The clocks go back one hour on 26 October. This time of year sees an increase in vehicle accidents and insurance companies experience around an 11% increase in motor vehicle claims. As the nights draw in and the weather gets colder, we need to increase our efforts to be responsible drivers.
One of the key issues at this time of year is vehicle maintenance and many drivers do not undertake enough checks on the condition of their vehicle. Actions for drivers include:
- Checking your vehicle is serviced and well maintained
- Check anti freeze levels are adequate
- Check tyre treads are legal and that tyres are adequately inflated
- Check that all lights are working and that light lenses and windows are clean.
Driving in darker conditions appears to result in more vehicle breakdowns. If your vehicle does break down, find a safe and well lit place to stop. Leave your hazard lights on and find a safe place to stand away from the vehicle to wait for help.
Driving in twilight, the period between sunset and dusk, is difficult because your eyes have to constantly adapt to the reducing light levels. This is when drivers can realise they have an issue with their eyesight as they struggle to see signs and struggle with glare from oncoming vehicle lights. An eyesight check at this time of year is a good idea.
Other points to remember:
- Check the expected weather conditions before you drive
- Adapt your driving, slow down and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front
- Make sure you can be seen; turn your beams on in good time
- Watch out for cyclists and take extra care by schools and colleges
- Take more breaks when you’re on a longer journey
- Remember that drivers who passed their test in the summer may have very limited experience of driving in the dark and they will not have made their commute to work in the dark.