N332 August 2017

Beware of Sheltering Animals

During the hot summer days, animals, especially cats, may find shelter under parked cars. Occasionally, they may find their way into the engine compartment or wheel arches.

Always check your vehicle before starting the engine and before driving off. Making a noise can sometimes wake them, but be careful you don't startle them so much they run into the road. If you find an animal and are unable to move it, call for assistance.


Leave an Animal in Your Vehicle – Face Prison

The Canine Unit of the local police in Alicante have denounced a person for allegedly committing a crime of animal abuse, by leaving a dog locked in a vehicle, in temperatures above 36ºC, for some time.

The incident came about when concerned local residents alerted the police of the presence of the dog in a car in a car park, showing signs of distress and severe discomfort. The police immediately attended and were concerned that the dog was on the brink of suffocation and so broke the rear window of the vehicle to gain access, successfully rescuing the dog.

The police have opened legal proceedings and filed a formal complaint against the owner who is charged with the alleged crime of animal abuse. In addition, the officers carried out a check on the vehicle and its owner and found that the car did not have a valid ITV and so they seized the vehicle with the owner facing separate charges for vehicle offences.

The police extend the warning once again about leaving dogs in vehicles, as the temperature inside quickly increase and puts the animal's life at severe risk. Endangering the life of an animal can carry a prison sentence, as well as hefty fines, aside from the obvious fact that the animal may well die.

If anybody witnesses an animal left in a vehicle, call the police or emergency services immediately.


Choosing a Perfect Motorbike Helmet

The Spanish national association of companies representing the industry, (Asociación Nacional de Empresas del Sector de Dos Ruedas), offer these handy tips.
You must be able to see the ECE (European Standard) label clearly.
It must cover the forehead above the eyebrows.
It must not move or fall on the driver's eyes or apply pressure on the forehead.
It must not hinder the driver's peripheral vision.
It must not push the glasses or reduce the vision of the bikers who wear glasses.
Most importantly: It must be comfortable.

Remember, a helmet is only worn correctly if it is secured to the head it is protecting. Always use the chin strap and always make sure your helmet is secure.


Half of Spaniards Would Ban Smoking in cars

World No Tobacco Day was celebrated in May and was promoted by the World Health Organisation who aims to highlight the health risks associated with smoking and offer assistance to those wishing to quit.

There is not only a direct risk to health caused by smoking in the car; there is a danger of distractions and there is a hypothetical risk of being fined for being distracted by smoking.

Smoking in cars is not currently banned in Spain, however, it would appear that more than half of the Spanish population would support such a ban.

A recent survey shows that 51.6% of Spaniards would favour a ban in private vehicles, at least in the presence of minors, following the lead of countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Australia and South Africa, whereas another 38% believe that the ban on tobacco should be advanced even further.


Dangerous Distractions

It has been estimated that lighting a cigarette causes us to withdraw our attention from the road for 4 seconds, which means that, driving on a motorway at 120 kilometres per hour, we have taken our eyes off the road for at least 132 metres.

Lighting a cigarette in the vehicle can cause the driver to drop a spark, potentially falling on the driver or the seats, causing alarm and a reaction that could turn your attention away from driving and subsequently cause a more serious incident.

3% of forest fires – 21,000 in the last ten years – have their ultimate origin in cigarette butts thrown or dumped from one of the millions of vehicles on the roads at this time of year. It can be punished with a fine of 200€ and the withdrawal of 4 points of driving license.

You Might Be Suffering From Night Blindness

Driving at night can be a daunting concept for many people, with reduced visibility and a complete change in the special awareness required to operate a vehicle safely, many people simply choose to avoid night driving as they feel so insecure. Many of those people who do feel uncomfortable or unsafe may actually be suffering Night Blindness.

Your eyes should be checked and rectified if necessary, on a regular basis. As we get older, our eyesight can deteriorate and the subtle changes that occur may not be noticeable. We might not actually realise that our vision is impaired and regular checks are the only safe way of ensuring this.

It is normal for us to feel different driving at night and that does not mean we have Night Blindness. In low light conditions, the levels of visual acuity decrease in part because, on the one hand, there is a central area in the field of vision that is less clear (that is why we will see objects moving more clearly than static objects) and on the other, because the colour vision is reduced and we see practically only in white, black and grey shades.

When we talk about Night Blindness, we are not talking about losing the vision completely, but about the special difficulty that many people have to see at night. This difficulty is also often aggravated during alternating situations of high and low luminosity, such as driving in and out of tunnels for example. These people find it harder to adjust to light when they leave dark environments or darkness when they come from more enlightened environments. That is why one of the greatest difficulties of those who suffer when driving at night is to focus with the intermittent light of car headlights and street lamps.

Night Blindness is not a disease or deficiency in itself, but may be a symptom of other ailments. One of the most frequent reasons is myopia and, to a lesser extent, farsightedness. In the human eye, those in charge of the vision in conditions of low luminosity are cells of the retina that, if there is any disease or eye problem, will have difficulty to offer a vision of quality.

Night Blindness may also occur in the presence of other eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma; or not ocular, such as diabetes or diseases of the liver or pancreas. In these latter cases it is the inability to absorb large amounts of Vitamin A which can produce Night Blindness, since it is the one that intervenes in the transformation of the nerve impulses in images in the retina.

How To Prevent Or Cure Night Blindness

One of the most recommended methods to avoid Night Blindness (nocturnal amblyopia) is to eat foods high in Vitamin A, such as carrots, melons or squash.

If Night Blindness occurs, the treatment will depend solely on the reason that caused it. In the case of eye defects, Night Blindness could be eliminated or mitigated by an operation (such as cataracts), with the use of spectacles with greater negative power (in the case of myopia), or positive (for hyperopia).

If you do feel you may have a condition like this, go to your optician or doctor immediately for advice.