General Motor News

Two Hundred Involved in 100-Car Crash

Two hundred people have been involved in a series of crashes caused by thick fog on the A249 Sheppey crossing situated in Kent. The collisions took place at around 07:15 (BST) this morning, and have implicated over 100 vehicles.
Six people are thought to be seriously injured as a result of the crashes, and about 200 others have sustained minor injuries.

Earlier reports announced that up to 40 vehicles were involved, however the police have offered an updated report, stating that more than 100 cars had crashed at the scene.

One witness claimed that visibility was very poor, however, drivers were approaching the Sheppey crossing with no lights.

Andy Reeves, Chief Inspector said that the crash was over a “protracted area” and there were undamaged cars that were in between others that had collided in the unfortunate weather.

He additionally stated that there were many injuries but no one had died.

The crossing, Reeves expects, will be closed for the remainder of the day, including the evening rush hour. Motorists are advised to avoid the crossing connecting the Isle of Sheppey with Kent.

If you are in need of car insurance, get in touch with the Think Insurance Team for a quote.

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Autocar’s Next Generation Award to Boost Automotive Careers

Backed by Land Rover, Peugeot, Toyota and Mclaren, the Autocar Next Generation Awards 2013 is now open!

Launched in 2009, and in partnership with Courland Internation & the SMMT, Autocar, the  Next Generation Awards 2013 is now open. It offers the chance to submit an innovative, strategic and creative automotive idea that could be granted £7500 plus a 5 month work experience placement shared between the award sponsors.

Winning the Next Gen award could potentially change your life. Although no one can say what’s in store for the winner after the placement comes to an end, if the previous winners’ experience is anything to go by, it wont be short of amazing.

Watch this video from Autocar posted this week about the Next Gen awards:

Read more about the Next Gen awards here.

 

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Warning over ‘flash-for-cash’ car accident insurance scam

Anti-fraud experts are warning motorists about a new insurance scam where criminals flash their lights to let other drivers out of a junction, then deliberately crash into them. The scam has been nicknamed ‘flash for cash’.

Police and insurance companies are urging new, smarter vehicles or vulnerable road users, older people and women with children in the car, to be especially aware as these are the groups being targeted by gangs.

“flash-for-cash” is crafty as it is harder to prove in court, often coming down to the innocent driver’s word against the criminal’s that they flashed their lights to let them out.

It is said that the scam is costing insurers hundreds of millions of pounds every year, as each ‘‘accident’’ can net the gangs tens of thousands of pounds in a variety of ways.

These criminals are likely to put in false personal injury claims for whiplash and sometimes even include claims for people who were not in the car. As well as that, they might charge the insurance company for loss of earnings, and then they put in fake bills for replacement car hire, vehicle storage, recovery and repairs.

The Highway Code says: “Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully.”

However, the reality is that most people do use it as a friendly gesture, and law-abiding motorists feel it’s a shame that something that is meant to be so positive, a rare show of good manners on the road, is now being abused by criminals.

By raising awareness, the police and fraud experts believe that there is a good chance the majority of drivers won’t take the bait when the criminals lay the trap.

If you are looking for car insurance, get in touch for a quote.

 

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Werner Herzog’s Harrowing Documentary on Texting While Driving

“From One Second to the Next” is the latest documentary from highly influential film director Werner Herzog.

Herzog has directed and produced many influential documentaries of controversial and thought-provoking subjects, Into The Abyss, his latest full length documentary took more than a glimpse into criminals on Death Row in Texas. This week Herzog joined up with American mobile phone provider AT&T to release a documentary short on texting while driving.

You can watch the whole thing here:

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New Research Suggests Using a Phone in the Car Does not Cause Crashes

New research from the London School of Economics and Carnegie Mellon University suggests that talking on the phone while driving does not cause more car accidents. The UK Transport Department, on the other hand, disagrees with this claim.

Saurabh Bhargava, an assistant professor from Carnegie Mellon said that while “our findings may strike many as counterintuitive”, his research was based on real-world data, unlike most research for this topic.

The professor has just this week, published a paper in the American Economic Journal that also states that the laws against using phones while driving do not make the roads safer. He said, “Using a mobile while driving may be distracting, but it does not lead to higher crash risk in the setting we examined.”

The aim of the investigation was to understand why road accidents had decreased, even though the number of mobile phone owners has dramatically increased since the year of 1993. In addition to this, 81% of drivers admit that they have used their mobile phones whilst driving a car.

The test included Mr Bhargava and Mr Pathania examining a specific cache of mobile phone call data and car crash data between 2002 and 2005 in America. This was a period when most mobile phone carriers offered pricing plans with free phone calls during the week after 9pm.

Using multiple cellular towers, they found that the call volume of drivers increased by over 8% at 9pm. After comparing the crash rate before and after 9pm, using data on roughly 8 million crashes across several US states, they found that the increased phone use by drivers at 9pm had no effect on the car crash rates.

The UK Transport Department, on the other hand, feels that any type of distraction for a driver is bad news, and that using a mobile phone whilst at the wheel is considered equal to drinking and driving.

They said “Using a mobile phone at the wheel is dangerous – in the last three years at least 68 lives were lost in accidents where a driver was distracted by their phone.

“We are determined to crack down on this sort of behaviour, which is why we are increasing the fixed penalty for this from £60 to £100.”

If you are a car owner looking for car insurance, get in touch with the Think Insurance Team today.

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