26 February 2017

Don’t get the ‘killer look’, ladies

Ladies, seatbelts don’t work if you wear them under your arm instead of over the shoulder, writes Trish Whelan.

Right, that sounds like common sense. Except that too many of our gender seem to toss that out the window of the car when they buckle up. For reasons as insane as not wanting to upset their tan or crease their clothing.

Truth is, you’re likely to suffer horrific injuries if you’re in a crash with your belt this way. Placing the shoulder strap of the seatbelt under their arm leaves your upper torso — including your neck, face and head - completely unrestrained during a collision.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has launched a new digital road safety campaign focusing on the misuse of seatbelts by women. The campaign is entitled ‘Get this season’s killer look’.

A study of 300 women aged 17 to 34, undertaken in 2016 on behalf of the RSA, found that some 28pc admitted to misusing a seatbelt by wearing it under the arm, rising to 35pc among younger women. The study also found that 53pc of those interviewed said that their friends wore the seatbelt in this way.

The main reasons cited for wearing the seatbelt under the arm were to relieve neck tension and for general comfort. However, 9pc said it was to protect their tan and 7pc said it was to protect clothing.

The belt should be worn diagonally across the wearer’s chest on their shoulder and never under the arm. If it feels uncomfortable, adjust the height of the belt on the anchor point on the door frame, or adjust the seat position and height. Most importantly of all, avoid getting ‘This season’s killer look’ because you didn’t wear your seatbelt properly.

The RSA sought the input of Gerry Lane, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal, in developing the campaign.

The campaign, will also be promoted on the RSA social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram with the campaign’s official hashtag #KillerLook.

While seatbelt compliance is consistently very strong among young females, it’s not universal. For instance, 23pc don’t always wear a seat belt as a rear passenger.

Injuries to body following improper seatbelt use:
Head: Collision with windscreen can result in severe facial scarring, and in some cases blindness. Brain injury, neck spinal injury.

Mouth: Impact with the steering column or dashboard of a vehicle can cause severe damage to teeth, leading to victims needing extensive dental repair. May knock teeth down throat, shatter jaw, block airway.

Neck:  Being thrown violently forward in a collision can cause serious injury to the neck and head, and may require surgical repair. May result in paralysis and/or partial or total paralysis.

Torso: Spinal damage caused by impact requires the wearing of a full-body cast (not always, only in "minor cases"), and may result in partial or total paralysis, life changing injuries. 
Abdomen: Internal lacerations caused by improper seatbelt use can require extensive surgical repair, and may involve the victim requiring a colostomy bag for life.

Arm: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins. 
Leg: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins.

Now, can we get back to common sense instead of vanity?

23 February 2017

Facelifted Skoda Rapid for Geneva reveal

Skoda will show updated Rapid and Rapid Spaceback family cars at the Geneva Motor Show, ahead of their arrival in Ireland this July, writes Trish Whelan.

The enhancement to the Rapid is evident at the front. The modified fog lights shine in the newly designed lower part of the bumper. The Rapid Spaceback now also features an extended rear window and the boot door makes it easy to load the luggage compartment. 

Skoda claims these compact cars set the benchmark for spaciousness among the direct competitors, with a ‘tremendous’ amount of space on the inside.

Passengers will also have the option to be ‘always online’ with a WLAN hotspot and additional new connectivity features from Skoda Connect.

The cars will also have two 1.0 TSI petrol engines with either 95bhp or 110bhp outputs.  

Skoda are currently offering up to €4,000 scrappage on the current Rapid range until the end of March.

New options for the Rapid and Rapid Spaceback include interior Ambient lighting, Front Assist with city emergency and Skoda Connect which consists of Infotainment Online and CareConnect services. The Infotainment Online offers online traffic information, information on fuel stations and pricing, parking spaces, current news and weather. The Care Connect services offer further passenger assistance with a WLAN hotspot for on-board Wi-Fi connection, and an automatic emergency call feature which will automatically call the emergency services once an airbag is activated.

Irish pricing and specs are yet to be confirmed but Skoda Ireland say they are expected to be competitive.

VW Arteon to world premiere at Geneva

Volkswagen will unveil its new premium Arteon at next month’s Geneva Motor Show which runs for the public from 9-19 March, writes Trish Whelan.

Volkswagen say combining avant-garde design with a high level of versatility was the key objective for designers and developers of the Arteon and this resulted in an interior architecture which ‘is exceptionally generously spacious - with ample head and leg room at all seats - which is extraordinary for this body form’.

Key design elements of the Arteon include its completely new front end, in which the LED headlights and daytime running lights merge with the chrome-plated crossbars of the radiator grille and the bonnet. The car’s shoulder section is another defining feature of its design.

Other equipment features making their debut in the Arteon include the latest generation of driver assistance systems and some features that are typically reserved for luxury automobiles.

The Arteon is expected to be on sale in Ireland in time for the 172 plate. It will be positioned above the Passat in the Volkswagen range.

22 February 2017

New Dacia Summit Special Edition for Geneva

Dacia will launch a new special edition version for the Duster, Sandero Stepway and the New Logan MCV Stepway (pictured above) at the Geneva Motor Show on 7 March, writes Trish Whelan.

The Summit special editions will be based on the highest equipment level and will stand out through two exclusive exterior colour options: Nordic Grey or Magma Orange (Sandero Stepway only).

In the Stepway range, these new colours will be complemented by 16-inch Grey Flex wheels, while the Duster will sport 16-inch diamond-cut black Cyclades alloy wheels.

Inside, these special edition models will have exclusive dual-material upholstery; seats will have Burnt Orange piping and top-stitching, and the word ’Stepway’ will be embroidered into the fabric in the same colour. Carpet mats will also have the Burnt Orange top-stitching. This same detailing will be found on the centre console and air vent surrounds.

This special edition is based on the Laureate trim to include air conditioning, Media Nav Evolution multimedia system, rear parking sensors, DAB radio, and cruise control with speed limiter.

The Duster will also feature wheel arch guards and protective side mouldings.
The Summit special editions will be available with the same engines as the Stepway and Duster ranges.

Pricing for this special edition range will be announced closer to the on-sale date this Spring.