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Driving in the dark can present a variety of hazards, so it’s important to follow some simple rules to help you and your passengers to keep safe.
Take a look below at Trusted Dealers’ top five safety tips for driving in the dark:
Driving at night is more dangerous than driving in the day. In fact, a study by the Department for Transport found that despite only 15 per cent of vehicles being clocked between 7pm and 7am, they accounted for almost one third of road injuries and deaths. This is mainly due to reduced visibility and increased difficulty in judging speed and distance from other cars. Furthermore, there are more drink and drug drivers on the roads. Be aware that other road users may behave erratically and give them more space at night. Also, watch out for pedestrians. especially in built up areas near to pubs and clubs. Allowing yourself more time for a journey at night will also alleviate driving pressure.
Motoring bodies advise that you should turn on your headlights before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise, making it easier for drivers to see you in the twilight hours. If you are planning to drive at night, make sure all of your exterior lights and clean and in working order, and always keep your interior lights off when driving as the light can distract other drivers.
Dip your lights
It is advisable to drive with your full beam on, on rural roads at night as long as you remember to dip your lights to oncoming traffic, to avoid dazzling them. If you are dazzled by an oncoming car, avoid looking at the headlights, keep your attention on the left-hand kerb and try to keep your speed steady.
Clean your windows
Dirty car windows can be hazardous at night if they are not regularly cleaned. This is because the dirt on the windows increases the glare from other vehicles, so it is a good idea to regularly clean your mirrors and windows to ensure maximum visibility at all times. Dirty windows are also more prone to steaming up – a further hazard when driving in the dark.
Take regular breaks
It’s a good idea to take regular breaks when driving long distances, no matter what time of the day you are driving. However, this becomes even more important when driving at night. Try to stop at least every two hours for a period of 20 minutes or more, and drink strong coffee to keep yourself alert. If you start to feel really sleepy, pull into the nearest safe area and take a short nap – you’ll feel much better and more importantly, you’ll reduce the risk of an accident by doing so.