How To Drive Safe In The Dark

Published: 21/11/2018

The nights are getting darker and the weather more unpredictable. That’s right - winter is well and truly here. The colder weather can make using the roads more hazardous. To avoid accidents, it is important to be more aware than ever when getting behind the wheel.

Here are our personal injury department’s top tips for driving safe this season.

  • Keep your windows clean

    This will avoid increased glare and condensation when the lighting is darker.

  • Avoid using high beams

    Dim your lighting when faced with another road user, as bright lights in dark conditions can dazzle them and cause accidents.

  • Headlights

    Turn your headlights on before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise, so drivers can more easily see you in twilight hours.

  • Give other road users more space

    Darker, stormier conditions can result in erratic behaviour from other road users. While this isn’t your fault, it is better to be safe than sorry, so keep extra safe distances between you and other drivers when it is dark or the weather is bad.

  • Have your eyes checked regularly

    There are a range of problems that can affect your night vision, especially as you get older. Also be sure never to use dark or tinted glasses when driving at darker times.

  • Dim your dashboard lights

    Reduce reflections and avoid reducing your night vision.

  • Always be on the lookout

    For pedestrians, cyclists and animals, especially near pubs and clubs around closing time, or in suburban areas.

  • Time

    Allow more time for your own journey, so you're not driving under pressure.

  • Study the road ahead of you

    Look out for signs of oncoming drivers (glimmers of light at the top of hills and bends, etc.) so you know what to expect and aren’t caught out by the sudden appearance of other cars, motorcycles, bikes or pedestrians.

  • Take regular breaks

    At least every two hours, and consider sipping coffee to keep you more alert. Never drive if you simply feel too tired. Swap with your partner, take a nap in the backseat (only when stopped somewhere safe) or check into a hotel.

  • Darker, winter months can also coincide with bad weather

    Ensure your car is safe for all driving conditions - have your tired checked and maybe even have a mechanic check your vehicle’s general health.

  • Watch your speed

    Driving fast affects your ability to drive safely, as you have less time to react to hazards. It’s particularly dangerous in conditions where it’s difficult to see and judge distances, as hazards can appear to be further away than they actually are. Never drive so fast that you can’t stop within the distance you can see to be clear.

  • Take care overtaking

    Only overtake at night if you can see that the road will remain clear until after you’ve finished overtaking. Never overtake if you are approaching a bend, road junction, dip in the road, the brow of a bridge or a hill, a pedestrian crossing or solid double white lines along the centre of the road.

What to do if you’re involved in a road traffic accident (RTA)

Even if you follow all the tips above, accidents can still sometimes happen.

If you are involved in a road traffic accident that isn’t your fault, you could be entitled to claim some compensation. Compensation aims to cover any costs associated with an incident (from medical to the costs of hiring a babysitter if you are unable to care for loved ones) and help you get back on the track to wellness. This is your entitlement, under the law, and a protection of your fundamental human rights (e.g. your right to access justice).

For more information on how to make your RTA claim, read our article: How Can I Claim After A Road Traffic Accident

Who are GWlegal?

GWlegal is a personal injury solicitors based in Liverpool, specialising in road traffic accidents, cycling accidents, accidents at work, accidents in a public place and serious injury claims.

If you have a legal matter you wish to discuss don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can call us on 0345 373 3737 or email us hello@gw.legall with your question.

Who are GWlegal? We’re a national firm with local values.

Have you been involved in a RTA?

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Content correct at time of publication.
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