GEM: Stay safe in the dark this winter
The clocks going back this week means that the colder months are officially rolling in. And while this may have given us all an extra hour in bed, it also means the evenings are becoming much darker, much earlier. So what does this mean for drivers? For most, the five o’ clock commute home will be reminiscent of night time with very low visibility, automatically putting us in a much more dangerous environment than during the peak of summer.
To ensure the safety of all drivers during this time, breakdown provider and road safety charity GEM Motoring Assist has compiled some useful tips for drivers this winter.
- Plan your journey. Build in extra breaks into your journey if you have a long night time drive.
- Check all car lights. Check that the indicators, rear lights, brake lights, sidelights, headlights and main beams are all working properly.
- Regularly clean your lights and windows. You don’t need any other restraints on your visibility! Get in the habit of giving your lights a regular wipe.
- Have a dazzle policy. If you find you’re being blinded by someone else’s full beam, slow down (if it’s safe to do so) or stop till they’ve gone. Don’t match it with your own full beam.
- Increase gaps between yourself and the vehicle in front. Make sure you build in extra time and space between yourself and the car in front as you won’t be able to see hazards as easily as you can in daylight.
- Keep alert. Make an extra effort to look out for road users. Pedestrians on country lanes without pavements, cyclists, revelers…they’re all much harder to see at night, even if they’re wearing fluorescent jackets!
David Williams MBE, CEO, GEM Motoring Assist commented “Many motorists find night driving a challenge but add in winter weather, and even the most competent drivers will notice the additional hazards. Making simple changes to your driving techniques could make all the difference to both your own and other road-users safety during the dark winter months. We hope that drivers find these suggestions helpful.”
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