Would Changing British Summertime Prevent Accidents?

Tuesday, 22. July 2014

Hi, Graham Hill here, thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you learn a lot and as a result end up driving a great car. In order to do so you can get all the information you need by buying my book, An Insider Guide To Car Finance or use me to finance your next car. Happy driving.

I know we seem to be a nation of moaners in this country when it comes to weather conditions but there are few other countries in the world where they have a huge expanse of water on one side and the equivalent to a duck pond the other. Walk north for a few miles and you are stepping onto a glacier but take a few steps in the opposite direction and you’re negotiating sand dunes.

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And it doesn’t stop at ground level, racing around above us, when it feels like it, is the notoriously unpredictable jet stream. Add it all together and we end up with cars, the majority of which still don’t have air conditioning as standard because ‘it’s never that hot for that long’, and heating systems that don’t seem to have changed much since my dad’s Ford Consul.

But when it comes to adapting to weather conditions there is something we need to do, which the Government has the power to change and that is British Summertime. Not because of the inconvenience of re-setting your watch, phone, tablet, computer, laptop, electric toothbrush and all things electric twice every year but it is also dangerous.

Pedestrians have long made the argument against the annual change but statistics regarding car accidents are continue to add weight to the argument that we need to revert to GMT all year round. Typical of us Brits, we invent time by way of Greenwich Mean Time, the standard against which time around the world is measured, then we quite randomly add on the odd hour, then remove it a few months later for reasons that are now lost in the mists of time (I’m sure someone will enlighten me).

But this is all getting serious, as I witnessed myself a couple of days ago. At this time of year, when the skies are clearer and the sun at its most powerful, it reaches eye level during the rush hour. This, according to the AA has led to a quadrupling of head on crashes with lorries, believed to be caused by the long shadows cast by lorries, made even more dangerous when cars are turning.


Glare (Photo credit: theevilmightyf)

As a result the AA has come up with some suggestion to help prevent accidents:

  • Always keep the windscreen clear both inside and out. I always keep a glass cleaner spray and kitchen roll in the boot to clean the outside, especially useful towards the end of the summer when bugs splatter themselves on your windscreen.
  • If blinded slow down immediately. It is tempting to carry on regardless to let the glare pass but by then it may be too late.
  • If driving at sunset, anticipate the effects of glare on you and other drivers. Drivers heading west or through terrain where the sun may appear suddenly need to expect to travel more slowly than usual.

I really do think we should be taking another look at the need to adjust our time twice every year. By Graham Hill

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