Drivers urged to plan for driving in the dark

6th November 2013

The colder months have officially rolled in and people are waking up to the first frosts of the year, which can cause an issue for drivers.

Alongside the drop in temperature, the evenings are getting darker earlier, which again makes conditions for motorists very difficult.

In a bid to improve the safety of drivers and other vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, the road safety charity GEM Motoring Assist has provided useful tips for people getting behind the wheel this winter.

The first tip provided by the organisation is to plan a journey in advance and build in extra breaks into a long journey in the dark. With the amount of time driving in the dark increasing as the winter draws in, it is also important to check all the vehicle's lights.

Giving your indicators, rear lights, brake lights, sidelights, headlights and main beams the once over is imperative.

Cleaning lights and windows ahead of a journey in the dark is also an important element of winter driving. Getting into the habit of giving your lights a regular wipe during the darker and colder months is important.

David Williams MBE, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist, said: "Many motorists find night driving a challenge but add in winter weather, and even the most competent drivers will notice the additional hazards. Making simple changes to your driving techniques could make all the difference to both your own and other road-users safety during the dark winter months. We hope that drivers find these suggestions helpful.”

According to GEM Motoring Assist, this means planning ahead for being dazzled by another vehicle's full beam. Slowing down if it is safe to do so or stopping is advised, rather than matching it with your own full beam, which can be a very dangerous tactic.

The final tip offered by the road safety charity is to stay alert and look out for other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists, as in the dark, vulnerable road users can be harder to spot.