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Driving at night: Things to consider this summer

Driving at night: Things to consider this summer

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Night-time driving can be a stressful affair, so we put together some tips to help you keep safe on the road this summer.

There’s a lot of trepidation associated with driving at night, and when you consider the fact that road casualty statistics show that 40 per cent of collisions take place during the hours of darkness, it’s easy to see why.

Visibility will go out of the window, tiredness will set in and there is always the risk of being dazzled by the lights of oncoming vehicles. 

As we are now moving into the summer months, darkness doesn’t fall as early. However, it also means more people are going away on holiday, and are more likely to spend longer behind the wheel at night to reach their destination.

Because of this, we thought it would be a wise idea to put together a few tips to help keep you safer on the road after dark.

Car headlights at night

Plan your journey in advance

If you’re planning on spending a good deal of time behind the wheel at night, make yourself aware of any rest stops along the way. Spending hours on end on motorways can be a draining experience, so it pays to take a breather every now and then to reduce the risk of falling asleep. If you’re with other drivers, it will also give you a chance to swap out and have a rest while they carry on.

 

Keep mirrors and lights clean

Dirty mirrors are not something you want when driving in the dark. Spots of dust and grime will only serve to intensify the glare from reflected headlights and will obscure your overall visibility. If you’re planning on road-tripping through the night, give your mirrors and windows a good wipe down. It is also a good idea to clean your headlight covers as well, as dirt can potentially block the light from your headlamps.

Cars driving at night

Don’t stare at oncoming lights

Headlights of oncoming traffic can be incredibly distracting, and if you’re unlucky enough to look into a car’s lights when the high beams are on, you risk temporarily blinding yourself. As your eyes will be used to the low light of the cabin, it pays to keep your eye on the white line on the side of the road when faced with oncoming traffic to avoid being dazzled.

 

Ensure your lights are all working correctly

This seems like a no-brainer, but if your car’s lights aren’t working, other drivers will not be able to see you as easily. Make sure you check your head and tail lights before setting off on any journeys at night. It also pays to book your car in for regular servicing to ensure everything is working as it should be, and that your headlights are correctly aligned.

 

Visit your optician

Your car isn’t the only thing that needs regular maintenance. Visit your optician at least once every two years to ensure your eyes are in correct working order, or to get glasses or contact lenses if they aren’t. Road safety charity Brake reports that road crashes caused by poor driver vision result in around 2,900 casualties in the UK every year.