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HPM November 2015

WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BUSINESSVANS Bad driving stifles desire The first ever scientific study into driving skills and desirability reveals that bad driving significantly reduces levels of attractiveness in potential partners, with women finding it particularly offputting. HPM’s Alex Willis reveals more as part of his round-up of this month’s van news... Nissan is offering a five-year warranty or 100,000 miles on its range of trucks and vans Finally answering the long-debated question whether poor driving skills put a dampener on romance, the study, conducted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), in association with prominent behavioural psychologist, Jo Hemmings, found bad drivers to be 50% less attractive than motorists with good skills. Candidates were shown videos of both good and bad driving while being tested for their levels of attraction towards the driver using pulse rate, pupil dilation, blink rate and body language. Overall, drivers were on average rated for attractiveness as 4.8 out of ten by women before their driving prowess was revealed. However, in the case of bad drivers, this rate dropped to 2.8, a fall of 80%, with over three quarters of candidates reporting more negative feelings towards the driver after experiencing their incompetence on the road. The pulse rate of 60% of female candidates increased while watching bad driving manoeuvres, with a 20% increase for a third indicating a significant rise in stress levels. It’s the aggressive and confrontational manoeuvres that were found to be most unattractive to women, with road rage, illegal overtaking and tailgating topping a list of behaviours that provoke the strongest negative reactions. In contrast, reactions in men were found to be less significant with just over a quarter reporting a dislike for the driver after seeing them behind the wheel. Body language indicators showed that for men frustration was the overwhelming response. Candidates were found to frown, become agitated and shift position as they watched videos of parking, turning the vehicle around or other examples of distracted or preoccupied behaviours. Jo said: “There is no doubt that most candidates, and nearly all of the women, found bad driving to be a turn-off. However, it’s interesting to look at the reactions of different genders. Some male reactions to bad driving included laughter and amusement indicating that men have a less mature emotional response to bad driving than women who instead furrowed their brows and shook their heads.” The experiment follows independent research by the IAM which uncovered bad driving as one of the UK’s biggest first date turn-offs. Road rage was the worst first-date faux pas for almost half of Brits while a similar number said texting at the wheel left them wanting to end a date then and there. A further one in ten were irritated by someone who took 15 minutes to park and an 13% found overly cautious drivers who drive under the speed limit off-putting. “Overall the experiment supports the hypothesis that bad driving elicits strong instinctive responses,” added Jo, “with a correlated effect on levels of desire. However, it's evident that women have a stronger negative reaction to bad driving than men and they find bad drivers considerably less attractive as a result.” SEE THEM TODAY New Caddy and Transporter models are now in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' Van Centres across the UK. Revealed earlier in the year, both models have received significant design and technology enhancements that include upgraded engines, further improved safety features and increased levels of comfort. The second best-selling model in Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ range, the Caddy enters its fourth generation phase, available in three trim levels – Startline, Trendline and Highline. Starting from £13,500, the new model sets a benchmark in its class for its array of safety and convenience systems which include driver and front passenger front, side and curtain airbags, a new automatic post-collision braking system and a seatbelt reminder. Owners can also opt for park assist and a rear-view camera which help to reduce damage to vehicles when parking. Some of the Euro five engine Caddy models can be specified with BlueMotion technology modifications (start/stop system and battery regeneration) fitted to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. A standalone BlueMotion variant also joins the range: with a 2.0-litre Euro six 102PS engine and five-speed manual gearbox, it can return 65.7 mpg. Raising the standards again, the sixth-generation Transporter sets the benchmark for practicality and low running costs. The latest version, starting from £17,745, launches with the widest range of engine, transmission and trim level options ever offered by Volkswagen. It also introduces a host of new design and engineering features along with new assistance, safety, convenience and comfort systems. Featuring cleaner, more efficient engines, the Transporter is available with a range of four 2.0-litre TDI Euro five engines and a 2.0-litre TDI Euro six unit. All models benefit from Volkswagen’s BlueMotion modifications as standard. These include low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and start/stop systems to reduce fuel consumption. In keeping with Transporter tradition, the new T6 model offers a range of body options and gross vehicle weights to suit the needs of all operators and drivers. In addition to three roof height options, the new Transporter is available with four gross vehicle weights along with short and long wheelbase options. NISSAN WARRANTY A light commercial vehicle warranty of five years, or 100,000 miles, has been launched by Nissan for its range of petrol and diesel trucks and vans. The warranty covers components and chassis elements, including powertrain, battery and paintwork. There is the option for customers to extend their warranty beyond the standard period, of either time or distance. HANDS-FREE BAN? A government clampdown on the use of hands-free phones while driving could be considered in an effort to improve road safety. Research has shown that using a hands-free phone while driving is more likely to lengthen reaction times than having 80mg of alcohol in the bloodstream, the drink-drive limit in England and Wales. Currently, the government has banned the use of handheld devices, but drivers are free to use hands-free phones unless restricted by their employer. 20 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY


HPM November 2015
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