Men have little to smile about though – they are much more likely than women to lose points for reckless driving. And it’s worth bearing in mind that insurers do tend to give that fact a little more consideration than whether someone takes a few attempts to parallel park!
Technology doesn’t stand still, and that’s certainly true when it comes to safety systems in car manufacturing. For years now we’ve had reversing warning alarms, but in recent years the equipment supplied by firms such as Brigade Electronics has become incredibly sophisticated, to the point where many are now approved by the Noise Abatement Society. Some vehicles even have cameras, so the driver has 360 degree views of any obstacles in their path – massively useful at night.
In-Car Safety Technology
In fact, in-car safety is changing rapidly. Some manufacturers have begun looking into “vehicle-to-vehicle” communication systems, for instance, an incredibly advanced early warning system where your car will let other vehicles in the vicinity know about its presence, and alert them if you have broken down in the middle of the road, say. The hope is that this could drastically reduce car accidents, if alterations to driving speed or direction can be made automatically rather than relying on fallible human judgement.
Then there is electronic stability control, which is very much in vogue in the EU at the moment, and whereby individual wheels brake gradually rather than all at once, significantly reducing the chances of your vehicle going into a skid should you need to make an emergency stop. And many new cars also have a speed alert function that warns the driver when they are at risk of breaking a speed limit. Not only will this lead to fewer tickets being given out, it will hopefully cut the number of speed-related traffic deaths on our roads.
Where this is all leading is that, in years gone by, car safety products were aimed at protecting people in the event of a crash. Nowadays research is focused on avoiding crashes altogether.
Reversal of Fortune
None of this helps, of course, if you’re just no good at reversing, and let’s face it, we all have problems from time to time.
Good reversing technique can only come with practise. We can learn just enough to get us through our driving tests, but it is experience that will allow true mastery of it. Some people find it very helpful to practise in empty supermarket car parks after hours – the white lines and ample space make it a perfect training ground.
As with many driving skills, the key things to remember with reversing are: mirrors, observation, and patience. Three points that should serve you well in any road situation.