Winter is almost upon on us once again, and even though it may seem just like a few weeks since we were enjoying the occasional visit from the sun, we're not far from those gloomy days where it's dark when you leave for work and dark on the way home.
While this is hardly ideal, it's important for anyone who's commuting to and from work to make sure they are well prepared for the change in their daily drive. When it gets dark earlier, it's vital that you adjust your driving accordingly. Here, we take a look at a few of the top tips for making sure you remain safe when you're commuting in the dark.
You've probably got used to driving to and from work without the need for headlights over the last few months, but you need to remember that at the moment, it's already starting to get dark when you leave the office. In a couple of weeks, it'll be very dark, and using your lights is important.
Even before the darker nights arrive, it's vital to make sure your lights are in good working order. Check by turning them all on and walking around the car to make sure you have no dead bulbs. If there are any that don't work, make sure you have new bulbs fitted as soon as possible.
Clean the windscreen
A lot of tips for night time driving will be more common sense than anything, but this is a little less well known. If you've not cleaned your windscreen for some time, this is the time to make a point of doing so.
When other cars are driving towards you with their lights on at night, it can be very apparent that there's a layer of dirt and debris on your windscreen that you couldn't even see in the daylight, and this can really affect your ability to see properly. Remember to clean inside as well as out.
Has it been a while since you've had your eyesight checked? Now might very well be the best time to rectify that fact. When you're driving at night, you put much more strain on your eyes than you would during the day, and the chances of your eyes becoming tired is greatly increased.
It's important that you're wearing glasses if you need them, so if you have any doubt about your eyesight at all, make sure that you book a test as soon as you can with your local optician, even if it's just to make sure.
Be careful out there
Finally, just remember to take your time and be careful. Statistically, the chances of having an accident will increase at night, with 30 per cent of all accidents happening after the hours of dark, even though 85 per cent of driving takes place in the daylight hours, so just slow down, take more time and ensure you are paying extra attention. Remember to keep your eye out for what other drivers are doing and make sure that you leave enough space for the slightly increased braking time at night.
Posted by Danielle Barge