How to Stay Safe when Driving in the Dark
Posted on August 5th 2019
Driving in the dark can be a daunting experience for anybody and even the most experienced drivers can struggle due to limited visibility and slippery conditions.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) says there is a “spike in the number of road users killed or injured” when the clocks go back, and in an effort to address this, the government has announced it is considering a ban on new drivers in England, Scotland and Wales travelling at night.
Although you cannot do anything about the way other road users behave, there are some things you can do to stay safe when driving at night.
What can you do to stay safe when driving in the dark
- Watch your lights
- It is illegal in the UK to drive at night without proper functioning lights. Before your journey in the dark make sure all headlights and rear lights are working correctly and are visible to other road users. Rod Dennis, from the RAC even suggests turning “dipped headlights on an hour before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise to ensure you are clearly visible to other road users.”
- Regarding, the “full-beam”, ensure you switch back to normal when faced with an oncoming vehicle, so you are not a distraction or danger for other road users.
- Make sure your windscreen is clean
- Condensation and dirt on the inside or outside of your windows can dramatically reduce visibility, so make sure they are clean and clear before driving your car.
- Keep your speed down
- Stick to the speed limit or just below to ensure you are well prepared for sudden obstacles and blind bends. The darker the night, the less likely you are to see a hazard from a distance so keep your speed down to ensure extra time to respond.
- Practice driving at night
- The government’s Pass Plus course offers a night driving module which deals with the correct use of headlamps, getting used to bright headlights and judging speeds and distance. The more practice, the easier it will become.
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