Monday 26 June 2017

Phone-driving fear; United's big drivers; Yaris safer; next Skoda name; new jobs hope

Epidemic: Texting while driving
Epidemic: Texting while driving
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I'm not surprised that almost half of motorists have encountered drivers using phones while driving.

As I said here last week it is an epidemic. Before the AA released its latest study, I had dozens of people on, telling how they come across examples of phone-driving every single day.

Of course the AA survey is scientific and we should draw from it primarily. And the evidence is indisputable: we do have a major difficulty on our hands.

If more than half of the 3,000-plus motorists surveyed see other drivers using their phone at the wheel on a daily basis, it is blindingly obvious.

More than one-quarter (28pc) regularly see phone-driving while a mere 5pc have never seen a driver on their phone at the wheel.

But where is all this taking us? If something is getting worse, and we have to assume it is, the current medication isn't working.

* They may be struggling to make the top four in the Premier League, but Manchester United's highly-paid footballers have no problem taking the first three places in the expensive cars league. Some have more cars than goals. Paul Pogba, for example, drives a Mercedes GLS 4x4 ( £102,750) and an ABT Audi RS6-R (£87,015). Wayne Rooney has an Audi Q7 (£71,465), Overfinch Range Rover Sport (£114,829), Bentley Continental GT (£212,500) and a BMW i8 (£110,025). Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a Volvo XC90 (£53,850), Porsche 918 Spyder(£781,155) and a Ferrari Enzo (£500,000).

**figures courtesy hpi

* Opel will use PSA's (Peugeot, Citroen, Mitsubishi) technology for its next-gen Corsa in 2019. Before this they said GM technology would be used, but since the PSA takeover all seems to have changed.

* Toyota have given a facelift to their Yaris supermini, with more than 900 new parts.

But the outstanding thing for me is that their Safety Sense system is now fitted as standard. There are new equipment grades too: Terra, Aura, Luna, Luna Sport and Sol, with all but one having a hybrid option. Hybrids currently account for 35pc of Yaris sales here.

Their Safety Sense system includes Pre-Collision with Autonomous Emergency Braking, Automatic High Beam and Lane Departure Alert. Road Sign Assist is standard on all but the Luna.

* Skoda seem to have focused on the colder climates for their latest batch of new-car names. The new KODIAQ 5/7-seater SUV is named after a bear that lives on an island off Alaska. Now it will be joined by a little-brother compact SUV called the KAROQ. The new arrival (for 181-reg) derives its name from the language of the Alutiiq tribe, who live on an island off Alaska's southern coast. The KAROQ will debut in Stockholm on May 18.

* Volkswagen chief Matthias Mueller insists the group will invest billions up to 2022 to boost combustion engines and electric drivetrains as the industry plans for stricter emissions standards in Europe. To cut costs the group will lower the number of engine variants for mass-market models.

* Great news that advanced hybrid and electric vehicle technologies supplier BorgWarner is to extend its production capabilities in Tralee with a major investment. The company is investing in capital equipment and renovations so its engineering and testing capabilities can be expanded and help create new jobs.

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