What Car? Reveals Safety Needn't Cost A Fortune

As the Office of National Statistics releases the latest information on Road Casualties this morning, and with October traditionally marking a steep increase in accident and road casualty rates, What Car? has come up with a list of gadgets that can improve safety for under £100.

Steve Fowler, group editor of What Car?, said: ‘The best ways to improve safety are free: always wear your seatbelt, prepare properly for journeys and ensure your car is in tip-top condition. Following that, a small investment in some worthwhile gadgets can further enhance the safety of you and your passengers.’

The safety gadgets recommended by What Car? should give drivers peace of mind and allow them to concentrate on their ever-important driving skills. What’s more, they each cost less than £100. The gadgets are:

1. Ice warning gauge It’s often difficult to tell what the outside temperature is and if there’s ice on the road. A digital thermometer with a sensor positioned outside the car and low to the ground can let the driver know if there is ice about. Approximate cost £16.99.

2. Parking sensors With poorly lit streets and car parks these easily fitted sensors can help drivers avoid the majority of parking incidents. When the vehicle is approaching a hazard, such as another car, trees, plants and pedestrians, an audible alarm is sounded in the vehicle. Approximate cost £99.99.

3. Baby monitor It’s all too easy to get distracted by a baby in the back of the car in a rear-facing child seat. This package includes a video camera and LCD screen, and allows the driver to keen an eye on the infant without having to turn around. Approximate cost £99.95.

4. Hands-free mobile phone It’s dangerous and illegal to drive using a hand-held mobile phone. There is no excuse to use a handset with hands-free kits costing from £5.

5. Air in your spare Getting a puncture is bad enough, but it could be even worse if your spare tyre is flat, too. Expected price £20.

6. Tyre-pressure gauge Tyres with the wrong pressure can worsen braking performance and cause dangerous blowouts. A digital pressure tester should be kept in the car for easy weekly checks. Approximate cost £15.99.

7. High-visibility bulbs Modern high-intensity bulbs produce a clearer, more natural light, which offers better visibility across a wider area. Approximate Cost £12.99 each.

8. Emergency kit This includes a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a warning triangle, a reflective vest, and a spare set of bulbs. Approximate cost £29.99.

9. Brake lights High-visibility brake lights give the driver behind additional warning and extra time to react and brake - rear-end shunts are a very common accident. Approximate cost £14.99.

10. Windscreen demister Cold mornings mean misted windscreens, and the temptation to drive off before it demists can be too strong for some to resist. A dashboard-mounted heater can clear your screen in seconds. Approximate cost £33.00.

30 September 2005 Staff

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