Don't dazzle when it's dark: advice for motorists

Wednesday, 07 November 2012

Some people dread this season: and although it certainly makes things different to have so much darkness around, it's easy to see how it can get on your nerves!

The feeling of things being 'all spooky' at 4pm soon goes from being sort-of-fun to being irritating and impractical for a lot of us. Okay, so for a lot of us that first 'sort of fun' phase doesn't actually exist, but we were trying to be optimistic!

And of course lack of light can have implications for your driving, which is why the Institute of Advanced Motorists wants things changed, so that clocks are an hour earlier during winter – at least on a trial basis.

Even that, however, wouldn’t be able to change the natural fact that winter is, well, a bit dull!

And although this might make car insurance holders even more likely to climb into cars do make sure you're following all the right recommendations so that you don't run into trouble on roads because of this.

Pop your beams on bright, and don't dazzle your fellow drivers off the road: dip them if they’re approaching you.

That's just one of the recommendations of Simon Elstow, from IAM Drive & Survive, about low-light motoring.

Give your lights and windscreens a spruce up if they need it: these parts of the car should be clean, if you want to be able to see well!

"The risk of accidents increases in the dark as visibility is reduced.  Have regular eye examinations to ensure you are wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need to," the expert also said.

Although what he says about accidents might seem to make perfect sense without needing to be explained further for many, it also comes from hard evidence in the form of Department for Transport numbers.

You won’t need reminding that mornings can be dark at winter – but you might need reminding that this will require the use of car lights, meanwhile!

And almost as infuriating as waking up to darkness can be having to screw your eyes up against the glare of an approaching vehicle's lights that they haven't bothered to dip.

When this happens, you can reduce the dazzling effect by focusing beyond the beams and over to the left.

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