Driver Knowledge Tests

Driving in the dark: 15 tips

As the nights start to get longer, here are some timely tips for keeping safe while driving in the dark.

  1. With darker evenings comes more changeable weather. Wet roads have much less friction and make it more difficult to see road markings. Take your time and adjust your speed as necessary.
  2. Do you have a torch in your car? Now’s the time to check the batteries
  3. Dusk is earlier so you’ll more likely ¬†experience animals on the road.
  4. In the dark it’s more difficult to judge the approach speed of a vehicle coming towards you, particularly if it’s a motorbike with only one light. Take extra care when overtaking.
  5. As the nights get colder, make sure you stay warm, but not so warm as to make yourself sleepy.
  6. Scan ahead as far as you can and use road markers, pavement markings, cat’s eyes and reflective signs to help anticipate where the road goes
  7. Keep an eye out for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians in the dimmer light. Watch for reflectors, reflective clothing and reflective tape.
  8. Use your full beam headlights where there are no streetlights, but not during the day and not when approaching another vehicle. Use low beam headlights during the day if the weather is dull.
  9. Keep your mirrors clean
  10. Know how to operate your demister. If you live in an area prone to frosts, know how to clear your windscreen quickly.
  11. Keep your washer fluid topped up as you’ll use it more frequently as the roads are wetter and dirtier.
  12. Keep your windows clean to avoid problems with sun strike at dusk/dawn, and to improve your visibility.
  13. Use your fog lights in foggy weather, but don’t use them if it’s not foggy as they’re too bright for normal road use
  14. Automatically dipping headlights won’t always dip when you reach fog so you’ll have to manually dip them
  15. Keep your headlights clean so that they’re as bright as possible.

Here are all the things you should check on your car before winter.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

Posted in Advice
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