Unfortunately car accidents happen daily on the roads, and as we quickly approach those dark, winter evenings, driving gets more challenging and the chances of you having an accident are increased. Drivers are at their most vulnerable when they drive during the night time, and particularly so during the rainy, cold season. Intoxicated driving is more prevalent at night and there’s a higher chance you’ll pass another driver on the road who’s consumed drugs or alcohol and stupidly got behind the wheel, so it’s imperative that you stay alert. There are a few key things you can do to keep you safe on the road and help you prevent an accident.
Visibility - See and Be Seen
Visibility issues are one of the major causes of night time accidents. Have you ever driven at night and struggled to see the road properly? Or, have you ever driven down a dark road, only to be blinded by an oncoming driver’s lights? Mix either of these scenarios with speed, bad weather, intoxication or difficult terrain, and the result could be an extremely serious or fatal accident. You can help to prevent this!
We rely so much on our car lights to help us see the road, but our lights also make sure we are seen on the road by others. This can be a particularly effective signal for other drivers approaching you, pedestrians out walking, and animals near the road. If your lights are working properly, you are more visible, and you’re safer as a result. Obviously, you can see the road more clearly too! Our advice is to test your lights - all of your lights - before you set off on a night time drive.
- High Beams
- Dipped Beams
- Break Lights
- Reverse Lights
- Reg Plate Lights
- Fog Lights
If your lights are not working as they’re supposed to, you definitely shouldn’t be driving at night. If one of your bulbs has blown, get it changed urgently - it could save your life. Spare bulbs are straightforward to fit and are inexpensive, so always carry some spares in the car.
Spot the car driving on a motorway in heavy fog - no lights!
Over time, UV rays can stain your car headlights and give them a cloudy appearance. This can gravely affect the output of light from your vehicle, but it is easily fixed with a Headlight Restoration Kit. This is a short DIY job that is simple to do, and yields “like new” results. You can expect to restore your cloudy headlamps back to an almost new condition and experience full light from your headlights once again.
Don’t Struggle To See!
With the dull, dreary and frosty evenings setting in, we will experience more rain and cold days and nights, the bad news is that this causes your wiper blades to wear at a faster rate. Check for signs of wear: streaky, chattery wipers are the tell tale signs that your blades have had it. Enduring wipers that are worn can drastically affect your visibility - you’ll notice this most during a heavy rainfall, a snowy day or just a generally mucky drive. Replacing your wipers is the simplest DIY job you can do on your car, and it’s so simple that even a child could do it! Better yet, it’s another really inexpensive item, so don’t risk your safety by waiting until your next car service to replace these.
Cleaning your car windows, externally and internally is another really important but simple thing that people don’t seem to do often enough. How many times have you frantically wiped your windscreen to help you see better, while you’re driving up the road?! Frost also plays havoc with our car windows which can become greasy, grimey and foggy, especially in the colder months. So we’ve included some tips below that will help you have excellent visibility:
- Clean your wiper blades by wiping with a damp cloth often
- Clean your car windows and external mirrors with a glass cleaner regularly
- Treat your external windows with Rain Repellent
- Treat your internal windows with Anti-Fog treatment
- Use a car dehumidifier to ensure condensation doesn’t stick to the windows
- Carry a packet of glass wipes in your glove compartment and use for urgent cleans
- Carry a demisting pad in your glove compartment to help on frosty mornings
- Never use hot water on a frozen windscreen. Always use de-icer instead.
- Ensure your washer jets are clear and not clogged with residue
- Make sure your screenwash is always full - you’ll need it during Winter.
- Always have de-icer and an ice scraper nearby to help you quickly de-ice.
At night, our brains begin to wind down and our bodies enter rest mode, so driving when you're tired can be particularly difficult and hazardous. If you feel sleepy while driving, pull over somewhere safe and rest for a short while. How many times have you heard people say "I'll never fall asleep at the wheel"? However falling asleep might not be the hazard. Driver fatigue can cause your reactions to excessively slow down and you may not hold your attention on the road in the way you would during the day. Avoid driving very late at night (when you'd normally be in bed), or while fatigued, and ensure you're well rested before getting behind the wheel.
Driving, particularly at night or in winter, brings higher risks and sometimes accidents aren’t always avoidable. These are the times that you need a reliable witness to help you evidence your version of events should an accident ever happen. Dash Cams are excellent for drivers and are helping innocent drivers win more and more against accident fraudsters. The lower quality dash cams are still good, (any dash cam is better than none!) but the higher quality dash cams are incredible - the difference can mean identifying a registration number from a night time video, or not.
Safe driving folks!