Tips for travelling in the dark this winter
by Becky Harrison |
posted 07 November 2019
As the year gets later many of us are now travelling during the dark evenings. While drivers must adjust their driving habits, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists should also be aware of the dangers and do their best to remain safe.
IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has put together some tips to keep road users safe and protected:
As a driver you must remember that not all rural roads have pavements and that pedestrians may be harder to spot while walking along the road. As a pedestrian it’s a good idea to try to get to your destination before it gets dark to avoid danger.
Areas can look very different in the dark. You may travel the same road every day in the light but doing so in the dark can be a very different experience. Drive or ride every road as if you’ve never done it before to ensure you stay alert and on the look out for hazards.
Wildlife often come out at night. Wild animal or animal crossing warning signs often go unnoticed by frequent travellers but as more wildlife is often around at this time of year, it’s important to stay vigilant.
Whether you’re driving or cycling remember that your vision is limited in the dark. It’s often limited to the distance of your headlight beam, which is where you must be able to stop, so make sure to reduce your speed when travelling at night.
If you’re a pedestrian walking in the dark, take notice of the state of the pavement and if possible, walk in a well-lit area. Carrying a wind-up torch will help you and a driver on the road - and it’s a lot safer than using the torch on your phone.
Keep hi-visibility clothing in your car in case of a breakdown and make sure to wear appropriate driving/riding gear for colder and darker conditions.
Richard added: “It will soon be that time of the year where our daily commute is all done in the dark, remember your headlights will be your lifeline so keep them clean and make sure they are working properly. It is amazing how different a road looks at night so take extra care and allow extra space and time in areas where vulnerable road users are likely.”