As seen on:

SMH Logo News Logo

Call 1300 303 181

Safety

New Protocols for Euro NCAP Crash Testing

Moving Barrier in new Euro NCAP tests.

‘Euro NCAP’; so what do all these letters mean?  Euro, obviously, means ‘European’, and NCAP means ‘New Car Assessment Programme’.  So what this team at Euro NCAP does is test out new cars by putting put them through a stringent crash test to see how they perform.  New cars need to meet a set of standards in order to get marked as having a certain level of crash safety.  This is really handy for the likes of you and me because it provides new car, and second-hand car, buyers a good informative test standard whereby we can satisfy ourselves that a car we’re about to buy meets levels of crash-test safety that we’re happy with.

This crash test safety rating, given by authorities like Euro NCAP and ANCAP (but not restricted to), stands up well in the real world, where cars involved in a crash keep the occupants safe according to the rating given in tests.  When a car is involved in a severe crash, the higher the car’s safety rating (approved through testing) is seen to offer a better chance of survival for its occupants.  The opposite is also true, where the lower the safety rating the higher the chance of severe injury to the car’s occupants.

Every two years, Euro NCAP updates and toughens its test protocols.  Recently, the crash testing bar at Euro NCAP headquarters has been raised for any new cars that get tested.  This is always a good thing because it drives new car manufacturers to improve their cars safety capability.  This year sees Euro NCAP  addressing some issues in occupant protection, providing an improved post-crash protection test and delivering a push for the new cars to have the latest advanced driver assistance technology.

Leading the new protocols is one major change in the offset crash test; and that is the introduction of a new moving barrier to moving car frontal crash test.  This replaces the current moderate offset-deformable barrier test, which has been used by Euro NCAP for the last twenty three years. The barrier will now move at around 50 km/h toward the car to better replicate what happens in the real world.  Even the thought of it suggests that manufacturers will have to strengthen their car’s safety cell to score highly!

This new crash test will evaluate the protection of the car’s occupants in the crash, as well as assessing how the cars’ front-end structures contribute, or not, to occupant injury in the collision. The new regulations also include the world’s most advanced mid-sized male crash test dummy called “THOR”.  Thor will provide lots of extra information on how well ‘he’ has been protected during the new crash testing regime.

Side impacts are never pretty, and they account for the second highest frequency of death or serious injuries. New adjustments to the near-side barrier test’s speed and mass has resulted in an increase in the severity of the test. Strengthening protection down the sides of new cars will have to be on the agenda if manufacturers want to score well in this side impact test.

Also, Euro NCAP will begin evaluating far-side impact protection that focuses on driver protection and the potential interaction between the driver and front-seat passenger during the collision. New protection offered by new-to-market countermeasures such as centre airbags between driver and passenger will be adequately scrutinised.

New driver-assist technologies will be looked at, and to score highly new cars will need to use competent accident emergency braking technology in the cars to protect vulnerable road users.  These would include road users behind the car in a reversing-back-over situation, as well as road users in the path of the car turning at a crossing. Also, evaluations on Driver Status Monitoring systems, designed to detect driver fatigue and distraction, will be part of the Safety Assist assessment run by Euro NCAP.

Manufacturers will be rewarded when any rescue information is accurate after a crash which has happened in the real world becomes easily available for scrutiny. Euro NCAP also checks ease of rescue after an accident has occurred, electric door handles, softness of materials in the cabin etc. and will endorse any technology that calls for help in an emergency situation.

These are some of the major changes we’ll see employed by Euro NCAP’s new 2020 protocols. Our local ANCAP testing will be sure to follow similar protocols so as to give the best information for us lot – the car buyers.

Noisy Windscreen Wipers? What To Do.

There are certain noises in life that raise the hairs on the back of the neck. A screeching child demanding something, the sound of screeching tyres behind you, the screech in the wife’s voice as she finds your latest car parts receipt you thought you’d kept hidden…

But out driving, and suddenly that forecast rain hits earlier. You flick the wiper switch and screeeech, screeeech….back and forth and the fillings in your teeth are rattling.

How does this happen and what to do?

It’s potentially a combination of factors, but happily, it’s a short list. There are only two, three depending on how you look at it, things that are involved. One is the windscreen itself. The second and potentially third are one or both of the wiper blades.

How to approach this? Given the most likely source of the screeching is or are the blade/s, these would be the first ports of call for a visual inspection.
Lift the wiper arms up from the windscreen. Detach the blades from the arms and, using a good torch, inspect the blades themselves. Feel the blades with your fingers. Do they feel soft, malleable, easy to flick back and forth? Or are they dry, cracked, and brittle?

If any signs of a failing blade or blades are noticed, then a visit to your local car parts retail store to source new wiper blades is in order.

Once new blades are fitted and lowered, get the hose and give the windscreen a good squirt. Activate the wipers and listen. Still noisy? Then having eliminated one part of the equation, the other has to be the windscreen itself.

Specific window cleaning products do a fantastic job but what of the condition of the glass itself after the clean? Again, eyeball the window, and one method is to get that torch onto it at night and shine across the window. Look for a straight beam of light bouncing off it. If the reflection looks scatted, it’s likely the same reason we polish cars. The windscreen is likely to be pitted, scratched, and this form of damage will grab onto a wiper like a child to a lollypop. Hence the screeching later.

Depending on the condition of the glass, a treatment with IPA (iso-propyl alcohol) to further remove dirt and grime that may have become embedded and not removed by previous cleaning, may help. IPA may also be used, gently, to clean blades that are dirty but fine otherwise.   Professional services can offer a polishing of the glass and this does need to be professionally applied.

Unfortunately, the worst case scenario, but one that dramatically lifts the safety factor, is a windscreen replacement. Not only will new and smooth glass recues the friction levels and allow rainwater to run off easier, forward vision is less, far less in fact, likely to be reduced thanks to light scattering from the minute scratches.

Car parts websites have plenty of information about the right replacement blades to suit your car, and have plenty of handy tips and hints for ensuring your wiper blades are always in tip-top condition. If you’ve tried cleaning and swapping blades, and it’s worked, let us know via our feedback channels in our socials.

Disinfecting Your Car

During this pandemic, we’re all hyperaware of spreading infections and viruses like a bunch of neurotic obsessive-compulsive germophobes, or at least we should be. Hand sanitizer is becoming a must-have and it’s only a matter of time before we have the big fashion houses producing designer masks.

We’re all being encouraged to do our bit to prevent the spread of the dreaded lurgy, aka COVID-19. Handwashing and being extra vigilant about disinfecting surfaces is recommended. OK, if we’re doing as we’re told, we’ll be staying home as much as possible and not going out our cars much, but we are allowed to go to get groceries in the car. And essential workers have to go out in the car as well. Oh, the irony and frustration of super-cheap fuel prices at a time when going out for a drive for fun is discouraged for the rest of us!

However, it’s very easy to forget the car when it comes to good hygiene to the point of excessive hygiene. After all, if you’ve been out doing essential work (good on you, mate!) or if you’ve picked up groceries, you will have touched bits of your car. If by some chance you had the virus on your hands when you got in your car, even if you washed your hands thoroughly when you got home, the next time that you nipped out to the car for whatever reason, that virus will still be lurking there. Boom.

The boffins in the white coats encourage us to sanitise high-touch surfaces, so as well as wiping down things like your phone, computer keyboard, and the doorknobs of your house, don’t forget your car as well. There’s a ton of high-touch surfaces in there as well!

The smart and responsible thing to do is to wipe these places down as well, preferably after every time you come back from going out to get the groceries and other essential items. If you’re off work then you’ve got plenty of time to do this! If you are one of our essential workers, I don’t want to put more strain and stress on you but you’ll definitely have to do this as well.

What you use as a disinfectant for the high-touch spots in your car is up to you. You can use hand sanitizer but there are other options, ranging from common or garden disinfectant from the supermarket to disinfectant wipes to strong alcohol to homemade mixtures involving essential oils. I make my own with a recipe that’s safe for all surfaces and isn’t a beast for your skin (which gets enough grief from all that handwashing).

  • 200 mL white vinegar
  • 100 mL tap water
  • 1 teaspoon eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil.

Put in a bottle and shake well. Apply where you want it with a soft lint-free cloth. It smells rather powerful but better than commercial disinfectants. You also don’t have to explain it to any cops the way that you would if you used vodka to sanitise your car…

Now to get busy with the disinfectant. Here are the spots that you have to give a good wipe with the disinfectant of your choice:

  • Steering wheel. You’ve had both hands on it most of the time if you’ve been driving correctly. This includes any steering wheel mounted controls.
  • Indicators.
  • Handbrake
  • Gear lever. Yes, even if your car is an automatic, you’ll have had to put it in Drive and Park during your trip. Paddle shifters count as well.
  • Door handles. Inside and out. However, you only need to do the handles of the doors that have been used, not the whole lot.
  • Boot release lever or button. Feel smug and grateful if you’ve got one of those auto-opening smart ones. Don’t forget to sterilize the place where you put your hands when you closed the boot as well.
  • Key fob or keys. This one gets overlooked all too easily, even though this one comes into your house.
  • Buttons for automatic windows and climate control.
  • Touchscreens. Be careful when wiping these down and don’t use too much so you don’t damage the finish.
  • Handles of any storage compartments.

Stay safe, whether on the road or in your home!

How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child

At first, the thought of choosing a car to accommodate a growing family might not occupy your mind, however, if you decide to have a child, you’ll soon need to spring into action. Because motorists are often caught short in terms of being unprepared, it’s important that you follow the right advice to ensure that you can choose the right car seat for your child.

 

What should I look for in child seats?

There are two key considerations when you start to chop for a child seat. First, you need to consider the age of your child. Secondly, you should also be conscious of their size. In most cases, you will be able to stick with a series of configurations, starting with a rearward facing seat, before move onto a forward-facing seat, and then finally, a booster seat. Make sure that the seat you are choosing is appropriate for your child, as there may be variations between each model.

Rear-facing baby seats are compulsory for infants up to 6 months old, however, you need to pick the right model based on the height of your baby. Once your child is older than 6 months, you may consider the following. Type A1 rear-facing child seats are designed for children up to 70cm tall or 9 months old. Type A2 is appropriate for children up to 80cm in height or roughly 1 year old. Rounding out the series, Type A4 rear-facing child seats are for children between 2 to 3 years of age. At the end of this period, children then progress onto forward-facing Type B seats, more or less up until the age of 4.

Seat installation is a crucial aspect when it comes to ensuring the safety of your child. Rear-facing seats should be held tightly in place with little slack, while forward-facing seats require a 5 or 6-point connection. Always pay attention to the manufacturing standards of the seat, as you should never compromise on quality. Look for the Australian Standards compliance watermark on the product.

 

What about booster seats?

Booster seats are designed for children between the age of 4 and 8 that are no longer appropriate for smaller forward-facing seats. While booster seats are also a type of forward-facing seat, they have a different categorisation, which is Type E or Type F. These seats include a belt, whereas Type B child seats described earlier, do not. If in doubt, however, speak to an expert in store who can advise on what specific solution is best for your child.

Before you head out to the shops though, double check what capacity your vehicle is equipped with to install a child seat. Does it have appropriate anchor points? Will airbags provide protection or could they potentially pose a risk? Is there adequate room to fit the seat, yet alone manoeuvre it? These are important points to consider, never compromise on safety.

Tips For After An Accident and some Funny Insurance Claims

Most people wouldn’t expect to be involved in a car accident.  There are some driving habits which some drivers do have, illegal or otherwise, that would definitely make them more prone to having an accident.  With all the modern crash-avoidance safety equipment on-board new cars crashes still happen – whether it’s your fault or someone else’s.

So, what should you do after an accident has happened?  Here are some safe procedures you can make a note of:

  • Stop the car.
  • Turn off the engine.
  • Switch the hazard lights on.
  • Check for any injuries to yourself or your passengers.
  • Call the police and an ambulance immediately if anyone is hurt or if the road is blocked.
  • Share your name and address with everyone involved if the accident caused damage or injury.
  • Swap insurance information and details with the other driver(s).
  • Take down details of any other passengers and witnesses to the accident.
  • Try to find out if the other driver is the registered owner of the vehicle, and if they are not find out who the owner of the car is and get that information too.
  • Record the make, model, colour, and number plate of the vehicles involved in the accident or take pictures of them.
  • Record the time and date of the crash.
  • Record the driving conditions, including the weather, lighting, and road quality (such as road markings, whether it’s wet or muddy, repair of the road surface).
  • Record what sort of damage was caused to the vehicles and where. Use your phone to take pictures of the scene and the damage to the cars.
  • Record any injuries to drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.
  • Record the names and contact details of any witnesses.
  • Phone your insurance company as soon as possible – ideally at the time of the accident.

After the accident, submitting a claim for car insurance can be a bit of a stressful business, and it certainly pays to double check what you have said over the phone or have written on your claim form.  Here are some genuinely funny car insurance claim statements below:

  • A pedestrian hit me and went under my car
  • As I approached an intersection a sign suddenly appeared in a place where no stop sign had ever appeared before.
  • Going to work at 7am this morning I drove out of my drive straight into a bus. The bus was 5 minutes early.
  • I collided with a stationary truck coming the other way
  • I had been driving for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel.
  • In an attempt to kill a fly, I drove into a telephone pole.
  • I had been learning to drive with power steering. I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.
  • I had been shopping for plants all day and was on my way home. As I reached an intersection a hedge sprang up obscuring my vision and I did not see the other car.
  • I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law and headed over the embankment.
  • I saw her look at me twice. She appeared to be making slow progress when we met on impact.
  • I started to slow down but the traffic was more stationary than I thought.
  • I was on my way to the doctor with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.
  • I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the road when I struck him.
  • My car was legally parked as it backed into another vehicle.
  • No one was to blame for the accident but it would never have happened if the other driver had been alert.
  • The claimant had collided with a cow. The questions and answers on the claim form were – Q: What warning was given by you? A: Horn. Q: What warning was given by the other party? A: Moo.
  • The accident happened because I had one eye on the lorry in front, one eye on the pedestrian and the other on the car behind.
  • The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of a skid by steering it into the other vehicle.
  • The guy was all over the road. I had to swerve a number of times before I hit him.
  • The pedestrian had no idea which way to run as I ran over him.
  • The pedestrian ran for the pavement, but I got him.

Seat Yourself Even More Comfortably, Says JLR.

Jaguar Land Rover’s “Body Interiors Research division” is working on a morphable seat. Constant micro adjustments in the foam section of the seats thanks to a set of actuators mimic a sensation said to make a passenger feel as if they’re walking. Memory settings allow a tailoring to suit individuals.

Research indicates that a figure of around 1.4 billion are having a lifestyle which involves less and less exercise, and is leading to muscle atrophe in the back, sides, and gluteus areas. This can lead to increased damage in a fall. The rhythm of walking is known as pelvic oscillation, and the simulation of it is said to mitigate the potential of health risks from such a sedentary lifestyle.
UK research figures on a driver covering an average of 146 miles or 234km every week, meaning the technology offers huge potential to overcome the lack of pelvic oscillations.

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “The wellbeing of our customers and employees is at the heart of all our technological research projects. We are using our engineering expertise to develop the seat of the future using innovative technologies not seen before in the automotive industry to help tackle an issue that affects people across the globe.” JLR are seen as a world leader already in this field, featuring multi-directional adjustments, massage functions and climate control fitted across the range. Jaguar Land Rover have a video that illustrates how a driving position to suit can be achieved, with areas of attention such as thigh support and spinal support, even to removing items in pockets.

Destination Zero is Jaguar Land Rover’s ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner, and projects such as research into reducing the effects of motion sickness and the implementation of ultraviolet light technology to stop the spread of colds and flu are part of Jaguar Land Rover’s commitment to continually improving customer wellbeing through technological innovation.

Sales Down, Safety Up, Toll Up.

Australians are renowned for being up there in regards to take-up of technology. We expect our cars to come with the latest and greatest when it comes to audio, comfort, and importantly, safety. Items like airbags are commonplace, with even the driver’s workspace seeing more and more of a “kneebag”. Traction control has been in our cars for what feels like forever as has ABS, or anti-lock braking system. Nowadays we see letters such as RCTA, or BSW/BSA as part of a standard safety package, and more and more common is variations on AEB. By the way, that’s Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning/Alert, and Autonomous Emergency Braking.

Regardless of all of these and with new car sales (with better safety equipment) consistently exceeding a million in recent years, the Australian road toll increased in 2019. 1182 people lost their lives in 2019, 47 up on the previous year. NSW saw 352, just six more than 2018 and in spite of the extra “safety” measures taken by a government desperately seeking “Towards Zero”. Given the focus on people dying from holding a mobile phone or speeding, and with over 100,000 people pinged in a six month mobile phone camera trial, and a potential removal of signage for mobile and fixed speed cameras, “Towards Zero” has more to do with the few idiots that commit such atrocities or think tailgating is a great game than the numbers reflect.

By the way, the mobile phone trial amnesty has finished and people caught will now get a fine of $344 and a more realistic but still potentially misguided five demerit points. This is in spite of statistics finding mobile phone distractions in crashes accounting for under one percent of causes.

 

Victoria, in spite of the razor thin tolerances their speed cameras have, went from 213 to 263 in 2019. In context, as of June 2019 Victoria had a population of 6,594,804. South and Western Australia had increases, with S.A. 6 and W.A. 33 to record 113 and 164 respectively. In opposition to that, Queensland, the N.T., Tasmania and the A.C.T. went backwards in their tolls. Queensland dropped by 28 to 217, with just 35 in “the Territory”, whilst the island state had 32. The capital territory? Just 6.

Car sales in 2019 were at the lowest since 2011 but still cracked the million mark. VFACTS said 1,062,867 new vehicles were sold in 2019. Bear in mind that the safety factors in cars is increasing, yet the human element, ignorance and stupidity, cannot be dialled out.

In stark contrast to the road toll is the sharp increase in hospitalisations. Victorian hospitalisations from a result of traffic crashes have risen 38 percent between 2013 and 2019. In the same period the road toll fell 12.3 percent. Australia’s federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development, says that over the last ten years the toll has fallen whilst road injuries have increased. 2016’s rate of hospitalised injuries per 100,000 people was 35 times the fatality rate. Traffic crashes are the second highest cause of hospitalisations in Australia, accounting for 12 percent, behind falls (41 percent). The 38,945 hospitalisations across the country in 2016 represent a nominal increase of 3.6 percent each year since 2015.

8636 hospitalisations occurred as a result of traffic incidents in 2018, compared to 213 fatalities. Six years before the numbers were 6252 and 243. Nationally in 2018 two thirds of fatalities were in regional areas, with two thirds of hospitalisations coming from urban crashes. The reasons for the disparity are unclear, however it could be postulated that as cars become safer and people feel that their driving standards, or lack of them, will be mitigated by the vehicle safety packages, more trust, as such in items such as AEB and airbags as driving standards lower will see more crashes resulting in people being sent to hospital.

ANCAP Updates.

ANCAP, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program, has released some findings for a range of new vehicles. The standout performer amongst the latest batch of ratings is the updated Tesla Model X which is available from December 2019. It’s achieved a record-equaling high score of 98% for Adult Occupant Protection and 94% for Safety Assist. These scores closely follow the high scores recorded by its smaller sibling, the Model 3, earlier this year.

Full points were achieved for protection of the driver in all four of the full-scale vehicle crash tests (frontal offset, full width, side impact and oblique pole), full points were achieved for lane support and emergency lane keep functionality, and close to full points were awarded in each of the autonomous emergency braking (AEB) test scenarios.

“Tesla should be commended for providing a vehicle which offers very high levels of safety performance both in its physical protection of occupants as well as its ability to help avoid a crash through its active safety systems,” said ANCAP Chief Executive, James Goodwin.

The Audi A7 Sportback and Audi Q8 demonstrated good performance in all assessment areas. New SUV market entrant, the MG HS, also offered good all-round safety however testing revealed a higher risk of injury in side impact crash scenarios.

“Tested to our most stringent criteria, the MG HS scored well, yet concerns were noted for chest protection of the driver in the oblique pole test and head protection for older children in the side impact test.”

Hyundai’s new small SUV, the Venue, scored 4 stars limited by its less advanced safety assist systems. “The Venue fell shy of the 5 star safety standard we’ve come to expect from Hyundai with Marginal performance levels observed for its ability to avoid a rear-end impact with vehicles in front. This limited the Venue’s Safety Assist score to 62%,” Mr Goodwin said.

“The Venue is the first model to undertake Safety Assist performance testing in Australia, following the commissioning of a new test facility in regional NSW,” he added.

MY20 Jeep Wrangler models see autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and blind spot monitoring (BSM) functionality introduced as standard safety features across the Wrangler model range, with performance testing of these systems undertaken by ANCAP earlier this month.

“These upgrades are welcome, and I commend the local supplier for moving to provide Wrangler buyers in Australia and New Zealand with collision avoidance capability,” said Goodwin. “While a 3 star rating is still somewhat shy of the expected 5 stars, all upgraded models now have the ability to detect and assist with avoiding a crash with another vehicle – both in lower and higher speed scenarios.”“Unfortunately the upgraded AEB system fitted to updated models is not yet able to detect our most vulnerable road users in pedestrians and cyclists.” he said.

“Consumers should be aware that the structural deficiencies we saw with the originally-tested model such as A-pillar and cross-facia beam failure, footwell intrusion, high seatbelt loads and excessive pedal movement have not been addressed and remain a risk for occupants,”  he added. Active lane support functionality is also not available. The 3 star ANCAP safety rating applies to all 2 door and 4 door Wrangler variants supplied to the Australian and New Zealand markets built from November 2019.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA (Medium Car) was the top performer for 2019, achieving an overall weighted score of 90.2%. “Well done to the CLA for being named the standout performer,” said  Goodwin.

“It received a healthy five-star score, performing exceptionally well in the areas of Child Occupant Protection (92%) and Vulnerable Road User Protection (91%) where it achieved the highest scores of all vehicles rated this year.”

Top performers by vehicle category:

LIGHT CAR: Audi A1, 86.6%. MEDIUM SUV: Toyota RAV4, 88.6%. SMALL CAR: Mazda 3, 88.4%. LARGE SUV: Tesla Model X, 89.6%.

MEDIUM CAR: Mercedes-Benz CLA, 90.2%. UTILITY: Toyota Hilux, 89.0%. LARGE CAR: Audi A7, 86.0%.

VAN: Toyota HiAce, 87.4%. SMALL SUV: Lexus UX, 89.0%. PEOPLE MOVER: Toyota Granvia, 87.8%

Further details on each of the vehicles rated can be viewed on the ANCAP website:
www.ancap.com.au/safety-ratings

Drug and Alcohol Detectors Could be in All Future New Cars

With the government already doing its best to regulate many parts of our lives, they may be just about to extend that one step further via drug and alcohol detectors in all future new cars.

Hot on the heels of speed limiters, which look set to become a standard item in the not too distant future, government officials are taking a liking to the guidelines set out by the United Nations for compulsory safety devices that should feature in all new cars.

Local interest comes as the European Union looks set to implement these guidelines as early as 2022. That’s right, in just a couple of years, drug and alcohol detectors may well become standard in every new car across Europe.

With the technology still under development, there is no ‘sure’ indication at this stage. However, with Australia often seen following in the footsteps of the international community for road safety practices, the odds are certainly pointing to a similar roll-out in Australia sooner or later.

 

Is there a societal dilemma?

Many motorists are likely to be shocked by the potential measure, with such requirements sure to draw the ire of those who value their driving flexibility and independence, without the state being required to intervene and tell them otherwise.

Sure, the intentions behind this sort of technology are positive. After all, as much as a quarter of all deaths on the road involve motorists under the influence of alcohol. No one is doubting the tragic circumstances that entail a vast proportion of road trauma connected to one form of illicit substance or another.

However, what is likely to be a point of consternation is the fact that law-abiding citizens will need to have the government effectively police them when they are already in control of their own actions.

 

 

How would the technology work?

Picturing the scene, by now you’re probably imagining some sort of breathalyser device that you would need to engage with every time you step into the car, right? Fortunately, the technology under development is expected to be far more sophisticated and ‘seamless’ than that.

It would rely on sensors affixed to the inside of the driver’s side door and on the steering wheel. These sensors, which would be configured to focus solely on the driver, would use infrared light to detect whether any ethanol or carbon dioxide is being picked up in the air from your breath.

But while this is the end goal, in the meantime, no one can say with any certainty that the government won’t instead opt for more ‘established’ technology in the form of those interlock systems, or sensor pads that assess the presence of illicit substances via ‘touch’.

But at the end of the day, with various pieces of technology under trial locally right now, it is looking less likely to be a case of if something will be done, and rather a case of when will the government intervene in our lives once again?

 

What Important Equipment Should I Keep in my Car?

Summer can be a prolific time for maintenance related breakdowns, what with the extreme temperatures around the country. Although we pray we’ll never find ourselves in a situation where we require roadside assistance, it’s wise to make sure that you are prepared for anything that could go wrong. Today we’ll cover some of the most important equipment you should keep in your car.

 

Dash cam: An increasingly common sight in vehicles across the board, dash cams are an invaluable item to record events on the road. In the event you find yourself in an accident, dash cam footage will prove crucial evidence as part of your insurance claim.

GPS: Although many cars these days will feature a built-in GPS, if yours doesn’t, then it is wise to invest in a standalone one to make your life a whole lot easier

First aid kit: Keep an up-to-date first aid kit in your car at all times. That might not be enough, however, as it also pays to be trained in administering first aid

Fire extinguisher: If you encounter a fire, even though your first actions should be to call emergency services, you may also want to have a fire extinguisher at hand as a precaution

Safety triangle: If you break down, safety triangles should be set up behind your vehicle to serve as a caution to other motorists, which also goes some way towards protecting yourself as well

Tyre kit: Flat tyres and punctures can be a major frustration, however, this is actually an easy job to tackle yourself. All you need is a spare tyre, and a tyre kit, which includes a car jack, wheel brace, tyre sealant and inflation pump.

Charging cables: Given everyone now depends on their mobile phone, you will want to ensure that you have charging cables at hand so that you don’t find your battery suddenly run flat

Spare tools: It is beneficial to have a basic took kit at hand, as well as water and coolant, spare petrol tank and pump, duct tape, jumper cables and more

Comfort items: Some of the most useful items you should keep are actually comfort items, including a blanket, umbrella, raincoat, sunglasses and the like. These are not only useful from one day to another, but in the event of a breakdown.