Are male drivers better than
New research has shown that, if nothing else, three year old
boys are better drivers than three year old girls.
The experiment involved over 70 pre-school boys and girls who
took part in a series of controlled tests. The research was conducted using
electric Roary the Racing Car ride-ons at world-famous motorsport circuit,
Results were analyzed based on concentration, spatial
awareness, dexterity, control and overall speed in a series of three trials. The
examination included a straight race from start to finish, a reversing test and
a maneuvering challenge around cones. The findings showed that although girls
were slightly quicker off the mark at the start of the race, boys were 34
percent better at concentrating and demonstrating visual-spatial skills whilst
driving in a straight line. Although, girls overall speed was five percent
faster than boys when racing straight, boys were 20 percent better than girls at
maintaining their line.
According to child psychologist, Donna Dawson, boys and girls
develop significant differences in brain structure, hormones, and are influenced
by culture and society a lot more after this age.
Surprisingly, the reverse test revealed that the boys were 17
percent better than girls at doing two things at once such as moving and
steering whilst looking over their shoulder. However, the pre-schoolers were too
young to find it necessary to apply lipstick at the same time as driving.
What was the only wicker bodied car to go into production in 1924? An easy
one! And it’s not the 1897 Hugot or the 1928 Chevrolet.
I asked what was the only wicker bodied car to go into
production in 1924? An easy one! And it was not the 1897 Hugot or the 1928
Chevrolet. It was the Hanomag company in Germany, which prior to 1924 had been
building railway locomotives. The Hanomag had a 500 cc single cylinder engine in
the rear and they sold 16,000 of the metal bodied ones, but only a few hundred
of the wicker ones.
General Motors has announced it has a demo fleet of electric
Chevrolet Cruzes to research the market in Korea.
The project involves a fleet of electric vehicles based on
the Chevrolet Cruze. The electric Cruzes will operate in South Korea’s capital,
Seoul, and they are the result of shared development with GM Daewoo, LG Chemical
and LG Electronics.
The project will provide real-world data on customer
acceptance of battery electric vehicles, studying driving patterns and charging
behavior while sharing costs and resources.
The Cruze EV demo fleet will be powered by batteries from LG
Chemical and propulsion systems (motor/inverter) from LG Electronics.
The Cruze EV is equipped with a 31 kWh battery that generates
maximum power of 150 kW. The demonstration fleet will be monitored closely to
determine the amount of real-world range achievable by a vehicle of its size. On
specific test schedules conducted by LG Chemical, the demonstration vehicles may
achieve a range of up to 160 km. The vehicles can go from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.2
seconds with a maximum speed of 165 km/h, all of which look perfectly suitable
for normal commuting.
On a standard household 220-volt outlet, the Cruze EV can be
fully recharged in 8 to 10 hours. Part of the demonstration fleet’s task is to
test a “quick charge” application that could reduce the charge time
“Speed Kills” - or does
Having been involved in motor racing for 45 years at a rough
count, I do get rather tired of the assertion by legislators that “Speed Kills”.
The modern F1 car shows that “speed” does not necessarily “kill” at all.
However, some statistics have come to light in the UK which
throw a new light on road fatalities and counters the “Speed Kills” mania. The
latest figures from the department of transport reveal 2,222 people were killed
on UK roads in 2009. 95 percent of crashes do not involve exceeding the speed
limit and 83 percent of deaths (around 1,844 people) occur within the speed
The 17 percent of deaths where exceeding the speed limit was
ticked as a ‘factor’ are of course a significant number, around 378 people.
However we must remember that a ‘factor’ is very different from a ‘cause’ and
officers are instructed to tick the ‘speeding’ box even if the vehicle that
caused the crash was not speeding but another vehicle involved was or might have
What we are not told is just how many of these 378 deaths are
caused by sober, otherwise legal, drivers travelling a few miles per hour above
the speed limit and how many were caused by drunk, drugged, unlicensed, drivers
of stolen cars or those travelling at reckless speeds.
The prime target of UK road safety policy at present is
licensed drivers exceeding speed limits by a small amount. These make up the
vast majority of camera prosecutions. The Association of British Drivers (ABD)
has called upon the authorities to reveal exactly how many ‘over speed limit’
deaths are caused by such drivers. Only when the full facts are revealed can we
tell if current policy is correctly targeted or should emphasis be shifted. The
ABD has tried for many years to obtain true figures on this issue and have
continually met with obstruction. We have called for an independent road
accident investigation board manned by ex-marine and aviation industry accident
investigators. Perhaps with a new government in charge we may see a more honest
In a Sunday Telegraph interview, Paul Garvin, then County
Durham Chief Constable, said, “Having looked at the accident statistics in this
area [County Durham], we find that if you break down the 1,900 collisions we
have each year only three percent involve cars that are exceeding the speed
limit. Just 60 accidents per year involve vehicles exceeding the speed limit.
You then need to look at causes of these 60 accidents. Speed may be a factor in
the background but the actual cause of the accident invariably is drink-driving,
or drug-driving. The cause of accidents is clearly something different than
exceeding the speed limit and we ought to be looking at those other factors”.
It would then seem that politicians, the world over, do not
understand statistics in any way whatsoever. Take the annual carnage in
Thailand, called Songkran. 80 percent of the deaths over the Songkran holidays
come from motorcycle accidents, in which, in the vast majority, no helmet has
been worn. This would surely give the authorities the direction in which to go
to be able to decrease the road toll. But no, just like the UK, the authorities
will find the wrong tree to bark up.
Motorcycling in a Kombi van
Received some pictures from Jerry in the USA of some very
different sidecars. This one in particular appealed, with its scaled down VW
Kombi van alongside the motorcycle.
Others included a scaled down army tank, a red mini-Ferrari, a large Red Bull
drink can, a small WW2 plane and a narrow Citroen 2CV.