The nights are drawing in, and driving in the dark is part of everyday life. The problem is that whether it’s morning or not, driving in the dark reduces your ability to judge and estimate speed and distance and to assess accurately the position of oncoming traffic. Plus, your body naturally slows down at night – especially if you are driving when you would normally be asleep.
Luckily we’re on hand with 13 expert tips on how to stay safe when driving in the dark…
- Your eyes need time to adjust to darkness, especially when coming out of a brightly lit area, such as motorway service stations, or roads that have street lights.
- Keep a particular look out for pedestrians and cyclists who will be harder to see.
- Don’t wear tinted glasses when driving at night.
- Put your lights on before lighting-up time (dusk) and don’t switch them off (at dawn) until you are sure it is safe to do so.
- Use dipped beams to avoid dazzling other road users and pedestrians.
- Use dipped headlights in built up areas and watch out for pedestrians or cyclists who may be difficult to see.
- Approach pedestrian crossings more slowly, so you can stop safely if necessary.
- Keep your headlights clean and check them before each night journey.
- Keep your distance from the vehicle in front. The beam from your headlights should fall short of the rear of the vehicle in front. Any closer and you may dazzle the driver – and you will probably be too close.
- Only use your horn to avoid an accident, not to rebuke another person or to announce your arrival or departure from an area. The law says that you must not use your horn between 11:30pm and 7:00am in a built up area.
- Try to keep noise to a minimum at night. Avoid revving your engine and loud music. Open and close doors quietly and take care when setting and disarming vehicle alarms.
- Be especially careful when overtaking at night. Be sure you can see the road ahead is clear enough for you to complete the manoeuvre safely – remembering that you can see much less and it’s more difficult to judge speed and distance. Don’t be caught out – if in doubt, hold back.
- If you are being overtaken by another vehicle, dip you headlights as soon as the vehicle passes you.
And that’s a wrap! we’ve reached the Witching Hour of #OSHtober, but fear not, all of our Driving for Work blogs are stil available on here.
Throughout #OSHtober we have been providing you with tips and advice on how to ensure you drive safely for work. You can also keep up to date with all the latest safety news by signing up to SafetyMatters, our free monthly e-newsletter.