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News digest: drivers warned to avoid ‘Frantic Friday’

A round-up of this week’s news from the world of fleet and motoring

Drivers warned to avoid travelling on ‘Frantic Friday’

Drivers are being warned to avoid travelling on so-called Frantic Friday when the Christmas getaway clashes with the final working day.

Leisure journeys will peak at 1.87 million on Christmas Eve, but 22 December is expected to see the worst delays as people driving home will share the road with 1.25 million motorists visiting friends and family, according to RAC figures.

The worst hold-ups are expected to occur between 4pm and 8pm.

An estimated 17.5 million people will hit Britain’s roads between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day as people take advantage of high street sales.

Almost 400 miles of roadworks will be lifted by Highways England to ease journeys.

The roadworks embargo will be in place on motorways and major A roads from 6am on Friday until 12.01am on 2 January.

Fleet should make driver mental health a priority

Fleets should be looking at making improvements in how they approach drivers’ mental health, according to fleet consultancy FleetCheck.

Managing director Peter Golding told Fleet News that with around one in four people likely to be affected by a mental health problem, it is an area employers should include in their duty of care.

He said: “It is already a legal obligation to inform the DVLA about a mental health problem that affects your ability to drive.

“However, as a risk management subject, mental health is potentially much more complex than this.

“If you are suffering from stress or depression, for example, it is likely that your employer would only feel the need to become involved if you are taking medication.

“There is research to show that depression can have a direct impact in areas such as concentration and reaction times, both of which have a direct effect on your suitability to be driving.

“Fleets should arguably be considering these issues and including them in their risk management strategies.”

A breakthrough in battery production could triple EV range

The range of electric cars could triple thanks to a breakthrough in lithium metal battery production, new research claims.

Research into a battery with innovative lithium metal negative electrodes by experts at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada is being touted as having the potential to triple the energy density of electric cars in coming years.

Range has been a major sticking point surrounding the expansion of electric cars and a big reason why drivers have been cautious to switch to them.

“This will mean cheap, safe, long-lasting batteries that give people much more range in their electric vehicles,” said Quanquan Pang, who led the research while he was a PhD candidate at Waterloo.

The batteries remain at the research stage and still requires a couple of years to refine safety considerations and fabrications procedures.

 

 

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