OK, OK, we don’t need reminding that winter is on the horizon – it’s such a bleak picture, no? – but of more immediate concern is that we’re heading towards darker nights with the clocks going back this weekend.
Here at Business Vans we think this, in its current format, is downright daft. We’re very much up for a double summertime system – moving the clocks forward by one hour throughout the entire year, while still putting the clocks forward in spring and back in autumn.
The likes of RoSPA and IAM support this view from a safety standpoint. You can understand why: a 17 per cent rise in pedestrian road casualties in November than the monthly average. And the IAM reckons that up to 80 lives could be saved by moving to double summertime.
More to the point, the government has given airtime to the idea as well – although it has to be ratified by all the devolved parliaments.
Keep windows and mirrors clean At night maximum visibility is essential so always keep your windows and mirrors clean. Never allow them to become obscured by dirt, smears, frost, steam, scratches or cracks.
Headlights By law, you must use your headlights at night. Always make sure that your lights are clean and in full working order. If any bulbs have blown, you must replace them as soon as possible.
Keep a safe distance When driving at night always leave more room between yourself and any vehicles in front. If those vehicles have to brake suddenly for an unexpected hazard, you need to give yourself plenty of time to respond and safely avoid a collision.
Reduce your speed Watch your speed. It’s much more dangerous when you drive too fast in the dark than it is during the day. You can only see as far ahead as your headlights allow, meaning you have much less time to assess the road ahead and spot any potential hazards.
Don’t dazzle other drivers
At night be aware of dazzling other road users. If you are using your main beam, you must make sure you switch it off when another vehicle approaches. The same applies when you are following another vehicle, you don’t want to dazzle them with your lights in their rear view mirrors.