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Driving In The Dark

There’s no doubt that driving at night is more dangerous. A Department for Transport study revealed that although only 15 per cent of vehicle miles are clocked between 7pm and 7am, they account for almost a third of road injuries and deaths.

The main reason for an increase in traffic accidents is due to reduced visibility and difficulty judging speed and distance. So as the clocks go back and the dark nights draw in, below are a few handy tips for driving at night.

Sight is seeing. It’s vital to get your sight checked regularly as this will highlight any underlying problems such as glaucoma, as this can affect your night vision. Also, never wear dark or tinted lenses for night driving.

Lighten up. The Institute of Advanced Motorists advises motorists to keep headlights on after sunrise and turning them on for an hour before sunset so it’s easier for motorists to see you during twilight. Make sure all exterior lights are clean and working properly and only use interior lights when stationary.

Don’t dazzle. When driving on rural roads, full beams are useful to see into the distance, but make sure to dip the headlights when facing on-coming traffic as this can dazzle other drivers.

Keep a steady speed. Avoid dropping speed rapidly when approaching on-coming traffic and then speeding up again once you’ve passed. This can be confusing for motorists travelling behind you.

Stay clean. Make sure your windows are clean inside and out as dirty windows will increase the glare from other vehicles and are more prone to steaming up.

Be prepared and read the road ahead for signs of on-coming traffic. Glimmers of lights at the top of hills could be other road users, so anticipate your lights may need to be dipped soon. Ensure to read all the road signs and be more alert when travelling through pedestrian zones, as people and cyclists can be harder to spot, especially if they are not wearing reflective clothing.

Finally, take your breaks. It’s always essential to take regular breaks when driving long distances, but this is even more vital when you’re driving in darkness. It’s important to stop for a rest and keep yourself alert and legal.

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