Did you know that when the clocks go back, there is a sudden spike in the number of road accidents each year?
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to protect yourself, other drivers, and pedestrians when driving in the dark.
From making sure your vision is not impaired, to using your lights properly and keeping your window clean, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about staying safe whilst driving at night.
1. Get your eyes tested
If you have poor vision, a lack of light will make your eyesight even worse, so it is important to have regular eye examinations to check for any issues that could cause an accident.
For those that already wear glasses, you may want to consider investing in night time driving glasses if you often drive in the dark, as these are specifically designed to reduce the glare from oncoming traffic and make driving in the darker safer.
2. Use the right lights
As well as making sure that all your lights are working properly, you also need to ensure that you are using the right ones. An hour before sunset, you should turn on your dipped headlights and make sure that they are kept on an hour after sunrise so that your vehicle is clearly visible to others.
If you are on an unlit country road, you should use your full beams to help you see the road ahead but always switch back to a dipped beam when a vehicle approaches you that you don’t impair their vision.
3. Keep your windows clean
Although this may seem fairly trivial, a buildup of either external dirt or internal condensation can seriously impair your visibility. Therefore, before you head off to drive in the dark, you must make sure that you clean your windows and ensure they are free from debris.
Pay special attention to your windscreen as this is more susceptible to steam, especially during the winter months when the temperature outside drops.
4. Don’t drive when tired
If you are driving late at night, you may be feeling more tired than you do during the day. Furthermore, seasonal changes are known for affecting your sleeping pattern, so you need to make sure that you are getting sufficient rest before you get behind the wheel.
If you are already driving and you start to feel drowsy, pull over immediately and take a break.
5. Reduce your speed
When you drive at night, you are more at risk of a collision, so reducing your speed can be a good idea. If you have somewhere that you need to be at a particular time, make sure you leave early to take your time on the journey and keep both yourself and other road users safe.
If you are a nervous night-time driver or you have only recently passed your test, there are extra driving lessons that you can take that are aimed specifically at building your confidence and ability in driving at night.