It’s getting darker all of a sudden – and that means, once again, we have to get used to driving in the dark for longer. Here are some reminders to keep you safe and sound during those murky mornings and eerie evenings.
It’s well documented that night driving is more hazardous. A Department for Transport study shows that vehicles driven at night account for nearly a third of road injuries and fatalities. This is because of a lack of visibility and the fact that judging speed and distance becomes harder.
It’s essential to have your eyesight given the once over regularly. An eye test will reveal eye problems, like glaucoma, that will impede your night sight. It sounds obvious, but never wear sunglasses or glasses with tinted lenses for driving at night, either.
Switch your car headlights on ahead of sunset, and keep them turned on for a while after sunrise so other drivers can spot you in the twilight. Ensure lights, front and back, are clean and working. And although it’s always vital to ensure you can bring your vehicle to a halt within the distance you can see to be clear, after dark this is particularly the case.
On country roads, drive on full beam whenever you can, but dip your headlights when another vehicle approaches to avoid blinding the driver. Conversely, if you are dazzled, then don’t look at the headlights. Keep focused on the left-hand kerb and keep your speed stable.
Ensure your vehicle’s windows are spotless inside and out. Filthy or smeary glass will magnify glare from other car headlights and are more likely to steam up.
Taking breaks when motoring long distances is vital, but this is even more imperative at night. Stop and rest every two hours at the minimum, and drink coffee or a caffeine drink to keep yourself on the ball.