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Top 10 Songs to Improve Your Drive

Wednesday 21st June marks the start of the Fête de la Musique. Also known as ‘World Music Day’, it offers a global celebration of something that has a heavy presence within the majority of our everyday lives. Whether you’re a hairbrush diva or all your road trips have their own playlists, World Music Day should be celebrated – with experts concluding that there are a number of health benefits to listening (and singing!) to music at the wheel.


There’s nothing quite like a song you love, but had long-forgotten about, unexpectedly coming on the radio while you’re driving. But what exactly is the science behind that rush we get when we know every word to a nostalgia-filled song from yesteryear? Professor Stephen Clift, a leading authority on the health benefits of singing based at the U.K.’s Canterbury Christ Church University, says: ‘Singing loudly and free from inhibitions – really ‘letting go’ – means the mental release will be greater as more energy is put into it […] When we sing familiar songs loudly, we experience a ‘feel-good factor’ arising from deeper, slower breathing, and increased muscular activity. We feel less stressed and more relaxed.’ Even more of an excuse to crank up the volume!


Furthermore, Jan Schroll, supervisor Multi‑Media and Connectivity at Ford of Europe, says: ‘Experts agree that there are a range of health benefits to staging impromptu karaoke sessions at the wheel – ones we only feel truly comfortable giving when there is no one else around, and the in-car sound system is providing the backing. For many people listening to the music they love on the move is a fundamental part of every journey – it is the soundtrack to their own personal road movie.’ So, not only does blasting the tunes feel great, but it’s great for you, too.


Despite the huge shift towards more technological aspects of listening to music, such as streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, there’s nothing wrong with going old-fashioned, as displayed by a study from Edison Research. They conducted a study of more than 8,500 Americans aged 13 and over to determine where their time listening to music is spent. 44% of listening time was via AM/FM radio: by far the largest share. The number 2 share of listening time, at just 18%, was spent listening to music that had been purchased, such as CDs or digital downloads. So, if it’s the iPod you’re plugging in or relying on the good old-fashioned stereo, all evidence shows that it’s good for you in every way!


In celebration of World Music Day, here at Drivers Direct we’ve compiled a playlist of some of the best driving songs for your next journey:


Born To be Wild – Steppenwolf

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

Jessica – The Allman Brothers

Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

Road to Nowhere – Talking Heads

Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Mr. Blue Sky – ELO

Drive My Car – The Beatles


We hope this playlist will help you along your next long drive – and remember that as great as sing-alongs are, remember to keep focussed on the road and never let music distract you from safe driving.

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Nearly all of the food we eat, most of our clothes, and almost everything we use to build and furnish our homes is, at some point, moved by road transport. With over two million UK employees, road haulage is the UK’s fifth largest industry and contributes over £70 billion to the UK economy annually.

Haulage isn’t just about transportation of goods from A to B, its relationship to the success of British business is similar to the role of worker bees have in food production – critical.  But like the threats facing bees, the sector is facing unprecedented challenges this Christmas.

It is now widely accepted that there is an increasing shortage of drivers that ranges from about 45,000–60,000 depending on your source.  Drivers are retiring from the industry in high numbers, while the sector is also suffering from an inability to attract new talent as HGV licence applications have also dropped by more than 32,000 in the past five years.

The frustrating thing however is that for every driver the sector needs, there are actually three people in the UK with a valid LGV license who could do the work but two in three choose not to, so why is this?

The industry must take steps to improve its conditions so it can recruit and importantly retain the drivers it needs. The starting point has to be greater investment in recruitment, training and driver welfare following years of under-funding as well as roadside facilities for drivers which are currently scarce and inadequate, so must be improved.

Currently the industry is predominantly made up of over 45s, white and male.   Until more is done in regards to the approach to driver training, the funding of license acquisition, and facilities for drivers, then it is unlikely the sector will be able to broaden its appeal.

Why does it matter so much?  Quite simply without the haulage industry there is a very real likelihood of stores suffering from low levels of stock, with any lack of availability having a massive knock on effect on retailers, the construction industry or manufacturers all of whom rely on the sector to keep their businesses, and the UK’s economy, on track.

This Christmas is set to put a massive strain on depleted resources, yet is one that’s critically important to get right with a quarter of all personal spending taking place during the Christmas/holiday shopping season.  This puts an inevitable strain on the already under staffed haulage industry.

There are however some positive changes in the mix. There are just over 400,000 heavy goods vehicles registered in Britain and although the number has remained fairly static for many years now, productivity of new vehicles has increased.  The vehicles are also larger in terms of space they take up on our roads but also offer greater capacity.

There also continues to be a big increase in double-shifting – not of drivers but of vehicles. The newer vehicles are much more efficient and require less downtime. The sector is also embracing new technologies and is becoming an increasingly IT-driven industry allowing logistic businesses to use technology to plan, monitor and manage how a vehicle is best used.

It’s likely to be a challenging time this Christmas as businesses compete for the limited resources.  Let’s hope however that with continued improvements to technologies, transport and training the sector is once again able to take on the challenges it will undoubtedly face this Christmas.

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New Farington House has been crowned Challenge Cup winners after victory over rivals New Longton Rovers in a thrilling match held at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber Bridge.  The New Farington House team, whose club is sponsored by Drivers Direct, came from 3-1 down to take the trophy after a pulsating match.

After a challenging first half, New Farington House pulled themselves back into the game with a well struck shot from Zack Wilkes early in the second half.  Minutes later Dylan Agnew levelled the scores at 3-3 and almost immediately from the restart a beautifully lofted ball into the area was headed home by Adam Smith to make the score 4-3 and to take the Challenge Cup home to Centurion Way, Leyland.

Gethin Roberts, managing director of Drivers Direct, comments: “A fantastic result for Farry House who showed real grit and determination to come from behind to win the cup.  As a local employer and with employees involved in the team, we’re proud to be sponsors of the club and to have helped them in some way to achieve such great successes this season.”

League President Dave Carlisle presented the Cup and souvenir medals to the teams on behalf of the sponsors the Syndicate Trust.

New Farington House Football Club are an FA Charter Standard Club that Play in the Lancashire Sunday Football League, playing in the Premier Division.  Known locally as Farry House, the squad is managed by Stephen Broomhead and includes Graeme Conroy who is club secretary and a Drivers Direct employee.

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One for the road won’t hurt – will it?

Every year more than 3,000 people in the UK are killed or injured as a result of crashes on our roads relating to drink–driving, with the numbers predictably spiking over the Christmas period. In 2013 260 people were killed in accidents where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, making alcohol consumption one of the largest threats to the road safety of us all, not helped by peer pressure to party at this time of year.

In 1979 when official records were first compiled, 1,640 people lost their lives as a result of a drink-driver. Since then numbers have been falling almost year on year, helped in no small part by successive, often hard-hitting, government and police advertising campaigns and increasingly tough legislation.

When public information films first highlighted the dangers of drink driving back in 1964, drinking and driving was considered the norm, with no recognised safe limit and no breathalyser testing. In the first ever advert a polite, light-hearted cartoon aimed at the middle-aged party-goer pointed out the likelihood of having an accident after four, six and up to eight whiskies with the simple message `if he’s been drinking, don’t let him drive.’

A range of emotive, often shocking tactics have followed over the years, pulling no punches.  This year, with research showing that one in 10 people would consider getting behind the wheel after having two drinks or more, the Department of Transport’s Think! Christmas campaign firmly targets those people who probably don’t consider themselves a high risk – unaware that a second drink can double their chance of a fatal collision.

So with the nation donning its collective gladrags for the office party season, forces across the country are braced for their traditionally hectic festive and New Year period, trying hard to raise awareness of the dangers on our roads and keep people safe as they travel around. It’s a busy time for us at Drivers Direct too with the placing of drivers of all classes for clients who need support either on a temporary, seasonal or more permanent basis.

Even a very small amount of alcohol can affect driving performance and there is no way of knowing how long it will take to sober up completely after a few drinks. In general, people are getting far better at staying away from the wheel at night but too many are quick to jump back behind it after a sleep, unaware that they are still over the limit. One in five people admit to driving the morning after having a lot to drink the night before and nearly one in six convicted drink drivers are caught in the morning.

Don’t take chances. Stay safe, drive safe and have a very Merry Christmas.





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Christmas is coming…

As the Festive season gets into full swing, Michael Watson, Head of Logistics, from Drivers Direct, looks into the struggles the industry faces in managing the daily deliveries in the run up to Christmas.


This time of year is a notoriously busy period for the motor transport industry, with retailers expected to send out 20 percent more parcels than this time last year.

As ‘Black Friday’ takes over the UK with more than 700,000 deliveries expected to be shipped over the weekend, combined with the usual surge in Christmas shopping sales, suppliers and their distributors are being put under pressure to meet tighter deadlines, keep shelves stocked and fulfil orders.

Although a further 19,000 Royal Mail drivers employed during the busy period, Christmas deadlines are often just ‘managed’ rather than exceeded and drivers are often required to work longer hours. Schedules are put under extreme pressure from more demanding customers and innovations from retail giants such as promises to deliver before 9am, 12pm and next day.

Industry insiders reckon that there are now around 40,000 delivery drivers at the forefront of a battle between retailers competing to offer the fastest or cheapest deliveries.

Once you throw in a dash snow and a sprinkle of ice to the recipe, the £4.5bn UK delivery industry can be thrown into chaos as drivers are unable to get to work, vehicles are unable to return to base on time and drivers can be left waiting for vehicles and loads.

These factors along with ensuring compliance with the legislation that governs the hours drivers are allowed to be on the road, make it crucial for companies to remain organised and efficient during these challenging times.

The Road Haulage Association, which represents the delivery industry, says the sector needs 60,000 more drivers to cope.  As a result however, the last three months of the year, the demand for drivers is greater than ever as companies run close to or even beyonde capacity.  So to stay ahead of increasing requests from clients, Drivers Direct starts planning the peak season from the beginning of July with a strong drive in the field of recruitment and training.

We book our drivers out for contract work, which means we can start gauging their availability in the summer and begin to plan a strategy. We also review last year’s peak trading period, this helps us predict the requirements for this year, and more importantly we work very closely with our clients to ensure we meet their demands and expectations and train all staff so they’re confident within the job.

With the right support and preparation, Christmas can be a busy but rewarding time of year that can be enjoyed equally by clients, customers and even delivery drivers.






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Time To Take A Shot At Lowering The Drink Driving Limit

In December last year, the drink driving limit in Scotland was reduced from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood to 50 mg of alcohol. Since the move, new figures show that the number of drink driving offences has fell by 17% in the first three months.

Due to this positive impact in Scotland, the Police Federation is now calling for the changes to be rolled out in England and Wales too.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently have the joint highest drink-drive limits in Europe. However, the new changes would see the UK come in line with other European countries that have also seen a fall in offences since lowering the limit.

Victoria Martin, a chief inspector working at the Police Federation commented: “We would like to see a lower drink-drive limit. Other European countries that have reduced their levels have all seen a marked reduction in failed breathalyser tests and we welcome this approach across the whole UK.”

The changes to the drink limit could mean for some individuals, one drink would be enough to send them over the limit. For more information on drink driving limits, take a look at our previous blog, You booze, You Lose.

The changes have also been welcomed by alcohol awareness campaigners, as research suggests anti-drink driving messages are not getting across adequately, particularly how drink driving can impair driving ability and the risks of getting caught.

The proposal to lower the drink driving limit was also released at the same time as new research showing a new ‘worrying trend’ of women drink-driving. Figures from Social Research Associates show that nearly one in six women admitted to driving when they thought they were over the limit. The Ministry of Justice statistics also show that the number of women found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol in England and Wales rose by nearly 6% in recent years. The number of men convicted in England and Wales over the same offence dropped from 46,204 to 45,471 over the same period.

So what would it mean if the changes were to take place? Experts estimate a 50mg limit would mean an average man would be limited to just under a pint of beer or a large glass of wine, and women to half a pint of beer or a small glass of wine.

However, a campaign ahead of the change in Scotland warned that ‘the best advice is none’, meaning people should not drink any alcohol if they intend to drive. We would agree with this, especially if it helps make the UK’s roads a safer place.

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New Year, New Rules

As we settle into the New Year, 2015 is expected to see changes in legalisation, licensing and roads.  Therefore, to help ease you in gently, we have rounded up the most important new legalisations set to come into place throughout the year, ensuring we all drive safer and remain legally compliant in 2015

1. Say goodbye to your paper license

Originally set for abolishment in January, the DVLA has now confirmed that the withdrawal of the driving licence counterpart will now happen in June 2015. As handy as it is not safeguarding a piece of paper, the FTA has raised concerns regarding the replacement system as it will heavily rely on drivers providing the information and has rejected it as being unsuitable. The DVLA commented; “Focus continues to be on bringing on technical solutions that provide up to date, fit for purpose alternatives to the paper counterpart and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the FTA on the developments.”

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