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20 October 2008

Top Tips for driving in the dark

As the clocks go back and the dark nights draw in, motorists need to take extra care on the roads. Windscreen expert, Autoglass, has put together the following top tips to help drivers stay safe when driving during the hours of darkness:

1. Before setting off, check the local and national weather forecasts. If the conditions are dangerous and your journey is not absolutely essential, stay at home

2. Check all car lights and headlamps. Each front and rear light should be free from damage or cracks. Keep your lights clean, not only for your vision but so that other motorists can see you too

3. In freezing weather, clear your windows and mirrors of all ice before you set out using a good scraper or de-icer. Also ensure your windscreen is fully demisted and any snow is cleared from the roof

4. Check front and rear wiper blades for wear and splitting. Check windscreen washer bottle levels and ensure the correct level of anti-freeze has been added to prevent the water from freezing. A clean, smear free windscreen is essential to a clear view of the road ahead, especially at night

5. Ensure the windscreen is free of chips and cracks and check your heated rear window is working

6. Remember that when driving in the dark your eyes need time to adjust to the reduced levels of vision. Compensate for reduced vision by driving more slowly and increase your stopping distances and if you need glasses for driving, make sure you wear them

7. If you have your headlights on full beam, dip them when another vehicle comes into your sight. If a passing vehicle fails to dip their lights, you can avoid the glare by looking to the right side of the road and not directly into their lights

8. Always take a warm coat or blanket in the boot in case of breakdown

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass, says: “Driving during the hours of darkness requires even greater concentration as overall road and peripheral vision is greatly reduced. As we adjust to the end of British Summer Time, motorists need to take extra care to stay safe on the roads.”

Autoglass is committed to campaigns that help raise awareness for motorists about the importance of driving safely. With 109 branches nationwide and 1,200 mobile service units, Autoglass is the UK’s leading vehicle glass repair and replacement

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