Confident night driving
Be confident driving in the dark with these simple steps
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