Stay­ing safe on those dark win­ter nights

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA -

CAN you see where you’re go­ing?

In the dark, it’s not just driv­ers and rid­ers who need to be a bit more care­ful, vul­ner­a­ble road users such as pedes­tri­ans need to be aware of the dan­gers, too.

IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards, Richard Glad­man, has put to­gether some tips to keep road users safe.

If you’re a pedes­trian walk­ing in the dark, take no­tice of the state of the pave­ment and if pos­si­ble, walk in a well-lit area.

Car­ry­ing a wind-up torch will help you and a driver on the road – and it’s a lot safer than us­ing the torch on your phone.

●●Some ru­ral roads do not have pave­ments and although we would never sug­gest walk­ing on the road in the dark, you may have set off as a pedes­trian when it’s light and the sun may be set­ting as you’re walk­ing.

As a pedes­trian, plan to get to your des­ti­na­tion be­fore it gets dark.

And as a driver, re­mem­ber that not all ru­ral roads have a pave­ment.

●●Drive ev­ery road as if you’ve never done it be­fore as the road sit­u­a­tion could be dif­fer­ent each time.

When trav­el­ling, don’t take away your lo­cal knowl­edge of the roads, but be pre­pared as the in­for­ma­tion and cir­cum­stances can change from day to day.

●●Re­duce your speed, un­der­stand the limit of your vi­sion and plan ahead.

The limit of your vi­sion at night is of­ten limit of your head­light beam, which is where you must be able to stop.

●●If you’re trav­el­ling through a ru­ral area at night, it’s pos­si­ble for a herd of deer to cross the road – those warn­ings of ‘wild an­i­mals’ signs will sud­denly make sense.

Take a look at our tips to help pre­vent any deer-re­lated col­li­sions

●●Wear the right driv­ing gear.

This may sound ob­vi­ous but you’ll be sur­prised at the amount of peo­ple who don’t.

The right footwear is cru­cial, and make sure your clothes are com­fort­able to drive in

Richard said: “It will soon be that time of the year where our daily com­mute is all done in the dark – re­mem­ber your head­lights will be your life­line so keep them clean and make sure they are work­ing prop­erly.

It is amaz­ing how dif­fer­ent a road looks at night and the school – the fo­cus of your at­ten­tion in day­light – blends into the back­ground in the dark.

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