Top tips for driving in the dark

As winter approaches and the dark nights draw in, motorists need to take extra care on the roads.

As winter approaches and the dark nights draw in, motorists need to take extra care on the roads. Leading consumer service brand, Autoglass(r), has put together the following top tips to help drivers stay safe when driving during the hours of darkness:

1. Don't park in dark, secluded areas - try and park your car

near a lamp post if possible, as this can deter car thieves.

2. Never leave valuables on display or in the glove box - it's

the first place thieves look.

3. Before setting off, check the local and national weather

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forecasts. If the conditions are dangerous and your journey is not

absolutely essential, stay at home.

4. Check all car lights and headlamps. Each front and rear light

should be free from damage or cracks. Keep lights clean, not only

for your vision but so that other motorists can see you too.

5. If you own a car and have a garage, use it - you are less

likely to suffer vehicle crime if you do. Always lock your garage

and your vehicle.

6. In freezing weather, make sure your windows and mirrors are

ice-free before setting out using a good scraper or de-icer and ensure the windscreen is free of chips and cracks and check your heated rear window is working.

7. Before departing on any journey always check front and rear

wiper blades for wear and splitting and make sure the correct

level of anti-freeze has been added to the windscreen washer to

prevent the water from freezing. A clean, smear free windscreen is

essential for a clear view of the road ahead, especially at night.

8. Remember that when driving in the dark, eyes need time to

adjust to the reduced levels of vision. Compensate for reduced

vision by driving more slowly and increasing stopping distances.

If you need glasses for driving, make sure you wear them.

9. If your headlights are on full beam, dip them when another

vehicle comes into sight. If a passing vehicle fails to dip their lights, you can avoid the glare by looking to the right side of the road and not directly into their lights.

10. Always keep a warm coat or blanket in the boot in case of

breakdown. It's a good idea to make sure at least one person knows

where you are travelling from and to in case of emergency.

Nigel Doggett, managing director of Autoglass(r) says: "Driving during the hours of darkness requires even greater concentration, as overall road and peripheral vision is greatly reduced. It's vital that drivers stay vigilant and take simple precautions to avoid becoming victims of car crime. As we adjust to the nights drawing in, motorists need to take extra care to stay safe on the roads.