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Top tips for driving in the dark

  1. Before setting off, motorists must check their vehicles. Make sure all car lights and headlamps are working correctly, check for any damage and cracks. It is important to keep lights clean, not only for clear vision but so that other motorists and road users can see you too.
  2. Regularly check your windscreen for damage. A chip on a windscreen will diffuse light from other car's headlights causing interference with your vision.
  3. Ensure that your vehicle has plenty of windscreen washer fluid, as windscreens need to be clean to allow clear visibility at all times, especially when it is dark.
  4. Check front and rear wiper blades for wear and splitting. A clean, smear free windscreen is essential for a clear view of the road ahead, especially at night.
  5. Make sure that you have a torch in the car, in case of breakdown emergencies on badly lit streets.
  6. Peripheral vision and depth perception are compromised in after-dark conditions. Reduce your speed as vision is severely limited at night.
  7. Check that your headlights are aimed properly as mis-aimed headlights can blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road ahead.
  8. Be mindful of other motorists when operating your lights; only use your full beam on dark, badly lit roads and make sure that you return to your normal beam if you are approaching any oncoming traffic.
  9. Don't panic if an oncoming vehicle doesn't lower beams from high to low.  Avoid glare by watching the left edge of the road and using it as a steering guide to continue.
  10. Be aware of other road users; poor visibility can put lives at risk. Take extra care at junctions and turnings.
  11. Check mirrors and allow plenty of time to manoeuvre; cyclists and pedestrians can be difficult to see on badly lit roads.
  12. Make sure you have high-visibility clothing in your vehicle, especially if you know that you're going on a long journey and will be driving at night.
  13. Tiredness can enhance the danger of driving at night. Take regular breaks as drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction times.

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