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5 rules for driving in the darkBack

Driving in the darkOn Saturday at midnight, the clocks will go back an hour and daylight saving time will end. Evenings will draw in quicker and daylight hours will be reduced, which could have a direct effect on people’s driving habits.

Many motorists will now perform their daily commute in the dark, which will mean adjusting to the day-to-day hazards that can occur when driving at night.

In order to keep safe on the roads this autumn, Trusted Dealers is encouraging motorists to follow 5 simple rules below:

Be alert

Past studies have revealed the dangers are higher when driving at night as opposed to in the daytime. More accidents occur on the roads mainly due to reduced visibility and increased difficulties in judging speed and distance from other cars. Allow extra space between yourself and the driver in front to account for any erratic driving. Furthermore, keep a look out for pedestrians, particularly in built-up areas where they might not be as visible.

Remember lights

Remember to turn your lights on around one hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise, to make it easier for drivers to spot you in the twilight hours. You should also drive with a full beam on rural roads at night, as long as you remember to dip your headlights to oncoming traffic. Now is also a good time to test all your lights and make sure they are in good working order.

Clean up

Make sure your car is clean – dirty windows can be a hazard at night if they are not regularly cleaned as they can increase the glare from other vehicles. Regularly cleaning your mirrors and windows will ensure maximum visibility at all time. Dirty windows can also steam up more easily – a further hazard when driving in the dark.

Take a break

If you’re travelling long distances it’s a good idea to take regular breaks whatever the conditions outside, but at night it is even more important to stay alert. Taking a break every two hours for a period of 20 minutes or more is advised to help keep you feeling alert. If you begin to feel really drowsy, pull into the nearest safe area and take a short nap, you’ll feel much better for it and you could avoid a potential accident.

 

Stay safe

If you are a woman driving alone, you may feel more vulnerable at this time of year as the nights draw in. One of the ways you can keep safe is to plan your journeys well using a sat nav or Google maps to prevent getting lost. Always keep your doors locked when driving, and hide any valuables such as laptops, iPads and iPhones so as not to alert thieves to your vehicle. When parking up, always choose a well lit area and make sure you are close to your vehicle when unlocking it.

Posted by Leana Kell on 23/10/2015