass your driving test and the initial excitement wears off, you may find yourself nervous to take on the road again, especially by yourself! Don’t fret. At Beverly Slater, we’re here to offer advice to new drivers navigating the road by themselves for the first time. Remember, you passed for a reason, so you’re more than capable. Here we have created 5 top tips to bear in mind.

5 Tips for New Drivers:

Plan your route beforehand

Confidence is crucial when you’re driving, so being confident in where you’re going is a great way to prepare for the road. Check on a map to find a route you’re most comfortable taking and if you have a satnav, make sure you’ve entered your destination properly to avoid any mishaps. Preparation can calm your anxieties and nerves before you even get into the car, so it’s definitely worth considering!

Become the designated driver

To gradually get yourself used to driving without your instructor, start off with smaller journeys. It’s important as a new driver to not overwhelm yourself with a long road trip- even if it’s tempting! Start by driving down the road next time you need to go to Tesco, or offer your family a lift to work one day. Either way, the only way to build your confidence is to simply get out there and drive. 

Take an experienced driver with you

If you’re not ready to take on the road alone just yet, there’s nothing wrong with that. We advise you to offer your passenger seat to a family member or friend who knows how to drive. Having someone there to reassure you that you’re doing well can do a lot for your confidence as a new driver.

Keep up to date with the rules

This may sound obvious, but keeping up to date with the highway code is so important for road safety. The highway code is always being updated so make sure you check what’s changed so you don’t make any mistakes. If you’re unsure about anything, check the highway code to find all the answers you may need. Also, it’s common sense to stick to the speed limit so make sure you do! Always check for signs declaring the speed limit so you know to drive accordingly. Following the rules is crucial not just for new drivers, but for every driver.  

Take a pass plus course with Beverly Slater

Our pass plus lessons are designed for new drivers such as yourself. Pass plus aims to boost the confidence of new drivers and tackle any driving fears you may have such as taking on the motorway, driving during bad weather, and night driving. Get in touch today if this sounds like it’s for you.

Rules of the road you may not be aware of

Whether you learned to drive several years ago or are a new or learner driver, it is vital that you keep up to date with the rules of the road. At Beverly Slater, we recommend that you keep your knowledge of the road current if you want to ensure you avoid any fines. 

Correct use of fog lights

The Highway Code states that fog lights should not be used unless visibility is significantly reduced. As soon as visibility improves it is important that you turn your fog lights off immediately to avoid dazzling other drivers, something which could cause an accident. Incorrect use of fog lights can result in a fine. Examples of poor visibility include snow, fog and driving rain. The fine for this offence can be a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Restrain animals suitably

According to the Highway Code animals in vehicles must be appropriately restrained so that they do not cause an accident or injury to you or themselves in the event of a sudden stop. Pet carriers, dog cages or guards and seat belt harnesses are appropriate ways to restrain an animal. This infraction can result in penalty points and a fine.

Splashing pedestrians

It can be hard to avoid large puddles on really rainy days. However, it is actually illegal to splash a pedestrian with water that is sitting on the road. If found guilty of deliberately driving through a puddle with the express intention of splashing a pedestrian the fine can be a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice. This can rise to as much as £5000 depending on the circumstances. 

30mph speed limit as standard

Where there are no signs indicating to the contrary, and there is street lighting, then the default speed limit is 30mph. This is usually 60mph on single carriageway roads where there is no street lighting and on dual carriageways 70mph. Look out for minimum speed limits which are signed with a round blue road sign with the speed limit clearly indicated inside.

Zebra Crossings

There have been recent changes to the Highway Code which means that drivers are more confused than ever over the rules regarding pedestrian crossings. In January 2022 the Highway code was changed and now states “you must give way to pedestrians already on the crossing and you should give way to pedestrians waiting to cross.” 

Want to brush up on your driving skills or rules of the road? Why not book a refresher lesson with us, and we’ll soon bring you up to speed.

Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Driving

Common Ways You May Fail Your Driving Test

Many of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves when taking our driving test for the first time, but over 50% of people fail their first time. There are a few reasons why we fail our driving test, one of them being nerves, but there are some reasons that we can avoid. With the right preparation, you will be one step closer to getting that license! We have put together a list of reasons people fail their test and how to avoid making the same mistakes when it comes to your own driving test.

How people can fail their driving test

1 – Making inadequate observations at a junction

It’s important that drivers look properly when at a junction, as accidents continue to happen due to one driver not seeing the other. So when you’re approaching a junction, you need to decrease your speed and signal your intent so that other drivers can preempt what you’re going to do. When at the junction, stop and carefully analyse the road to make sure it’s clear for you to join. You need to look out for other road users, including cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. 

2 – Not using their mirrors

The point of a driving test is to prove to the examiner that you’re a safe driver and this includes using your mirrors so you’re aware of all of your surroundings. Everything you do when you’re driving must include your mirrors. Such as manoeuvres, acceleration, a change of direction, braking, navigating a hazard, and starting and stopping. During your test, make it clear to your examiner that you’re checking your mirrors throughout the drive.

3 – Driving at an Inappropriate Speed

One of the most common reasons for failing a driving test is speed. This includes driving too fast and driving too slow. The key is to know the speed limit at all times. Drive close to the speed limit, but make sure not to go above it as this will result in a fail. Knowing the speed limit and driving close to it is important because it will show the examiner that you’re a competent driver and can read the road. It’s important to remember not to go above the speed limit. 

4 – Lack of Steering Control

Having a firm grip on the steering wheel when driving is a must. If you cross your hands during a driving test, you shouldn’t automatically fail. However, crossing your hands when holding the steering wheel can lead to the driver not being in control of the car, especially when turning a sharp corner. The examiner is looking to make sure you have control of the vehicle at all times. When changing gears, you should make them brief so that you have 2 hands on the steering wheel as much as possible. And most importantly, don’t remove both hands from the wheel!

5 – Parking

When entering and exiting a parking space, it’s vital to check your mirrors. A driver can get distracted when getting in or out of a parking space without hitting a parked car. Which means they forget to look out for oncoming traffic. Checking your mirrors, and not forgetting your blind spots are key for parking safely. The examiner will ask you to complete one of 3 exercises. 

  • Pulling up on the right-hand side of the road and reversing 2 car lengths backwards and rejoining traffic
  • Parking in a bay (either reversing into the bay or reversing out of the bay) 
  • Parallel parking

 Make sure you practice all 3 with your driving instructor until you become confident with each of them.

Bev Slater Driving School can help you pass your test!

Preparing for a driving test can be tricky, so contact us to book some extra lessons or a catch-up lesson and practice some of these mistakes before the big test!