026 HPM 0517

HPM May 2017

26 B U S I N E S S VANS What are the biggest threats on our roads? According to a recent survey by Brake, the top answers are drivers who speed, are distracted, or drink drive. HPM’s Alex Willis reveals more in his round-up of this month’s van news Drink driving ranked highly in a survey by Brake which asked which driving behaviours posed the biggest danger Road safety charity, Brake, asked 1,000 drivers to identify which driving behaviour, from a list of six, they thought posed the biggest danger. More than three quarters ranked speeding or distraction uppermost. Drink and drug driving was also ranked highly. Only three per cent considered vehicle emissions to be the biggest threat faced, two per cent rated poor vision and just one per cent ranked not wearing a seat belt as the greatest risks. Brake is aiming to raise awareness of the importance of drivers staying slow (drive under speed limits), silent (never make or take calls, read or type), sober (never drive after any alcohol, or illegal or impairing drugs), sharp (stay focussed and don’t drive tired or with a health condition that impairs), secure (belted up correctly), sighted (check eyes every two years) and sustainable (walk, cycle or use public transport when possible). One in five drivers claims they never break any of the these points and regularly make both safe and sustainable choices. The survey also asked drivers which risks they would admit to taking on the roads themselves. Nearly eight in ten admitted to taking risks; almost two thirds to sometimes speeding; more than four in ten drivers to drive distances that they could easily walk; nearly one in eight to driving while distracted; and, almost one in ten to not wearing a seat belt or their passengers not wearing a seat belt. What drivers believe is the biggest threat, and the bad behaviours they engage in, don’t match up. Older drivers are more likely to admit to speeding, but say distraction is the biggest threat. Younger drivers are more likely to say they drive while distracted, and say speeding is the biggest danger. This is suggestive that people are inclined to think their own risky behaviour is not the most threatening: it’s someone else’s different behaviour that is the problem. It is extremely challenging to change drivers’ behaviour: drivers make mistakes and some knowingly take risks. This is why Brake supports a safe systems approach to save lives and the planet. This includes 20mph limits in built-up areas, segregated routes for people on foot and bicycles, crash-protection features on vehicles and ultra-low emission vehicles, and regulation and enforcement of drivers to enable safer driving choices. However, deaths and injuries are happening right now, with five people dying on UK roads every day and 61 being seriously injured. Safer vehicles Nineteen safety technologies, including autonomous emergency braking and active lane keeping, could be made mandatory on new vehicles in the next update of European Union vehicle safety rules expected this year (the EU’s rules have not been updated since 2009). Three technologies that have a high potential for saving lives are: • automated emergency braking: automatically slows down and stops the vehicle if it detects a vehicle in front. Some versions already available on the market can detect pedestrians and cyclists • intelligent speed assistance: over ridable system that communicates the current speed limit to the driver using digital maps and speed sign recognition and helps them keep within the limit • seat-belt reminders: already mandatory on driver seats, the Commission is looking to extend fitment to all passenger seats. Failure to wear a seatbelt is still a leading cause of death on Europe’s roads Crafty website The configurator on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ website has been upgraded to feature the new Crafter ahead of its UK debut at the CV Show last month. Once a vehicle has been configured, the online tool generates a code which can be saved for future use. The code can also be taken into a Van Centre where a sales person can immediately retrieve the vehicle spec' and optional extras, meaning a seamless transition from the on-to off-line worlds. Duster Commercial Based on the passenger car version of the vehicle, the Dacia Duster Commercial has a 1,604-litre maximum load capacity and cost benefits thanks to its classification as a light commercial vehicle (LCV). It has a flat load area in lieu of rear seats and a payload of 550kg and is offered with one businessoriented diesel engine – the dCi 110 unit – either as a 4×2 or a go-anywhere 4×4. Available in two different trim levels – Ambiance and Lauréate – the Duster Commercial features Bluetooth connectivity, electric front windows and a heated rear screen even on entry-level versions. The Lauréate version adds features such as cruise control, leather steering wheel, alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric heated door mirrors. Prices start from £10,995 (excluding VAT). www.hpmmag.com May 2017


HPM May 2017
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