Oct 5, 2020
The end of October is when the dark nights roll in and the air gets a little chillier, but it also starts one of the most difficult times of the year to be out on the roads.
A study by ROPSA found that around 40% of all accidents occur during the hours of darkness, and 20% of accidents on the motorways and other long roads in the UK are caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. To help road users stay safe as the clocks go back, we’ve put together the best tips for driving in the dark.
Tips for driving at night
Keep your windows clean
Condensation can build up on the inside of your windows, and dirt building up on the outside can both impair your visibility. Take time to clear them before setting off.
Don’t focus on oncoming vehicles
Avoid being dazzled by looking directly at the headlights of other cars, as this can temporarily impair your vision. Keep looking at the white road markings to help keep track of your position.
In the UK, it’s illegal to be on the roads without properly functioning lights, so as a car owner you need to be carrying out regular checks to ensure all front and rear lights are in full working order.
Regular eye tests
Driving from day to night can put a strain on your eyesight as they try to adjust to the different lighting conditions. If you are struggling to see any traffic signs or other problems with your vision while driving you want to make sure you’re wearing the correct glasses at night. It’s best to avoid those night driving glasses, as there is no proof they work and often the yellow tint can reduce visibility even further.
Watch out for pedestrians, children and animals
Be careful of children, pedestrians, cyclists and animals as they all become vulnerable at this time of the year. Take care when driving by schools and residential areas.
Allow more time for your journey when driving in the dark so that you don’t feel under pressure to be somewhere on time.
If you can, it’s best to dim the dashboard lights to reduce reflections and avoid reducing your night vision.
All drivers need to be prepared in case of emergencies, particularly during these darker months. Be sure to keep a breakdown kit in your car with blankets and warm clothing, and a torch should you need to inspect your car for any damage.
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