The recent clock change means our days are shorter and darkness falls earlier in the evenings. Given the darker evenings, it is important drivers take extra care on the roads and be mindful of potential hazards in order to try and prevent car accidents and road traffic collisions.
Our motor specialists have shared some helpful tips to help drivers when travelling in the dark. Please feel free to share with your customers.
1. Eye tests / Glasses
If you regularly drive in the dark - be it early mornings or evenings - it is advised to keep on top of your routine eye checks and tests to ensure your prescription is up to date.
Should you only need to wear glasses on occasion, please ensure you have your glasses handy in the car as eyesight can be affected in the dark.
Driving long journeys can often lead to increased levels of tiredness and driving in the dark can often contribute to this even more. Driving while tired decreases your reaction time so if you feel very tired before or during a journey - do not drive. Either take a break, grab a coffee on the go, stretch your legs in the fresh air and only when you feel fit to continue your journey should you do so with care.
Top Tip: It is recommended to take a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of driving.
3. Allow extra time When driving in the dark you should allow for even more time than normal as you will have decreased visibility and extra care and caution will be needed. Always expect the unexpected.
4. Tell someone your journey / plans
Always make sure you have told someone of your planned route and an estimated time of arrival.
5. Headlights and fog lights
It goes without saying you will be using your lights more regularly in the dark. It is important therefore they are in good working condition. Simply check your bulbs are fitted correctly and if any replacements are needed arrange for this to be done sooner rather than later. Make sure the light covers are clean and there isn’t a build-up of dirt or mud.
Always respect other road users and remember to dip your headlight well in advance for oncoming traffic.
At this time of year, our windscreens often misted over or covered in frost. It is so important you make sure you clean your windscreen inside and out to avoid any glare, that can affect your visibility.
Like your windscreen, make sure you clean and clear these from mist and froze. Also, sometimes when driving in the dark your mirrors can reflect other drivers’ lights, if this is the case slightly adjust your mirror.
Top Tip: adjust your rear-view mirror downwards if a car’s headlight travelling behind you is causing distraction for you.
8. Well charged mobile phone
We all have mobile phones and although you should never use your mobile when driving, it is a good to take your mobile with you when driving and especially in the dark incase you need to call for assistance at some stage.
Top Tip: Make sure you have good charge when leaving home or use a car charger.
9. Emergency pack
It is important to keep a small emergency pack in your car which can consist of some important items such as;
- Reflective clothing
- Reflective warning triangle
- Ice scraper
- Spare tyre