With the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder and those evenings drawing in much sooner, driving at night is fast becoming a part of our everyday.
Recent figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reveal that some 31% of UK drivers feel uncomfortable driving at night, with safety fears, the risk of being involved in an accident on the motorway at night, and the discomfort of being dazzled by other road users among the reasons why they’d prefer not to drive in the dark.
It’s not just experienced drivers that feel uncomfortable driving at night. A staggering 100,000 learners admit to taking their driving tests without ever driving in the dark at all.
Whatever your driving experience, there are many steps you can take to increase safety and confidence when taking on night time driving. Read on to discover our top tips for driving in the dark.
Know how to use your lights properly
Most drivers are guilty of not knowing what all those bells, whistles and buttons really do on their vehicles, but understanding how to use your lights (properly!) is the key to ensuring safety when driving at night. If you are unsure about which lights to use and when, park up in a safe place to test them out.
As a general of thumb, dipped headlights should be turned on approximately one hour before the sun sets to increase visibility for you on the road and ensure other road users can see you. Your full beam headlights should be used only when driving at night on unlit roads. Be sure to revert back to your dipped headlights if oncoming traffic appears to minimise dazzling.
Check the condition of your lights…
Now you know how to use your lights, you should make checking their condition a habit, especially during the winter months when they are turned on more frequently. Whilst standard halogen bulbs need replacement every two to three years, checking their condition and brightness regularly will give you the peace of mind you need when driving at night.
…and don’t forget that casing!
The plastic casing that houses your bulbs should also be checked for signs of damage. Over time, this plastic casing can fall victim to oxidation due to heat and UV exposure. This means that the clear lenses that help keep those bulbs fully illuminated will become clouded. The clarity and durability of your headlight housings should therefore be checked regularly.
Keep those windows sparkling clean
For a clearer view for night time driving, keeping your windscreen and windows squeaky clean is a must. Reduced visibility is a leading cause of accidents when driving in the dark, so keep your windscreen and windows clear of dirt and debris.
Condensation is also particularly common during the winter months. Make sure all condensation has fully cleared before you set off.
Clear your windscreen – the easy way
Want to make your windscreen even easier to clean? Book yourself in for a Duxback Windscreen Treatment. Duxback offers 35% more visibility in extreme weather conditions, like heavy rain. The smooth veneer that Duxback creates on your windscreen courtesy of its hydrophobic effect means dirt, ice and snow has nothing to stick to and can simply be moved away with a quick swish of your wipers.
This revolutionary glass treatment is easy to apply, with treatment taking no longer than one hour thanks to our professional service. Its weather repellent and resistant nature lasts for up to six months – up to 12 months when used on side glass – and you can keep up your regular car cleaning habits as normal without affecting this longevity. If your vehicle has a rain sensor, its operation won’t be impaired by the Duxback treatment either.
For more tips for driving at night or further information about our Duxback Windscreen Treatment, get in touch with our team today.