February 2019 GLOBAL NEWS


Survey Says Poorly Maintained Roads, Lack of Parking Are to Blame…

According to the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer, which monitors the opinions of more than 2,000 UK van drivers and owners, the overwhelming majority of drivers—90 percent, in fact—feel there’s a parking problem in the UK for vans. But that’s not all.

Nearly 30 percent say that roads are in poor or very poor condition, while 56 percent believe most parking spaces are too small even for cars.  And a combined 50 percent of those polled believe road size (19 percent) and parking limitations (31 percent) also contribute to a feeling that roads aren’t fit for use.

Similarly, with much faster-paced delivery schedules and potentially larger customer bases, van drivers are having to use their time more efficiently than ever before. Which has led 53 percent of drivers who have had parking tickets to say they had no choice but to park illegally in order to properly do their jobs.  All of which has led to increased driver/employee stress, depression and anxiety.

“The nation’s poorly maintained roads and parking spaces are having a definite negative impact on van driver mental health,” stated Steve Bridge, director of Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd. “These are basic requirements to fulfill their tasks—to park up safely, use their time effectively and not risk damaging their vehicles or themselves, just to get to and from their next job. It is very sad to learn that the state of our roads is having such an impact on the state of our hardworking van drivers.”

Where might a van driver find an open parking spot on such a crowded London street? Lack of adequate parking for commercial vans, along with poorly maintained roadways, are a chronic problem in the UK.



SUV Now Integrated into Automaker’s EasyLife Trim Lineup…

The Renault Kadjar, a popular choice in the midsize SUV category, has undergone a facelift, outside, inside and under the hood, with standard equipment including a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and front fog lights on every model.

Additionally, the Kadjar range is now integrated into Renault’s EasyLife trim lineup, offering customers enhanced looks, enhanced specification and enhanced value, according to the company.  The model range includes four versions, one less than the previous generation Kadjar. Besides the Play, Iconic and GT Line trim levels, there is a new model—the Kadjar S-Edition. This style-focused trim sits between the Iconic and GT Line, and features exclusive interior upholstery, redesigned LED headlights, a rear-view camera, and a panoramic sunroof, features shared with the well-equipped flagship New Kadjar GT Line.

Under the hood, the Kadjar offers four engine options. The new, ultramodern TCe 140 and TCe 160 four-cylinder gas engines were developed in cooperation with Daimler. The new Blue dCi diesel in 115hp and 150hp form, gains enhanced power while offering technology that cuts emission of engine pollutants. The TCe 140 and dCi 115 are available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed EDC automatic gearbox, while the TCe 160 is available with a manual transmission. At a later date, the dCi 150 engine will be available exclusively in a manual configuration, and with a choice of two-wheel or four-wheel drive.

The Renault Kadjar, a popular midsize SUV, has been revamped and now offers a range of standard equipment across the model lineup, as well as various engine options and trim levels.



Registered Charity Focuses on Improving Driver Skills…

Britain’s IAM RoadSmart, formed in 1956, is the largest independent registered road safety charity in the UK. Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards for the organization, recently offered advice on how to stay safe on the road with “six-of-the-best” tips.

  • Slow down around schools and keep an eye on speed limits as they may change unexpectedly to 20mph.
  • Seat belts are a must. Passengers older than 14 are responsible for their own seat belts, but drivers are the ones who will be stopped—and penalized—for a violation.
  • Keep to the speed limit. Rushing from hold up to hold up is often counterproductive. A 50-mile journey at 80mph will save at most six minutes, as compared to the same distance at 70mph.
  • Avoid distractions. The dangers of hand-held mobile phones are well known, but Bluetooth calls can be just as distracting. Turn off the phone while behind the wheel.
  • Keep the windshield clean and sunglasses handy. Dazzle from low sunlight is a factor in more crashes than dazzle from headlights.
  • Make way for motorcycles. It’s legal for motorcycles to filter through traffic, so give them space and check blind spots and mirrors before changing lanes.

“Most delays on our main roads are caused by accidents and breakdowns,” said Gladman. “Prevention is so much easier than cure. Check the car over before your journey, keep your distance, manage your speed, and we can all have an accident free week, year and lifetime.” www.iamroadsmart.com.

UK’s IAM RoadSmart urges drivers to slow down when driving near schools and to make way for lane-splitting motorcycles as they filter through traffic.

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