Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Driving In The Dark – Seven Top Tips

Driving at night can be tricky when, as a new young driver, you first start motoring so let's take a quick look at what you should be considering when taking to the road in the dark.

1. Make sure your windscreen is kept clean

Did you know that dirt, dust and dead insects can limit your vision? Unfortunately they can limit what you see ahead of you and make things seem even darker. This is why it's essential to make sure that your windscreen is kept completely clean.

2. Cut your speed

As you might expect your visibility tends to be worse at night - it being dark and all.

By reducing your speed slightly you are giving yourself a little more time to react and therefore reduce the risk of having an accident (and having to make a claim on your young drivers insurance).

3. Use Your Headlights

Apart from making sure that your headlights are working properly (i.e. cleaned, aligned correctly and working) you should also be aware of how to use them whilst driving at night. For example, as dusk you may only need to use side-lights; however, as it gets darker you will need to switch to dipped headlights in well lit areas and along well lit main roads. For darker areas - such as country roads and poorly lit roads you may need to use your full-beam headlights, however, if you are aware of other cars on the road in front of you then you should switch to dipped headlights otherwise you run the risk of blinding other drivers and causing an accident.

4. Keep your headlights clean

It’s important to try and keep your headlights clean as dirty lights can make them less effective and reduce the amount of road you can see in front of you. They also make your car harder to spot – which could lead to an accident.

5. Avoid Being Dazzled By Other Drivers

At night other motorists will be out on the road and, as a result, risk dazzling you with their headlights. The best thing to do if you are dazzled by oncoming cars is to look slightly to the left of the road and follow the edge of the road until the dazzling reduces and you are able to see properly again.

6. Avoid being dazzled from behind

Dazzling by other motorists does not only happen in-front of you. It can also happen behind as the lights can be reflected in your mirrors. If this is the case then it may be worth adjusting them to help reduce the dazzle. Alternatively you can buy specialist driving glasses that actually help to reduce the dazzle caused by other motorists.

7. Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks

Driving at night is a risk in itself so avoiding further risks when driving in the dark is vital – for your and other road users’ safety. That includes things such as overtaking – which could be incredibly dangerous if you are unable to see the road ahead (i.e. if there is a dip in the road).