Con­fi­dent night driv­ing

Be con­fi­dent driv­ing in the dark with these sim­ple steps

YOURS (UK) - - News - By Lorna White

As the sea­sons change and days be­come shorter, we’ll soon be driv­ing in the dark more of­ten. If driv­ing in the dark wor­ries you, fol­low our guide to stay­ing safe when be­hind the wheel at night, with ex­pert tips from the AA.

Check your eye­sight

Nat­u­rally our eye­sight be­gins to de­te­ri­o­rate as we get older. It’s im­por­tant to reg­u­larly see an op­ti­cian to en­sure your sight is good enough for driv­ing, es­pe­cially if you’ve no­ticed you’re strug­gling to read road signs or get eas­ily daz­zled by bright head­lights.

A clear view

It may sound ob­vi­ous, but be­fore set­ting off check your wipers. Are they work­ing prop­erly or are they mak­ing smear­ing worse? Be sure to clean the in­side of your screen to make sure the dirt isn’t on your side of the glass. If you can, dim your dash­board lights, this will help re­duce re­flec­tions onto the screen, giv­ing you bet­ter night vi­sion. If you find your­self be­ing daz­zled by on­com­ing lights fo­cus on the left-hand kerb and keep your speed steady. If that doesn’t work slow down or pull over and stop un­til your eyes have fully ad­justed. As we age it takes longer for our eyes to re­cover from daz­zling lights, it in­creases from one sec­ond as a teenager to nine sec­onds as we reach re­tire­ment.

Let it shine

As a sim­ple rule of thumb, turn your car lights on an hour be­fore sun­set in the evening and an hour after sun­rise in the morn­ing. This should en­sure you’re clearly vis­i­ble in dimly lit con­di­tions.

Take it steady

At 60mph your head­light’s reach is around 180ft on low beam. When trav­el­ling at 60mph it takes more than 200ft to come to a com­plete stop so it’s ad­vis­able to drive slower at night then you would in the day.

When driv­ing on coun­try roads avoid re­duc­ing your speed when there’s on­com­ing traf­fic and then speed­ing up again. This makes it very con­fus­ing for drivers trav­el­ling be­hind you. Drive at a speed you can main­tain and stick to it, even if there are times you could go faster.

Help oth­ers over­take you

If some­one is over­tak­ing you keep your full-beam lights on un­til they’re along­side you. This will help them see the road bet­ter and avoid any ac­ci­dents. ■ For more in­for­ma­tion about AA break­down cover, call 0800 085 2721

DON’T FOR­GET:The clocks go back at 2am on Oc­to­ber 28

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