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I am a Driving Instructor in Wexford town offering Driving Lessons for category B, cars and light vans.  I am a fully qualified, approved driving instructor registered with the RSA.  I will make you a more confident, safer driver for life at a fantastic price.

Dane's Blog

News and updates from Dane Tyghe - Driving Instructor in Wexford

5 Things you should know about Roundabouts Blog post

5 Things you should know about Roundabouts Blog post

Roundabouts generally work quite well in keeping traffic moving and improving safety at intersections, but they can be daunting for the more nervous or inexperienced driver.  Here's 5 things you need to be aware of.

1) Slowing down- An early and gradual slow down is key, this gives you more time to plan ahead and can avoid a late sudden reaction on the brake.  This is particularly important on a downhill roundabout.

2) The 12 O' Clock rule- If your destination on a roundabout is to the right of 12 o' clock then you should use the inside lane and signal right on your approach always remembering to signal left as you exit.  Only use the right lane if one is marked out, a lot of the mini-roundabouts won't actually have a right lane so in the case of a single lane roundabout stay relatively central.

3) Mini-roundabouts- These can be challenging for the average learner driver but if you focus mostly on the right and have quick hands in a tight space as you turn, it can be very manageable.  Try not to treat the mini-roundabout like a T-junction, focus more on traffic approaching from the right and proceed if it is safe.

4) Blind Roundabouts- The only practical option here is to slow down to slow walking pace, drop to first gear and creep out while leaning forward for a better view.  This is the safest thing to do if you can't see due to a wall or a line of parked cars.  It's good to let down the windows a little bit to help you hear better.

5) SPOT- The word SPOT can help you remember the important steps as you approach a roundabout, S is for slow down, P is for position, O is for observation and T is for the timing of the signals.

I hope these tips helped you, please have a look at the attached video where I demonstrate each of the 5 pieces of advice.

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Pedestrian safety on the roads

Pedestrian safety on the roads

As a driver, dealing with the unpredictability of pedestrians can be a challenging task.  They are liable to do anything on the roads and can be quite a hazard to drivers, especially inexperienced learners.  Of course not every pedestrian goes out to be a nuisance on the roads, in some cases drivers need to be more alert and aware.  I write this after reading the tragic news that a woman in Mayo has become the 5th person to be killed on Irish roads this year (2015).  So without going into any individual case, it reminded me how vulnerable some people are and how careless others are.

As an Instructor, I have seen many cases of pedestrians acting in a cavalier manner on the roads.   For example, crossing a busy road without looking (unless you include looking into their mobile phone screen), young lads pushing their pals off the path, casual walking/running on a road even though there is a perfectly functioning footpath available, criss crossing in between parked cars instead of walking further to use the pedestrian crossing or calmly crossing a street on a bend or corner while listening to music.  It seems certain pedestrians have an air of invincibility about them, and this can be especially true of young men and teenage boys and drunk people.

Almost two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities occur at night and in many cases such accidents could be prevented or alleviated if the person was to be wearing a high visibility vest or reflective armbands.  At night a driver will not see a pedestrian as soon, even though the pedestrian may see and hear the car.  It's important to see but also to be seen, so wearing high visibility clothing and carrying a torch could be a life saver.

Drivers should always be alert for pedestrians, especially in the early to mid afternoon when the schools are finishing.  Try watch their body language, for example a look over the shoulder could indicate a person is about to cross the road, or if two large groups of people are meeting each other one of the group could temporarily use the road to get past, plan ahead by slowing down or moving out to the right a little bit if it's safe.  If driving on a street with a lot of parked cars, try look under the cars briefly for shadows or feet, or through the windows of parked cars as you may see the outline of a person.  A driver should be constantly scanning ahead and not engaging in tunnel vision or focusing on the one thing too much.

In summary pedestrians should not just barge out on the road, be careful, stop, look, listen.  Drivers need to understand that people are vulnerable on the road.   Mutual respect goes a long way.

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