As the dark mornings and nights are beginning to roll in and the weather gets cooler so begins one of the most difficult times of the year to be out on the roads.
A study by RoSPA 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.
You may be having problems driving in the dark if:
- You have trouble with oncoming headlights
- You fnd it difficult to see road markings and street signs
- You need to drive slowly
- You have difficulty judging distance and speed.
Our tips for staying safe when driving in the dark:
1. Keep your windows clean
Both condensation on the inside and dirt on the outside of the window can impair visibility. Plan extra time to demist your windscreen.
2. Don’t focus on oncoming vehicles
Avoid being dazzled by 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.
3. Watch your speed
Slow down and increase your distance behind the car in front of you to allow plenty of time to react.
4. Carry out vehicle checks
Regularly check your car lights to ensure all front and rear lights are in full working order so you are visible to other road users.
5. Have regular eye tests
If you are struggling to read traffic signs or you notice other problems with your vision while driving you need to make sure you are wearing the correct glasses at night.
6. Be aware
Watch out for pedestrians, children, cyclists and animals. Take care when driving by schools and residential areas. Although cyclist should be wearing high visibility clothing and lighting they won’t always be and children won’t always be paying attention.
7. Allow more time for your journey when driving in the dark
8. Avoid distractions
If you can, dim your dashboard lights to reduce reflections and avoid reducing your vision.
9. Be prepared
Keep a breakdown kit in your car with blankets, warm clothing and a torch.
By Sharon Edwards, paralegal in the personal injury department