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Cornmarket Ambassador Award

Congratulations to our TWO new Brand Ambassadors Natalie Johnston and Rachel Morrow.

Natalie and Rachel have won the first ever joint CIS Brand Ambassador award for their role model behaviours and consistently strong performance.

Natalie and Rachel manage new business car insurance for our teacher customers in the UK, demonstrating high levels of ownership, excellent customer service and all whilst maintaining an exceptionally positive attitude.

Well done to you both.

car on the road in winter, icy roads, driving in snow

Although predictions of arctic conditions thankfully haven’t come true, the MET office has forecast a drop in temperatures over the coming weeks. The dropping temperatures mean that there is a strong chance of the roads becoming icy in parts.
Our latest blog gives you some tips on how best to manage frost, snow and ice while driving.

Tyres.

Lack of road grip on icy roads is the cause of most accidents in cold conditions. Check your tyres including the spare to ensure that they have a minimum thread depth of 1.6mm and they are inflated to the correct pressure. Drive in higher gears, make manoeuvres more gently and avoid harsh braking.

Visibility.

It takes a little more time in the mornings but clearing the windscreen is one of the most important factors in accident prevention during cold weather. Let the car warm up long in advance of departure, de-ice the windows with an ice scraper and window heating. Make sure your windshield washer system works and is full of an anti-icing fluid. Demist the windscreen by using the heater. Top tip – start the heater at a colder temperature then gradually increase the temperature as the cabin dries out so as not to fill the car with hot, ‘wet’ air. If you do not have a climate control system driving with the windows down can actually help to clear the screen faster. Top tip – never put hot water on a frozen windscreen as it may cause it to crack.

Stopping distances.

Skidding is the main concern when driving in very cold conditions. The best preventative measure is to drive slowly and keep much longer than normal distances between you and the car in front of you. Where possible try to anticipate junctions or turns further in advance and lower gear before applying the brakes. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends.

If you skid.

If you get into a skid, you need to know if your vehicle has ABS (Anti- Lock Braking Systems). After you “Step” on the brake the ABS begins cycling — you will feel pulses in the pedal or hear the system working. Step on the pedal. Stay on the pedal. Steer around the obstacle. If your car does not have ABS you must use the cadence braking system. This method involves pushing the brake until the wheels stop, then immediately releasing the brake to let the wheels begin turning again. Repeat this sequence rapidly.

Preparation and consideration.

Checking the weather forecast the night before, you will know to leave an extra 10-15 minutes to de-ice your windscreen and warm up your car before your departure. Make sure you have enough fuel, that your car is properly serviced and for longer journeys that you have a blanket, additional clothing and some food and water. Be extra vigilant of cyclists and pedestrians, even if they are in cycle lanes or on footpaths. Remember these may not have been treated and other road users could suddenly fall or skid into your path.

Remember we cannot control the weather but we can be prepared for all eventualities.
References:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/forecast
http://www.rsa.ie/en/Utility/News/2010/RSA-Top-10-Safety-Tips-for-Driving-in-Snow-and-Ice/
http://www.rsa.ie/Documents/News%20Items%20Documents/severe_weather_advice.pdf
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/get-ready-for-winter/travel/road
http://www.rac.co.uk/community/blog/rac-blog/january-2013/how-to-demist-your-windscreen-in-double-quick-time
http://www.rac.co.uk/community/blog/rac-blog/november-2010/rac-patrol-tips-for-winter-driving

ACE awards, Jordan Saggers, Charlotte Nicholas, Alex Hagan

Cornmarket Insurance Services’s ACE (Achieving Customer Excellence) awards are an acknowledgement of the staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the workplace through the course of 2015.

The awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence across a number of categories. The happy winners were nominated by Cornmarket staff.

The winners from left to right:
Jordan Saggers from our IAM Surety Team took the Excellence in Customer Service award
Charlotte Nicholas in our Admin Team was awarded the Teamwork award
And Alex Hagan in our IT Team was awarded Unsung Hero of 2015.

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Road signs around the world, Road signs, Road safety, car insurance

The rules of the road are constantly evolving and obeying those rules for so many seems to be rather difficult. Texting while driving, which is incredibly dangerous, is for many, simply the norm. Speed limits are what they say they are – the limit one should drive at, but many will think nothing of using the speed as a target rather than a limit. Whether we like rules or not they exist for the sole purpose of making the roads a safer place to be. So let’s take a look at examples from around the globe of some of the best and a couple of the more weird and wonderful attempts to make roads safer.

Sweden

In Sweden motorists are required to drive with their headlights on at all times. So whether it is the dead of night in the depths of winter high in the arctic tundra or during a Scandinavian high in the middle of July, you have to keep those lights on. And the Swedes take this pretty seriously – they are known to flash their headlights to let other road users know if they are driving without lights.

Cyprus

While Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Serbia operate a zero tolerance for drink-driving (that is zero alcohol) Cyprus have taken that to the next level… for Cyprus operates zero tolerance on drinking anything while driving, including water. Just remember to pre-hydrate before taking a spin as summer temperatures get well above 30 °C on the Island.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica you can crack open a beer and sip away to your hearts content while you cruise along the Pan-American Highway. There is just one caveat to that rule – your blood-alcohol level cannot go above 0.75%. That’s slightly lower than it is in the UK excluding Scotland. So technically you could have one hand on the wheel and a Mai Tai in the other and be fine, just so long as you were sipping it very slowly… could help to explain why they are ranked number 1 on the Happy Planet Index…

France

One of the most sensible but also at the same time unsuccessful road laws comes from just across the channel in France. A law introduced in 2011 makes it a legal requirement to have your own breathalyser in your car. When you think about it, it is pretty ingenious – it leaves no room for doubt as to whether you are over the limit. There is a rather hefty €135 on the spot fine for not having certain items in one’s car like a high-viz vest or a warning triangle so it was initially thought that this would be the fine for not having the breathalyser.
The law was soon relaxed and now it is hardly imposed at all. It might have something to do with the main lobby group for the movement dubbed “I-Care” being spearheaded by a man who was also the director of one of the only two companies approved to make the breathalysers.
Even more bizarre was the fact that the breathalyser was more expensive than the eventual fine for not having one. €20 versus €11.

Be thankful

Let’s all be thankful for the rules and regulations that keep us safe on our roads.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Driving_in_Sweden
http://www.drive-france.com/faqs/france-breathalyzer-law/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smartertravel/10-crazy-driving-laws-aro_b_4853354.html
http://alcosense.co.uk/alcosense-one.html
http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/
http://www.cntraveller.com/news/2012/july/driving-abroad-advice-and-tips
http://www.cyprusninja.com/driving-cyprus/
http://auto.ndtv.com/news/top-10-weird-traffic-laws-around-the-world-389208

Teachers, drive to school, driving kids to school or walking, walking to school

As we continue our series on road safety and schools we take a look at one of the more contentious aspects of the greater debate, that is – why parents drive their children to school.

The Numbers

In both the US and the UK there is a sharp decline in the numbers of children walking or biking beginning in the late 1960s. In 1969, 41% of all trips to school in the US were made on foot or by bicycle, by 2001 this had declined to 13%. Similarly in the UK more than half of school children are driven to school. Furthermore, a third of the children who get a lift to school live less than a mile away.

Raising concerns on both sides of the argument

The current reliance on motorised modes of transport has raised concerns about air quality, declining physical activity in the population as a whole and school children in particular, obesity levels, congestion around schools and the developmental impact of chauffeuring children.
Naturally many parents drive their children to school for a myriad of justifiable reasons. Proximity to the school i.e. some children just live too far away to walk. Similarly there are physical limitations based on the age of the child and the distance they live from the school. Some children partake in extra-curricular activities and go to and from school laden with heavy books, sports equipment or bulky musical instruments. Or two children from the same family have to be delivered to two different destinations.

The main concern

When we take out all of these factors there is still an enormous amount of parents who drive their children to school by choice or habit rather than necessity. The overwhelming reason for this is safety. They feel that younger children cannot cope with the volume of traffic, that there are not enough safe crossing points or safe foot paths, and many cite the ‘stranger danger’ as a contributing factor.
Another contributing factor to the car option is that not many schools have the facilities for children to store books, musical instruments or sports gear overnight. Parents therefore feel the need to deliver children from home to school – door to door.

Arguments for walking and biking

The main argument against driving children to school is of course that they get more exercise. Many will argue that children get enough exercise during school in prescribed physical education classes or after school on various sports teams or dance troupes, but there exists a body of informed opinion that suggests children should be encouraged towards physical activity as early as possible to help development of essential motor skills and stamina.
Walking to school is also quality time that is spent between parent and child reinforcing connection and routine. This cannot be easily achieved while driving as the parent must concentrate on the road.

It cuts both ways

There are legitimate arguments on both sides. Safety is the main concern for those who drive their children to school with only a quarter of parents believing that the route between their homes and the schools are safe. Only one in twelve admit to driving their children to school as matter of convenience. Should we not at an early stage teach that the most convenient option is not always the best?

The way forward?

Danger to children, perceived or real, is the main sticking point for many parents in not allowing their children to walk or cycle to school. One of the most ingenious solutions to this problem is ‘the walking school bus’. This is a rota system where parents take turns walking troops of children to and from school. It has had great success and is already well established in many communities; it allays the fears of parents while instilling routine, road safety skills and teamwork among the children on their daily commute. The benefits are many, even before one factors in the supplemental exercise. It was first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1998 by Hertfordshire County Council.

Let us know your thoughts
As always we are eager to hear from teachers and anyone in the know on these topics.

References:
https://planning.unc.edu/people/faculty/noreenmcdonald/McDonald_Aalborg_WhyKidsDrivenSchool_JAPA_2009.pdf
http://www.walkingschoolbus.org/
http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Parents-drive-kids-school-worried-safety-roads/story-26664318-detail/story.html
http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/family/i-drive-my-children-half-a-mile-to-school-1303515
http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2002/09/15148/9194
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_bus

Paul Cochrane, Frank Mitchell, UTV, IAM

The “Business Award” in the first Northern Ireland Road Safety Awards was won by Cornmarket Insurance Services!

The awards took place on Friday 27 November 2015 at Cultra Manor which is located at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Belfast and were supported by the the Road Safety Council NI and sponsored by accident management specialist, CRASH Services.

Cornmarket road safety initiative - the Cornmarket Advanced Motorcyclists group who train motorcyclists to become IAM Advanced Riders

A total of 25 awards were presented across 10 categories and winners consisted of individuals and groups from the business, voluntary, education, emergency service and public sectors.

 

Cornmarket were recognised for incentivising motorcyclists and drivers to do additional driver training by rewarding them with a motorcycle or car insurance discount if they successfully completed a BikeSafe assessment or an IAM Advanced riding or driving test.

 

  • Find out more about BikeSafe by visiting bikesafe.co.uk or www.bikesafe.ie
  • Find out more about the Advanced Drivin/Riding test by visiting iam.org.uk
  • If you’re a motorcyclist from Northern Ireland, find out more about the IAM Advanced Riding Test by emailing the Cornmarket Advanced Motorcyclists group aam@adelaideinsurance.com or call 028 9044 2200.
  • If you’re already an IAM advanced Rider or Driver, see how much you can save on your car or bike insurance by getting a quote here from IAM Surety
  • If you’ve had a successful BikeSafe assessment, register for a quote with Cornmarket Insurance Services and we’ll get back to you with a quote shortly before your insurance is due.

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Cornmarket Advanced Motorcyclists, AGM, IAM

The voluntary IAM group now known as the “Cornmarket Advanced Motorcyclists” were delighted to welcome the IAM’s CEO, Sarah Sillars to their AGM at the Ballymac Hotel in Northern Ireland on 26 November 2015.

The group launched in Belfast in 2011 as the Adelaide Advanced Motorcyclists group and recently changed its name to Cornmarket Advanced Motorcyclists group in line with it’s sponsor’s name change to Cornmarket Insurance Services.

The group’s role is to recruit new members for the IAM (The UK’s largest road safety charity) and progress these motorcyclists to IAM advanced riding standard by preparing them for the IAM’s Skills for Life riding test. Cornmarket subsidize each course to ensure it’s an attractive offer.

Cornmarket statistics prove that riders who participate in recognised road safety programmes are safer motorcyclists and as a result Cornmarket rewards  bikers who pass the IAM’s Advanced Riding test or those who have a successful BikeSafe assessment with further savings on their insurance.

If you’d like to become an advanced motorcycle rider or get involved in rider training & testing (Observing & Examining) please contact: aam@adelaideinsurance.com

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Good news for motorbike racing enthusiasts!

If you missed the racing from the first rounds of the Adelaide Masters Series on 12 April

at Mondello Park International Racing Circuit, in the Republic of Ireland here’s your chance to catch up on all

the action! The footage from all the races can be viewed at the livestreaming website

http://www.mondello.tv/2015-2/adelaide-masters-series-rounds-2-3/

 

To see all the results please click here: www.adelaidemasters.ie

 

Planning to get your motorbike on the road this season?

Then why not contact event sponsor, Adelaide Motorbike Insurance for a competitive motorbike insurance quote?

Register for a quote and you’ll have a chance to WIN £/€500 to spend on biking gear.

 

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Auto Express, Driver Power 2015, Best car insurance in britain

Cornmarket’s brand IAM Surety has been voted Britain’s BEST Car Insurance Provider 2015

The magazine’s annual survey had already voted IAM Surety best value in the UK in 2012 and 2013, and praised for excellent service and value last year. This year, IAM Surety has been voted Britain’s BEST Car Insurance Provider.

Read more about our award for Britain’s best car insurance provider.

IAM Surety gets first place with Auto Express Top Car insurance Providers

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