Getting it right on the wrong side . . .
UMM, I’m doubtful about extrapolating small-scale surveys into national statistics but we may take some notice of a report by Sainsbury’s car insurance division (I can’t wait for Direct Line to start selling groceries) that in the past five years 13 per cent of Britons have admitted driving on the wrong side of the road abroad.
Men are three times more likely to do this than women. Lots of us have driven the wrong way on a one-way street (often the easiest way to get out of a pickle). According to the grocerscum-insurers, we are “causing driving havoc” by failing to understand basic traffic law and road signs.
A tip for the novice: Where possible always park on the side of the road in the direction of travel – ie the right. Take extra care leaving car parks, filling stations etc. You could stick a reminder notice on the dashboard.
If travelling on the autoroutes use the rest areas for a breather. Fuel is much more expensive on these highways. You can save 30p a litre using town and supermarket pumps. The best price I saw for diesel this month in France was 1.20 euros a litre.
A report by Frost & Sullivan says the greater incorporation of lightweight materials will help the European automobile industry to reduce emissions from the current mean levels of 160 g/km to 130 g/km by 2012-2015.
A 10 per cent reduction in vehicle weight offers fuel savings of five to seven per cent provided the vehicle’s engine is also downsized.
Volvo’s new global brand slogan is Designed Around You – surely a new phrase for what it has claimed to do for years?