Roads To Practise On In Dagenham

Roads To Practise On In Dagenham

If you’re learning to drive in Dagenham, then it’s important you find some roads that are good to practise on.

Driving is a great skill that’s necessary for many jobs as well as your own independence.

Find a great Dagenham driving instructor and get confident by practising on some of these roads.

Try driving at quieter times, such as after the school run and rush hour, and before people finish work. Driving around 10am-2:30pm should be quieter for you as you can avoid people on their commute.

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If you’re just starting to get some driving practice in Dagenham, then these quieter areas will be perfect. The intersection between Stamford Road and Langley Crescent is a good place to start practising your basic driving skills on a quiet road.

Make sure you’ve got your L plates on and that you are confident with the person who is taking you driving.

Getting confident on roundabouts is another important aspect of learning to drive.

Roundabouts nearby include Winston Way, Beccles Drive and Green Lane, and these have all been included in driving tests in this area so it’s worth getting some practice on them.

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Make sure you follow the correct protocol, keeping an eye on other cars and knowing when to give way. Valence Circus is a tricky section of driving that you can practise until you are confident. Pay attention to traffic, people pulling out and pedestrians too.

Like many built-up areas in the UK, there are lots of car parks which are great for practising driving manoeuvres and parking, which is a big part of your test.

The best times to practise here are hours when supermarkets or offices are closed, like Sunday afternoons.

Some good options for practising driving in Dagenham are the ASDA car park and Heathway Shopping Centre car park. If you are feeling more confident as a driver, then try at a busier time, paying attention to signalling, other drivers on the road and the rules and limits that apply.

Estates like Becontree are perfect for practising turning and following directions so make sure you know the area well. In residential areas it’s essential that you keep an eye out for parked cars, children playing and cars pulling out.

Depending on your confidence in your driving ability, any of these roads are great for getting to grips with driving and honing your skills.

Our professional driving lessons are also great for learning new routes you can follow and getting expert advice.

What’s Covered In The New Driving Test

Whats Covered In The New Driving Test

How many of you experienced drivers believe they would pass their driving test first time if they took it now? Although the basic skills of driving a car haven’t changed – possibly just your bad habits – the whole driving test process is different to what it was 15 or 20 years ago.

The new driving test that was introduced at the end of 2017 is designed to reflect the modern age, with an increased amount of time focused on learners driving without guidance. Drivers are now required to follow directions from a sat nav or risk failing their test.

The new driving test also takes learners on busier roads, as opposed to quiet roads.

What does the new driving test involve?

Driving Test

Independent driving is a huge focus of the new test. This is where an examiner will give a destination, but will not provide further directions.

This is intended to replicate a real driving experience. Learners are required to undertake independent driving for 20 minutes during the test.

The increase to 20 minutes of independent driving, rather than 10 minutes in the old test has been introduced to give examiners more time to check for bad habits and faults.

While drivers are undertaking the independent driving part of the test, most learner drivers will be required to follow a route on a sat nav, which is provided.

The examiner will set the route and it doesn’t matter if a wrong turn is taken. One important consideration to note is that not every driving test will make use of a sat nav, and candidates will be expected to follow road signs instead.

With the introduction of the new driving test, the DVSA dropped the reverse around a corner and turn in the road manoeuvres.

Drivers are now required to perform one parking manoeuvre from a possible list of three. These are parallel parking at the side of the road, driving in and reversing out of a bay and pulling up on the right-hand side, reversing for two car lengths before joining the traffic again.

Tell me and show me

Before the driving test begins, examiners will ask a ‘tell me’ question. It’s expected that learners are able to tell examiners how to carry out a safety task on the vehicle. As well as this, during the driving test, examiners will also ask a ‘show me’ question.

Tell me and show me

This requires learners to show the examiner how a specific task should be carried out while they’re driving.

The new driving test is aimed at ensuring the safety of new drivers on the road and has been developed to replicate the world we now live in, making use of technology, as is the case in everyday life for drivers.

The new driving test has built on the content that was previously required.

6 Tips On Mastering A Roundabout

Roundabouts

If you’re learning to drive – or even if you’ve already passed – roundabouts can be very intimidating.

But like motorways, parking or taking your first lesson out on the road, roundabouts quite simply aren’t as bad as they appear.

What’s more, they get easier and easier the more you use them.

Let’s take a look at a few tips to make the process easier.

Tip 1 – Choose your exit, and your lane

The first thing you want to think about is which exit you’ll be taking.

You should know this in advance of entering the roundabout, and your sat nav will also tell you. Stay to the left-hand lanes, or the left of the road, for the first 50% of exits, and be on the right-hand side for the following ones.

For a three-lane roundabout, only the first exit requires you to be on the left-hand side.

Tip 2 – Watch your gears and speed

An appropriate speed is absolutely essential to tackle a roundabout. If you go to fast, you’ll make hasty decisions and potentially endanger other road users. Too slow and you’ll hold things up, which is also very dangerous in itself.

Second gear is absolutely fine for your average roundabout, and you can go up to third for faster ones on A-roads and dual carriageways. Sticking to these gears is a good way to ensure you keep the right speed.

Tip 3 – Remember to give way!

You’ve probably heard a bit about this one already. Put simply, by ‘giving way to the right’, we mean to allow traffic coming from the right-hand side to have priority. Once there’s no more traffic coming from the right, then you can enter the roundabout.

Tip 4 – Indicating

Indicating

Indicating at the right time is very important – doing it incorrectly is confusing for other drivers. Indicate for your lane as soon as you pass the exit point of the preceding lane. So if you’re coming off on the second exit, begin indicating as you pass the halfway point of the first exit.

Tip 5 – Be assertive

It’s important to be assertive, yet careful, when you’re exiting the roundabout. After you’ve checked your mirrors and indicated, begin to move into the next lane if appropriate, and ensure that you’re in the right position to leave the roundabout.

Tip 6 – Get away!

After you’ve exited the roundabout, it’s important to get away from it quickly so as to keep the traffic flow moving. Go up a gear and accelerate away.

Motorists Could Be Punished If They Are Caught Driving Too Slowly

Driving Too Slowly

It’s a well-known fact that drivers can be punished for driving over the speed limit, but you may not be aware that driving slowly can be equally as dangerous.

In comparison to the UK, many other countries around the world make sure that all road users are aware of a minimum speed limit, due to the fact that slow drivers can often be just as responsible for causing severe accidents.

Minimum speed limit signs are rare in the UK, but are often in place to make sure that road users are driving at a swift speed to keep the traffic moving.

Minimum speed limit signs

These signs are most often placed in tunnels, where emergency service vehicles can struggle to get through stationary traffic.

What do minimum speed limit signs look like?

Minimum speed limit signs are circular in shape and blue in colour with the minimum speed limit displayed boldly in the middle.

Is there a motorway minimum speed limit?

 

There isn’t a minimum speed limit for motorways, however, if you are spotted by police for driving too slowly, there is the risk of you getting pulled over. In most cases, a verbal warning is all that it will amount to, but in other cases, you could face nine points on your licence and a fine of up to £5,000 dependant on a decision made by the court.

Penalty points will stay on your licence for four years, which may then have a huge impact on the cost of your car insurance – a real problem for new drivers who already face extremely high insurance bills.

Between 50mph and 70mph would be the recommended minimum speed limit for motorway driving. Any slower and you could become a real hazard for other road users.

Why is driving slowly a danger?

In most cases, driving too slowly can be a threat to other drivers, due to your vehicle becoming an obstacle among the flowing traffic. The constant breaking may cause other drivers to overtake and undertake dangerously out of frustration.

You may be wondering how you should be driving if you shouldn’t be driving too slowly or over the limit. Quite simply, providing that there are no serious weather conditions to take into consideration, you should aim to stick to the speed limit of each road to be on the safe side.

If you would like to read similar blog posts, please take a browse on our website for further tips and advice.

New Mobile Phone Laws – Are You Aware?

New Mobile Phone Laws – Are You Aware

Back in March 2017, new driving laws were introduced regarding the use of mobile phones while driving.

As a new driver, it is important that you are aware of these new laws before you get behind the wheel.

Not only because questions about them are set to appear in the theory exam, but also because knowing about the laws will prevent you from getting points on your licence and a possible ban from driving.

How do the new laws affect drivers?

While it has been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving since 2003, the punishment for doing so was doubled in March 2017.

Drivers now face a minimum of six penalty points on their licence, plus a £200 fine. If this is not their first driving offence, drivers could also face disqualification.

If a driver racks up more than six points in their first two years of driving, their licence will be revoked. This was reduced from 12 points prior to March 2017. If a licence is revoked, drivers will have to re-sit both their practical and theory tests before being allowed back on the road.

Can I still use a hands-free device?

Yes, but you are forbidden from touching, moving or picking up your mobile device at all times while you are in charge of a vehicle.

The police can and will pull you over if they suspect you have been distracted by your mobile phone and will issue you with an on the spot fine if that proves to be the case.

What if I use my phone as a sat nav?

Yes, but the same rules apply: drivers must not be distracted by the device and must not touch, move or pick up the device while behind the wheel. That means you must program destination details before you set off.

Also, the new laws were enacted in part because drivers were found to be distracted by following directions on mobile devices. So they specifically state that it is illegal to hold a mobile phone to follow directions. Therefore your phone must be placed in a hands-free holder at all times.

Can I use my phone in an emergency?

Yes, drivers are free to use a handheld phone to dial 999 or 112, but only if it is unsafe or unpractical to pull over. This would include occasions such as a motorway without a hard shoulder or contraflow system.

Can I still pull over to use my phone?

Yes, but you must ensure that you pull over in a safe place and that you are not illegally parked. Drivers must also ensure the engine is switched OFF before picking up or touching their mobile phone. Failure to do so will result in penalty points and fines being applied, regardless of if the car is moving or not.

These new laws are designed to keep all road users safe, the number of accidents caused by drivers being distracted using mobile phones has been steadily increasing. It is hoped that more stringent penalties for offenders will help reduce the risks and make the roads safer for everyone.

5 Common Car Insurance Claims And How To Avoid Making Them

5 Common Car Insurance Claims And How To Avoid Making Them 1

Wasim Bux is product manager at the car insurance provider iGO4. Here, he talks us through some of the most common car insurance claims, and how you can avoid having to make them.

As a new driver, it’s important that you know what the most common car insurance claims are, and what you can do to avoid having to make them. This will ensure that, every time you hit the road, you’re aware of the most prevalent dangers, and know how to keep you and your passengers safe, as well as preventing your car from getting damaged.

Here, I’ll talk you through five of the most common claims drivers make and explain how you can avoid making them. Read on to learn more.

Rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of accidents on the road, but they’re also one of the easiest to avoid. Although weather and road conditions are sometimes to blame, most rear-end accidents are caused by drivers following the vehicle in front of them too closely, or not paying enough attention to the road.

To avoid falling victim to a rear-end collision, you should ensure that your brake lights are always working perfectly, so drivers behind you are aware of when you’re slowing down or stopping. You should also pay careful attention to your rear-view mirrors, so you always know what’s happening around you, and keep an eye out for careless or aggressive drivers. If you do feel threatened by someone in another vehicle, it’s best to move away from them as soon as you safely can.

To avoid crashing into the back of another car when you’re on the road, leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. A good gauge is the 2 second rule, which involves choosing a marker — maybe a bridge or a sign — and checking that there is two seconds between the car in front of you and your vehicle passing your chosen point. When the roads are wet, it’s best to double this to four seconds.

Windshield damage

It’s easy to think that windshield damage is unavoidable — you can’t force stones to stay planted on the road, after all. However, there are some steps you can take to prevent some of the most common situations where windscreen damage occurs.

Most windshield damage is caused by rocks and grit falling from the back of large trucks so, if possible, it’s best to keep your distance from vehicles that are likely to cause you problems. When you’re travelling on roads that feel particularly uneven, or that have recently been gritted, then it’s wise to reduce your speed. This will help to prevent your tyres from throwing up debris that could damage your windscreen.

Parked vehicle collisions

Parked cars are quite frequently damaged by other drivers and, while you can’t always prevent your vehicle from being hit while it’s unsupervised, there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of falling victim to a hit and run.

For example, sometimes it’s better to park further away from a shopping centre, supermarket, or entertainment venue. While this will mean you need to do a bit more walking, it will help you to avoid what are likely to be the high traffic areas and, in turn, this should reduce the risk of your car being scratched or dented by another vehicle.

This might seem obvious, but it’s vital that you always park inside the white lines of a parking space. You should also try to leave plenty of room either side. Additionally, if you’re driving into a space near cars that are already parked, you should leave them plenty of room, so the driver and potential passengers can easily open their doors without hitting your vehicle.

Single car crashes

If your car crashes into anything other than another vehicle, this will be considered a single-vehicle collision, and it’s one of the most common reasons people claim on their insurance. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to avoid being involved in this kind of accident.

You should always adapt your driving style to the weather, even if your car is the only one on the road. So, if the conditions are less than ideal, keep your speed down so it’s easier to keep control of your vehicle. Additionally, having an empty road in front of you doesn’t mean you can pay any less attention to what’s happening ahead. So, you need to remain vigilant at all times — don’t be tempted to look down at your phone or change the CD that’s playing.

Vandalism

Depending on where you live, car vandalism might be an issue you need to consider. The best way to prevent vandals from causing damage to your car is to lock it away in your garage when it isn’t being used. But, if this isn’t an option, there are still some things you can do to prevent it catching the attention of people looking to cause trouble. For example, it’s best to park in a well-lit area, rather than an enclosed alley way. You should never leave valuables — or any items that could catch a thief’s eye — on display in your car. And, of course, you should always lock your car when you’re leaving it unsupervised, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes.

To stay safe and help prevent damage from being caused to your vehicle, take these tips on board. You’ll reduce the chance of you having to make an insurance claim, which will help to save you money in the long run.

Show Me/Tell Me – Are You Aware Of The Changes?

Show Me Tell Me Are You Aware Of The Changes

The new version of the UK driving test will mean that you will now have a 20 minute independent part of the driving test, instead of the older 10 minute version.

In this, you will be required first to answer questions about driving praxis (tell me) and then to demonstrate them in practice (show me).

This is an introduction to the kind of questions you should expect, and how they have changed in the past few years, to help you arrive prepared and confident when the time of your test comes!

In the previous version of the driving test, you would have been asked two questions before the test.

 

Now, you will be asked one while the car is still, and one while you are driving. For example, you might be asked to show the examiner how you clean your windscreen while you drive, rather than telling them this at the start of the test.

This is aimed at replicating more real-life scenarios, for after this test you will often be in a situation in which you will need to drive competently and also think about other tasks regarding your car (operating the horn, switching on dipped headlights, defrosting your front window, just to name a few).

In light of this, it is essential to make sure you are familiar with where all relevant controls are, and that you feel confident practically manipulating them. Failure to successfully perform in the “show me” part of the test will be considered a dangerous fault.

The actual content of the questions will not change significantly, though they are not exactly the same either. The ‘tell-me’ part of the test has ten new questions, including:

 

  • How to check if your brakes are working before starting your journey
  • How to check tyre pressure
  • How to check if your headlights and tail-lights are working
  • How you make sure your head restraint is correctly adjusted so it provides the best protection in the event of a crash
  • How to check if your tyres are in safe condition
  • How and when you would switch on your rear fog lights
  • How to know if there is a problem with your anti-lock braking system
  • How to check that the power-assisted steering is working before starting a journey
  • How to check if direction indicators are working
  • How to check if brake lights are working.

 

Ensure you’re prepared before your test and you should pass with flying colours!

Texting While Driving – The Dangers

TEXTING WHILE DRIVING

Did you know that texting while driving is considered more dangerous than being at the legal drink limit or under the influence of cannabis when behind the wheel? According to research undertaken by the RAC Foundation, texting while driving slows reaction time by a whopping 35%, whereas the legal drink limit leaves drivers 12% slower and cannabis reduces reaction time by 21%. It’s important to note that a slower reaction time can have deadly consequences.

Crashing your vehicle due to texting while driving

Research has revealed that nearly 6 in every 10 crashes that involve teenage drivers are caused by texting and other distractions on the road; and on average, around 1 in every 8 accidents is caused by a driver using their smartphone.

Studies have also found that you’re 4 times as likely to crash a vehicle if you are using your phone at the wheel. Whilst these statistics might sound scary, the resulting crashes caused by texting while driving are utterly harrowing and leave behind thousands of devastated friends and family members every year. Even if you think you’re being careful, deciding to glance at your phone for just a few seconds while you’re driving can result in a crash.

The law

It is against the law to use your phone while driving. This includes texting, typing song names into YouTube or Spotify and scrolling through your Instagram and Facebook feeds.

This applies when you’re at a traffic light and even includes the use of GPS apps on your phone.

If it’s handheld, it shouldn’t be used when you’re behind the wheel.

If the police catch you using your handheld phone while you’re driving, you will be given 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine. The added points to your licence will also cause your insurance to increase in cost. You could even lose your licence if you’ve passed within 2 years of getting caught, as getting 6 points on your licence in your first 2 years of driving will result in the loss of your licence.

When can I use my phone?

If you would like to send a text while driving, park up and turn off the engine first.

The only acceptation to this rule is if it’s an emergency where it would be unsafe to pull your vehicle over. In this case, if you need to call the police or an ambulance, you may use your phone.

When Can You Apply For Your Provisional Driving Licence?

When Can You Apply For Your Provisional Driving Licence

Learning to drive is one of the first – and biggest – steps towards your independence. But before you can get behind the wheel of a car or even take any of the three parts of the driving test, you’ll need to apply for your provisional driving licence. Although you need to be 17 to learn to drive a car, you can apply for your provisional driving licence for a motorbike, moped or car from the age of 15 years and 9 months.

To get your provisional driving licence, you can either apply online or complete an application form and send it to the DVLA in Swansea.

Before you apply

You’ll need to be a resident in the UK, capable of reading a number plate from 20 metres away, and be able to provide the following:

  • A UK passport or ID document
  • Your address or addresses over the last 3 years
  • Your National Insurance number
  • A colour passport photo
  • A debit/credit card payment of £34 (online) or a cheque/postal order for £43 (offline)

What is a provisional driving licence?

So what does having a provisional licence mean?

Once you get your provisional driving licence, which usually takes a week if you apply online and three weeks if you send your application form to the DVLA, you can drive on the UK roads with a qualified driving instructor or any driver over the age of 21 who has held their licence for at least 3 years.

You can carry passengers, but the qualified driver must be in the passenger seat, and you’ll have to use L plates. And, most importantly, you must be over the age of 17.

If you want to ride a moped or a quad bike, which you can do legally from the age of 16, you’ll need a provisional licence. It’s also a widely accepted form of ID, and something you must have before you can take the theory test, hazard perception test or driving test – and before you can book your very first driving lesson, so it makes sense to apply for your provisional licence as soon as possible.

How do I get my full driving licence?

Once you pass your test, your licence needs to be upgraded to a full UK driving licence.

This can be done electronically by scanning your photo licence at the test centre, or signing the declaration on the pass certificate and sending it to the DVLA with your provisional licence. Within four weeks you’ll have your full UK driving licence.

How To Pass Your Driving Theory Test In 2018

HOW TO PASS YOUR DRIVING THEORY TEST IN 2018

Learning to drive on the roads is hard enough, but you also have the theory test to think about too.

Here are some tips to help you with passing your theory test this year.

Get the theory test kit and the Highway Code and use them!

This might seem an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people think they’ll be able to ace the test with little or any revision.

You can get this official theory test kit. It includes revision for both the multiple choice and hazard perception tests you’ll need to do.

Make sure you also get yourself a copy of the Highway Code. Everything you’ll be tested on is in these two resources.

You can set yourself practice tests in the kit, which will help on the day. Try to do 10 to 15 minutes revision sessions two or three times per day and one practice test per day, swapping between the multiple choice and the hazard perception areas.

If you find it easier, you could download the app – there’s no excuse to not make time as you could use it while you’re on the bus home, on your lunch break or whilst everyone else is watching TV and it’s cheaper too.

Read the questions in the multiple choice test carefully

You have 50 questions to answer over 57 minutes. You get over a minute to answer each question, so don’t rush. Read the question and then read it again to make sure you understand it. You’ll need 43 correct answers to pass this section.

Keep a look out for hazards (and sometimes there’s more than one!)

The hazard perception part of your test is the more challenging section. Remember that there is at least one hazard on every video clip, and sometimes there’s more than one.

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of looking out for hazards all the time when you’re on your driving lessons. This and the revision will help you spot the hazards easily.

It will benefit you to be quicker in this area of the test, as you score more points for spotting hazards earlier.

Be Prepared

Make sure you have a good nights sleep before your test and ensure you leave lots of time for getting to the centre.

Try to relax. Often nerves get in the way of common sense, so take some deep breaths, focus in on what’s in front of you and remember all the work you did to get here!

Good luck!