Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Why Learning How to Drive Is Great and Why an RSA Driving School Gift Voucher Should Be On Your Christmas Shopping List

There is something liberating about being able to drive. It's no wonder why individuals who have come of age look forward to getting their driving license to cap off their new found freedom. Learning how to drive is a skill that the majority, if not all, individuals have to have. So imagine just how much a loved one or friend would appreciate getting an RSA Driving School gift voucher and getting one step closer to holding a full Irish licence.

Below are four reasons for why the gift of helping someone learn how to drive will never fail to put a smile on any receiver's face:

But before we look at the reasons why we want to introduce you to our new custom gift voucher builder. If you are planning to give someone a driving lesson gift voucher this Christmas in style. You can decide how many lessons you want to purchase, select to have it emailed or posted out and add your own personal message for that extra special touch...

You then have the option to pay there and then via PayPal; or pay over the phone. It is so back to the reasons why an RSA Driving School Gift Voucher is a great gift idea for this Xmas.

Driving allows one to be more independent

Having the freedom to up and go anywhere you want, when you want, is a good feeling and certainly something most of us with driving licences take for granted. What happens when you don't have a licence and don't know how to drive? You take public transport which unfortunately can be unreliable and isn't at your beck and call. Sure, you can hail a cab but that could drain you financially over time and the parents may not always be capable, or even willing, to drive you around. Allowing someone to learn how to drive will lead to increased mobility.

Driving is a skill which will remain for an entire lifetime

When you look back at the many milestones that took place in your life, one thing stands out. Milestones like learning to ride a bike. You We remember where we were, who it was that taught and how they helped us get up the first time we didn't succeed. Learning how to drive a car is the same as learning how to ride a bike. While there is a little more involved in learning to drive a car than there is learning to ride a bike, the skill basically stays with you throughout your entire lifetime. If you want to be remembered as the person responsible for allowing a loved one or friend to learn how to drive, then an RSA Driving School Lesson Voucher is a sure way to do just that.

Driving allows you to land a job

Often we encounter people that call us for lessons because they are sick and tired of a seeing perfect job opportunity only to discover that a full drivers license is needed. It is all too often the case that employers require that applicants hold a full Irish licence. Give someone the gift of a RSA Driving School Driving Lesson Voucher and not only set them on the road to acquiring that essential life skill of driving but also the potential to land that dream job. 

No more relying on you

It's alright for the choice of your gift to be motivated by not-so-selfless intentions. Once they have learned to drive they are fully independent and ready to fly the nest. You no longer have to worry about driving your kid or a friend to the cinema or to college. They can chauffeur themselves from this day forth and you can rest easy knowing they have been taught by the best in the business.
Why should you choose RSA Driving School?

Driving is not a right; it is a privilege. This means that if you want to be given the license to drive, you need to be able to do the work. RSA Driving School makes sure that their learner drivers (if needed) go through the 12 essential driving training (EDT) lessons and understands the essentials of driving as imposed by the Road Safety Authority. We take teaching people to drive very seriously and so should you when choosing which driving school to teach your loved ones to drive.
From all of us at RSA Driving School, happy holidays and have a safe time on the road during this festive season.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Avoiding Control Blind Spots

Encountering blind spots during driving is something that cannot be avoided—it is indeed a natural occurrence in every driver’s life. There are 8 blind spots while driving: 2 in the front of the car, 2 on each side, and 2 in the rear of the vehicle. To prevent an accident, you need to avoid blind spots. This poses serious danger for both the driver and passengers alike which can lead to very unfavourable situations. Switching lanes may seem to be an ordinary ordeal which can turn deadly if you are not careful. Every car manufacturer has revolutionized the design of their cars in order to overcome this safety flaw, and yet there are still many who are victimized by blind spots.

Over the years, driver education has always stressed the importance of physically looking over your shoulder to check out your blind spot. This action was superseded relatively quickly due to the steady development of car technology. From strategically adjusting your mirrors to encompass your whole vision to purchasing a blind spot mirror-- Low and behold, here comes the “blind spot alerting system”. This system is composed of several strategically positioned sensors that alert the driver if another vehicle is positioned in the driver’s blind spot. Blinking lights will go off in the corresponding rear view mirror to let the driver know that there is potential danger.

But still, this method did not achieve the full effect that was expected and many motorists still conformed to the traditional preventive measure of checking over their shoulders manually. In reality, this action carries with it more risks than benefits. A front collision may just be hammering your way as you look backward in an effort to prevent a similar event from happening. Furthermore, with the way cars are engineered nowadays, seeing all the way to the back of your SUV may seem a futile effort considering all the seats that block your vision. Remember that accidents can occur in a split-second… that is something that you do NOT want to occur. . It is just ironic that tons of resources are spent to enhance car safety and yet it still remains inconsistent and not totally reliable.

So, the best solution to this problem is to keep things simple. Stick to the basics. Trust your instincts. Free yourself from those complicated systems which at the end of the day, do not really reach your expectations. Many motorists have proven time again that using simple, tested methods of safety have been their ally in road safety. 

To prove even further that simple methods are the most effective, take a look at this graphic from the article, “How To: Adjust Your Mirrors to Avoid Blind Spots”, from Car and Driver Magazine.

It is for certain that if you ask any motorist who has applied the adjusting methods presented in this graphic, they would tell you that all the other fancy, high technology systems have nothing compared to this. It is clearly more effective and risks are brought to a minimum.

To help you even more, here are additional tips which you can use when avoiding blind spots:
  • Never attempt to adjust your mirrors while you are driving.
  • Consistently scan your mirrors if you are planning to change lanes or pass someone.
  • The new adjustments you have made on your mirrors will also call for an adjustment period for you. Give yourself at least a week to get used to this.
  • Do not rely on your mirrors ALONE when avoiding blind spots.
There you have it! Remember that it is your responsibility as the driver to be fully aware of your surroundings. In order to steer away from dangerous situations, employ the proper safety measures at all times when you are on the road.

Safe Driving!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Road Safety - A MUST for Young Drivers

One of the most anticipated events is coming up and students in Ireland are waiting at the edge of their seats. Yes, the examinations are ending soon and a lot of celebrations, parties, and get-togethers have already been planned and set.

In line with this, on 14th June 2013, the Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sports, Mr. Leo Varadkar in conjunction with the RSA (Road Safety Authority) have advised young drivers to rightfully observe road safety as they celebrate their much awaited shindigs this coming weekend.

There is a wide array of resources available to show the distressing casualty data among young drivers. Specifically, it was found out that 8% of all road death victims this year are between the ages of 16-20. Because of this alarming rate, Minister Varadkar stresses the importance and prioritization of road safety to junior certified students.

But why are young drivers at a higher risk of getting into vehicular mishaps?

Let’s take a look at the hard facts.
  • Inexperience. Research has shown that the combination of inexperience and driving at a young age put these drivers at a very high risk. 
  • Overconfidence. Young drivers tend to pick up on the physical skills needed for driving pretty quickly and therefore think that they have already mastered it. They take full control with the idea that a car crash will NEVER happen to them. 
  • Poor risk assessment. Though some hazards can be quickly identified, some are not so obvious. Young drivers often exhibit poorer reacting skills which puts them into a higher risk. 

With that in mind, Minister Varadkar strongly expressed the need for students to inform their parents about their plans in advance including details on how they will reach their destinations. Noel Brett fully supports the Minister and intensely encourages parents to make sure that their children stay safe on the roads as well. He even added that parents should go the extra mile to pick up their children when necessary to avoid any untoward events from happening.

Both Brett and Varadkar recommended young motorists to follow these tips prior to upcoming celebrations:
  • Do not even think about driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. 
  • Fully concentrate on your driving and avoid using your mobile phone while on the road. 
  • Always buckle up. Your seat belt may just save your life. 
  • Instead of driving, consider using public transportation to reach your destination. 
  • Make sure that you are accompanied by a full license holder to guide you while driving. 
  • Put in mind that young drivers are at high risk of getting into vehicular problems. Safety should be your number one priority at all times. 

In addition, the RSA also provided advice to both young motorists and their parents.
  • Parents should strongly advice their children to avoid driving late in the night. This is the time frame when most accidents occur among young people. 
  • Always put your seatbelt on regardless if you are at the backseat or sitting in front. 
  • Trust your instincts and do not get into a vehicle if you feel that the driver is unfit to drive. Speak up to avoid getting compromised. 
  • Do not even attempt to use your mobile device while driving. Research has shown that there is a much higher probability of getting into a crash when the driver uses a hand-held device while on the act of driving. 
  • Follow the road rules and be aware of speed limits. 
Convincing young drivers about the significance of road safety is not an easy task. This is one of the main reasons why Brett and Varadkar strongly urge parents to help them in this cause. With teamwork between the parents and the proper authorities, road safety education can be targeted and put into action. In turn, young motorists would realize that road safety indeed comes first and make it a top priority while traversing Ireland’s roads.

With measures and efforts combined, it is guaranteed that this joint campaign will create a big impact on the unacceptable level of crashes, deaths and other serious injuries involving young drivers. This will definitely mark the beginning of a safer, more organized driving culture in the years to come.

If you are looking to book driving lessons in Dublin for you sons and daughters as a reward for their hard work during their exams then give us a call at the RSA Driving School. We have a range of Driving Lesson Gift Vouchers available to suit all situations.

Thanks for reading and drive safe.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Driving on the Roads of Ireland & The Roads to Ireland Guide 2013

Who doesn't like travelling? One of the most important things we should prepare for our travel expeditions is transportation. It just makes perfect sense for us to do our homework before renting a car or setting ourselves for any kind of transportation we wish to take.

In line with this, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in partnership with An Garda Síochána introduced the Roads to Ireland guide last June 4th, 2013. This is a guide launched for tourists that would provide information about vital road safety information to help tourists go out and about safely whether they may be walking, using a motorcycle, riding a bicycle or driving during their wonderful stay in the area.

This is a smart move considering that around 7 million tourists are expected to spend their time in Ireland in 2013. This campaign is rightfully part of the road safety campaign for visitors supported by Tourism Ireland. This guide can be easily downloaded from the RSA website. It is also available in 9 different languages to cater to the communicative needs of tourists.

Through data provided by An Garda Síochána, it was found out that a total of 56 tourists were involved in serious road accidents in Ireland between the period of 2009 to May 30th 2013. This guide will surely give a heads up to those who are planning to visit Ireland and make their stay in the country as safe as possible.

Tourist road safety signage should be a priority in terms of design and positioning. This will ensure that that the highest effective rate is achieved and proper assistance is given to the tourists. Through this campaign, road safety messages will be distributed and publicized through both offline and online channels. They will be placed in prominent places for easy viewing such as in the Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports, including the ports in Dublin and Rosslare. Online advertising will also include language support to facilitate engagement and encouragement for those planning to visit the country.

Now, if you are planning to rent a car in another country, it is best that you are made aware of what you should expect upon your arrival. Indistinguishable road signs and street signs are just some of initial challenges you should deal with. But with proper orientation and preparation, you will most likely enjoy the freedom and experience only driving can provide. Along with the Roads to Ireland guide you should download from the RSA website, here are 9 helpful tips that could help you enjoy driving to the fullest:

1. Get a hold of an International Driving Permit. Though they don’t look so official, many countries require you to have this booklet before you are allowed to rent a car.

2. Talk to you insurance provider and ask about what coverage you need. It is a common practice that the car rental company of your choice will offer you the most expensive insurance option, so be a step ahead and ask about what international coverage you may use provided by your car insurance and credit card company.

3. Do advanced research on basic road signs and rules in the country of your choice. This will save you loads of time and ultimately will save you from possible road penalties.

4. Consider getting or renting a GPS system. It would be even more awesome if it comes with your rental car. A word of caution, make sure that the GPS System speaks the language of your preference to avoid even more confusion.

5. If you are planning your driving routes, avoid old neighbourhoods as much as you can. You might find yourself traversing through narrow alleys sooner that you think.

6. Make sure what your rental car runs on; whether diesel or gas. This might prove to be costly if you make the wrong decision.

7. Check out your vehicle’s original registration and possibly a Hire Certificate before you take off.

8. Make sure that you have all the safety equipment and requirements you need in case something unexpected comes up.

9. Consider creating a travel file with the correct documentation

In fact on a number of occasion we have had requests for driving lessons in Dublin from tourists visiting Ireland so that they might better get used to driving in our country and on our side of the road. It's good to see some road users taking action to better the safety of themselves and other road users and if you are a tourist in Ireland and find that you are reading this article and are considering take some driving lessons to prepare for your Irish roadtrip feel free to contact us at the RSA Driving School and we will help you in anyway we can.

There you have it! These are just a few tips worthy to be followed when you decide to drive in another country. Safety must be your utmost priority; which you can only achieve through proper preparation and advanced thinking. As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

Good Luck on your travel endeavors!

Friday, 7 June 2013

The 5 Top Secrets On How To Make The Most Out of Your Driving Lessons -- Revealed!

Your “freedom” is within your grasp...Yes! You will soon be driving a car. The responsibilities of handling a car on your own may be tremendous and the way you accomplish these tasks will all depend on how determined and committed you are during your driving lessons.

 You have booked your driving lessons and you’re off! Pretty soon you will be sitting beside your instructor listening intently and absorbing every bit of vital information that you are told. Indeed, learning how to drive is a rite of passage for any aspiring motorist. You might be feeling a cocktail of emotions now—excited, terrified, and even impatient.

 To help you ease your disposition and be more than ready to take the leap into driving, here we reveal the top 5 secrets on how to feel more comfortable, confident and ultimately come out successful in your driving lessons.

 You must carefully select your ADI & Driving School

Your ADI, or Approved Driving Instructor, is a vital factor in your driving lesson endeavor. Choose an ADI who is well-experienced and extremely knowledgeable not only in the act of driving, but more importantly the way driving should be taught to students like you. Ask around, do a little bit of research. You may opt to ask your family or friends about an ADI they could recommend or you can do your own background check and find out who the best ADIs are out there and are available to give driving lessons.

 If you have already chosen an ADI and you feel that you are unsatisfied or not learning at the pace you want to, do not hesitate to ask a replacement from your driving school.

 Go over paperwork prior to starting your driving lessons

Before you start your lessons, your ADI must give you a copy of the rules, regulations and guidelines that must be followed in the duration of your driving lessons. Why is this important? Well for starters, it will give you a clear idea of what to expect during your lessons. You will be made aware of the things that you can and cannot do. Pay special attention to the payment terms, cancellation and refund policies of the driving school of your choice.

 You must also ask for the training plan or lesson plan that you will undertake. This will help you set clearer goals and find ways on how you can achieve them with flying colors. You must also make sure that your EDT Logbook is updated by your instructor at all times especially the “Feedback” and “Recommended Actions” page. Through this you will be made aware of the areas where you excel in and the areas that you should improve on.

 Lastly, if you have chosen a per lesson basis, make sure to ask for an appointment card from your driving school which clearly states the date, time, and type of your driving lesson – whether it is EDT, non-EDT and so on.

 Proper selection of your Sponsor

Your sponsor is the person who will oversee your driving lessons and your driving progress in general. Make sure that the sponsor you choose has the following characteristics:

  • Your sponsor must possess a full license for a minimum of 2 years.
  • Your sponsor must be knowledgeable and well-experienced in driving.
  • Your sponsor must genuinely be concerned about your progress and performance while you learn how to drive.
  • Your sponsor must be willing to shed light to your questions and is committed to teach you vital tips in the duration of your driving lessons.

Speak up!

You must never be afraid to ask questions if you have any. You must be assertive to learn things and ask for clarification if any information comes across as confusing to you. The only way for you to be the best driver you can be is by getting answers to your queries and apply what you have learned. Being made aware of the things you do not know will surely lead you to success.

Self-Check and Reflection

Self-reflection and analysis is vital to achieving success in your driving lessons. It would be a great idea to ask your ADI for a recommendation and wrap-up session just before your driving lesson ends. This will be a good chance for you to be made aware of your mistakes and be guided on how you can prevent them to do better in your succeeding lessons. Always keep track of your progress and accept criticisms constructively.

 With all that said, here is a rundown of the most common mistakes that rookie drivers commit:

  • Most students develop a lead foot where they go too fast for surrounding conditions.
  • Not paying enough attention when changing lanes or turning in roundabouts or junctions.
  • The inability to be a defensive driver in a sense that they cannot predict what other drivers would do.
  • The wrong overtaking strategies.
  • The improper use of mirrors and signals.
  • The lack of attention to road markings and signs.

 At the RSA Driving School we have known through experience that you are only ever going to be as good as the training that you receive. We have crafted our own learner driver programs to support not only those who have to complete the EDT but also those ready to prepare for their driving test.
If you're looking for driving lessons in Dublin then get in touch on 01514 3752 or visit our website.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Operation "Slow Down"

We would like to highlight and commend the Gardaí who throughout the country will be implementing 'Operation Slow Down', an intense campaign of traffic enforcement over a 24-hour period this bank holiday weekend.
"From 7am on Friday 31st May to 7am on Saturday 1st June, An Garda Síochána, along with other stakeholders, will run Operation “Slow Down”. The objectives of the Operation are to raise awareness of the dangers of inappropriate and excessive speed, reduce the number of speed related collisions, and therefore save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
According to independent research conducted by Behavior & Attitudes on behalf of the RSA in 2012, just over half of drivers say it is unacceptable to break the speed limit. This is very welcome. However, one in every ten drivers said it’s ok to break the speed limit by 10km/h or more, although the number of people in this group is dropping year on year. Of concern is the one third of drivers who believe it is acceptable to break the speed limit by up to 10km/h. These drivers need to understand that breaking the speed limit by such margins can have devastating consequences. For example if a pedestrian is hit at 50km/h the chance of survival is fifty fifty, the toss of a coin. If the same pedestrian is hit at 60km/h nine out of ten will die. We need to realise that a car driven at any speed has the potential to become a lethal weapon, that’s the laws of physics.”

The video below is designed to show you the difference that just 5km per hour makes never mind 10km per hour when a collision occurs and will show you the importance of travelling at the right speeds at the right time so if you ever were unfortunate enough to be in a collision you will see the difference 5km per hour can make.

"For the past seven years, there has been a year on year decrease in the number of road fatalities in Ireland. However, as we move into the second half of 2013, there have been 11 more fatalities on our roads than at this time last year. This brings to 75, the number of people killed in a road traffic collision to date.Based on collision data to date in 2013 over three quarters (78%) of fatalities have been a driver, passenger or motorcyclist. Similarly more than one third (37%) of fatalities have occurred on Thursdays and Fridays. Excessive or inappropriate speed is a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions."

An Garda Síochána will be working with other institutions including the Road Safety Authority, Local Authorities, the National Transport Authority, the National Roads Authority, the Departments of Transport and the Health and Safety Authority.

We at the RSA Driving School intend to affirm the message of 'Operation Slow Down' and will be highlighting the campaign to all the students currently undertaking their driving lessons with the RSA Driving School.

Thanks for reading and remember drive safe and slow down.