Driving in the Dark - Staying Safe!
Research shows that after daylight savings when the clocks have gone back, there tends to be a spike in the number of accidents year after year.
It's that time of the year where it's pretty much dark during both our morning & evening commutes... the most difficult time of the year to be driving!
Research shows that after daylight savings when the clocks have gone back, there tends to be a spike in the number of accidents year after year. A few simple tips put into practice can help you avoid becoming part of this statistic!
Use your Lights Appropriately
Firstly, and most obviously, it's illegal to drive at night without fully functioning front & rear lights, so be sure to check they're both in working order!
How you use them is second in importance only to this! We recommend you turn your dipped headlights on about an hour before sunset and keep them on an hour after sunrise. Guarantee you're always visible!
On the matter of high beams, it might sound a little obvious but it's surprising how many drivers don't switch them off when encountering another vehicle! If you think this is about to happen to you, try and remember the best thing to do is remain calm, gently apply a bit of braking and look to the left-hand side of the road - follow the white line marking the edge.
The high-beam light may dazzle you, but it will most likely only affect your peripheral vision if you don't focus directly on it.
READ MORE: Be Wary of Bonfire Night Fines
Don't get behind the wheel tired!
Now one of the advantages of this time of year is that we've all had an extra hour in bed... but believe it or not seasonal changes can actually affect your sleep patterns. With an hour less light in the evenings, your melatonin levels may be higher, leaving you feeling a little more drowsy than normal.
It can be a little deceptive this, as you can feel absolutely fine at the start of a journey, and feel like you're nodding off only 15 minutes later. Just use a little extra caution and be more mindful of how tired you might be at this time of year!
Keep your windows clean
Condensation has a habit of building up at this time of year - this in combination with external dirt can seriously impair your visibility more quickly than you might think!
Quite rightly, de-humidifiers can clear your screen, but if they're blowing dirty air at the glass it can cause a hazy film to build up on the inside... increasing glare from oncoming headlights.
Take time to give them a clean before setting off, it will prove useful!
Hone your night-driving skills
If you're quite early into your driving career, it can be easy to underestimate how difficult driving in the dark can potentially be.
Most driving instructors will offer evening lessons to give their pupils more confidence, and if you only passed your test this summer, you may have limited experience of night driving.
It's definitely worth a bit of time & effort to hone your night-driving skills - your future self might just thank you!