Tag Archives: safer driving

Winter Car Essentials

Winter Car Essentials

The unstable weather conditions around this time of year consistently cause problems for drivers. Whether your car is prone to be breakdowns or the roads where you live are hazardous in the snow, be prepared for anything this winter with Ring’s Winter Car Essentials.

Starting your car

A surprise snow storm and drop in temperatures is not an unlikely occurrence, especially with the variable weather here in the UK. Keep de-icer and ice scraper in your car and at home so you’re always prepared if the moment arises. Avoid using hot water to defrost your car as this could cause any chips or scratches on your windscreen to turn into cracks.

Make sure your wiper blades are up to scratch – it’s recommended that you change them every twelve months so that they keep your windscreen clear and your view unobstructed.

Keeping in contact

A completely charged phone is always a good idea when travelling – whether you’ve broken down or are lost, a phone may end up being your saviour. Don’t be one of those people that forgets to charge their phone before a long snowy journey, and get yourself a multi-socket and phone charger that will always be in your car.

Dealing with road hazards

When ice and snow can cover up much of the road small, sharp items, such as glass, can be hidden and cause punctures to tyres. With an Emergency Tyre Kit already in the car, you will be able to get yourself home without any need for tools or wheel changes, keeping you on the roadand moving until you can get your tyre changed.

Accidents are more likely in winter, and a dash camera may help to reduce the time taken to settle an insurance claim after an incident on the roads this winter. One with a GPS tracker will help to pin point where an accident takes place and give further information to insurance providers.

Restarting your car

It’s always a good idea to carry Jump Leads in your car in case of an emergency. In the summer months, waiting for a breakdown service may be fine, but in the cold, blustery weather, jump starting your car and setting off quickly is definitely more ideal.

If you do a lot of travelling by yourself, investing in a Lithium Jumpstarter is a great move. Small enough to fit in your glove box, and with enough power to jumpstart a 2.0L engine, you’ll be back on the road in no time.

 

 

Driving at this time of year can feel a bit nerve-wracking, but having these winter driving essentials at hand will give you peace of mind. Keep safe this winter, and happy driving!

Road accidents rise as clocks go back, insurance claim analysis reveals

Darker nights have always been seen to be more dangerous than travelling in daylight, but recent evidence suggests that the clocks changing causes accidents to rise. Insure the Box published a study this week showing the sudden change in daylight hours is making the roads more hazardous for drivers.

The study shows that after the clocks go back, the overall chance of having a car accident in November increases by 12%, especially between the hours of 5pm and 8pm where collisions have risen by 29%. These figures were produced after analysing 18,000 accident claims in October and November over a five-year period.

There are several factors that could be affecting the number of collisions that occur during this time period. As the nights start earlier, people coming home from work will feel the need to get home quicker, resulting in larger rush hour traffic, the Christmas shopping period adding to this. Another factor is recently passed young drivers experiencing night time driving at busy times for the first time. Night time driving requires getting used to and reaction times may be slower and movements jerkier.

What you can do

The first step to improve night time driving safety is to check that your bulbs are working as they should be. This includes making sure your beams are aligned so that they don’t dazzle oncoming drivers. Make sure none of your external bulbs are faulty as this could put you at risk of receiving a fine.

Performance halogens, such as the Xenon150, may also be a good investment. As well as putting more light on the road, their beam is up to 80m longer than a standard bulb, 3700K colour, making it easier on the eye as it closely resembles daylight. Road markings and signs can be seen more clearly and therefore making driving safer.

To see Xenon150 in action click here.

Get your tyres into shape

Spring is finally here, and for many of us, it’s time to get back out on the road. Whether you’re travelling to see friends and family, seeing the countryside or getting out your classic car, it’s vital that you make sure your tyres are in good shape – and road legal.

Tyre care matters
Your tyres are the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road – so keeping them well maintained is essential. It will make vehicle handling easier, and allow for greater fuel efficiency, as well as cutting down wear and tear – saving you money at the pumps and in maintenance costs. Poorly-maintained tyres could also mean a failed MOT – according to the DVSA, around 10% of all MOT failures are down to poor tyre maintenance.

As well as all this, there are regulations for tyres that you must meet – failure to meet these requirements could lead to a fine or penalty points.

Tyre tread
These are the legal requirements for tyre treads – if your tyres don’t meet these measurements, they are not road legal and need to be replaced.

  • Passenger vehicles for up to 8 seated passengers, good vehicles up to 3,500kg max weight and light trailers up to 3,500kg max weight must have 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • Vehicles larger than 3,500kg or eight seated passengers and motorbikes over 50cc must have 1mm throughout a continuous band in the central section of the tread around the entire tyre.
  • On mopeds and motorbikes under 50cc, the tread pattern must be visible.

Why is it important? The tyre tread grooves are important for driving in wet weather – something we’re all too familiar with in Britain. The grooves help remove water from the contact area between the tyre and road, allowing you to brake, steer and accelerate properly. Whilst meeting the legal minimum tread depths will stop you from getting in trouble with the law, tests show that when the tread drops below 3mm, it significantly affects the stopping distance when braking.

How to check: a tyre tread gauge is a simple piece of kit, small enough to keep in the glovebox. You can get standalone depth gauges or ones that are integrated with a pressure gauge as well. The RTG2 Tyre and Depth Gauge is a standard set, with analogue kit. Or for an integrated option, look at the RTG7 Programmable Digital Tyre and Tread Depth Gauge. Just insert the gauge into the tread to take a reading. You need to check the tyre tread regularly.

Tyre pressure

There aren’t any legal requirements for tyre pressure, but this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Well-inflated tyres will help improve fuel efficiency and make handling easier. Don’t forget – it’s not just under inflated tyres that are dangerous: over-inflated tyres have less contact with the road, which can reduce traction and increase braking distance.

What is my tyre pressure? You can find out what your tyre pressure should be from your vehicle handbook.

How can I check my pressure? The most accurate way to check your tyre pressure is to use a tyre gauge. There are several types – including analogue and digital gauges. Simply insert the gauge into the tyre valve and you’ll have a reading. A simple analogue gauge – like the RTG1 Tyre Gauge – is a good value option to get a reading. However, for a more advanced solution, the RTG7 is a digital gauge that measures tyre pressure and tread depth, and is programmable – so it will store the recommended tyre pressures for your car for future reference.

How can I inflate my tyres at home? We recommend using a tyre inflator to pump up your tyres. These are small, efficient devices that are powered from your in-car 12V socket (cigarette lighter), a mains plug or, in the case of larger models, from the vehicle battery. For regular car tyres, we recommend the Ring RAC610 or RAC660. The RAC610 is a basic inflator with an analogue dial. For a more advanced piece of kit, the RAC660 is a good choice – it inflates a 13″ tyre in under 2 mins with either DC or AC power, has a digital screen, adaptors for bikes, LED light, preset function and case.

Other tyre essentials
If you see anything that looks irregular on your tyre, like lumps, bumps, cuts, tears or anything that looks like it shouldn’t – it’s time to get your tyres looked at. It is also illegal to have different types of tyres fitted to the same axle – don’t mix and match radial and cross-ply tyres. A garage will be able to advise on this.

Check today
Most people wait until they’ve failed their MOT before addressing the health of their tyres. To make sure you’re being safe, don’t wait: have a look at your tyres today.

Want more details? See our full tyre care range. Or see our video on how to inflate a car tyre.

Dash Cameras – your personal eye witness

More and more UK motorists are beginning to see the benefits of having an in-car camera. So why are sales for these compact devices increasing so rapidly?

Crash for Crash and insurance fraud

Crash for Cash is one of the biggest vehicle-based crimes, and there is no sign of it slowing down. Highly organised criminals and opportunists usually stage or provoke an ‘accident’ by making an innocent motorist crash into the back of the fraudster’s car. The fraudster will then submit an exaggerated claim for vehicle damage, personal injury and loss of earnings. The honest policy holder will have to pick up the bill, with an extra sum being added to their insurance premiums.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau states that Crash for Cash scams are costing UK insurance companies a staggering £392 million a year. A dash camera is an effective way to combat this increasing problem. It is your very own personal eye witness, giving you concrete video evidence to prove you were not at fault. It’s a sure fire way to look after your insurance premiums.

Cheaper car insurance

As dash cam popularity increases, a number of UK insurance companies are offering discounts for motorists who have them installed. Dash cams benefit everyone; the insurance companies will spend less time and resource investigating the case and the driver can prove that their testimony is accurate.

Protection on the road with Ring

All of our dash cams are hassle free, easy to install and set up. Simply plug in and you’re ready to go. They all have 1080 resolution for clear and crisp footage and allows you to pick up specific details – like vehicle registrations. They automatically turn on when the engine is started and turn off when you park up, meaning they won’t drain your battery. A loop recording system is built-in, which means even on smaller capacity SD cards recording will not stop due to being full, as new recordings replace the oldest footage.

Ultimate dash cam protection

The RBGDC200 is our ultimate dash cam. It has a wide-angled 140 degree 6 element lens coupled with a 3MP sensor, that won’t miss any of the action. It performs exceptionally well at night and has GPS tracking, allowing you to see where you have driven and the speed you were travelling, by using the provided software linked to Google Maps™. It gives you unparalleled protection on the road.

See our full range of dash cams and give yourself the protection you deserve.

Winter is coming

The nights are getting colder, and longer. Mornings are chilled and filled with fog. It can’t be ignored – winter is coming. As driving conditions become tougher, it’s a good idea to be extra careful when you hit the road. One important way to make driving easier – and safer – is to make sure your headlamps are up to scratch.

Darker for longer
Not only are the nights getting longer, but in some places, they are getting darker too. Many councils are turning off street lamps for part of the night – often from 12am to 5.30am. Making sure you have the best possible headlamps is essential for navigating unlit streets.

Regular check ups
Check your bulbs regularly to make sure they are all working correctly. If you are stopped by the police with a faulty headlamp they could give you an on the spot fine. Far better to check before you drive and keep other road users – and your bank balance – safe.

When a bulb has gone, you might think you only need to replace the broken one. While you can do this, it’s far better to do both at once. That way, the light emitted from each of your headlamps is equal, making driving much easier for you and other road users.

Clear as day
The newly-launched Xenon130 puts up to 130% more light on the road and has a beam pattern that’s up to 60m longer than a standard bulb. For a driver, this means seeing what’s coming sooner and increasing the time period you have to react.

It’s not just about quantity; the quality of light matters too. For the best possible conditions when you’re driving at night, look for bulbs with a whiter light. This light is closer to daylight, improving visibility while you’re on the road. This will make signs and road markings easier to see and help reduce eye strain and fatigue.

Standard headlight bulb vs Xenon130

Standard headlight bulb vs Xenon130

Specialist help
Investing in upgrading your bulbs is a sure-fire way to make night time driving easier. These bulbs – like the Xenon130 – are specially designed using micro filament technology and xenon gas to produce a brighter, whiter light.

To see the difference – and pick the best light for you – see our light comparison app.