Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 9°C


Don’t lose sight of road safety as darkness falls

09:17 27 October 2015

It's vital motorists check their lights and keep them clean with dark nights and poor visibility.

It's vital motorists check their lights and keep them clean with dark nights and poor visibility.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Now that the clocks have gone back an hour, drivers are being urged to take extra care to make sure their journeys are as safe as possible in the dark.

Peter Rodger, the Institute of Advanced Motorists’ head of driving standards, said: “It might sound obvious, but you cannot drive the same way in the dark as you would in daylight – but that’s what a lot of people do.

“Make allowances for your own abilities in darkness – your eyes take time to get used to the dark. And be aware others might not be as careful as you, and might not be wearing reflective or bright clothing as they should do.

Take on the responsibility of looking out for others, and your journey will give you a warm glow inside – even if it’s chilly outside.”

Here are his tips for seeing and being seen:

With morning and evening fog expected, it’s important that you keep your windows clear of ice and frost throughout. Use a good quality windscreen washer fluid to keep them clean, and keep the reservoir topped up.

As you will be using dipped headlights more often it’s important you make sure they are working properly. The same applies for all other car lights, indicators and tyres too – make sure you check the tread depth regularly.

If any of these need replacing, do so as soon as possible. A spare set of light bulbs is a very worthwhile investment for your car.

Automatic headlamp systems do not always put dipped headlamps on in foggy weather conditions, so you may need to switch them from an auto to manual setting. Remember, you don’t need to wait until it’s completely dark before you switch on your dipped headlights – you may need to use them in reduced daylight conditions too.

Where there are no street lights or you are driving on an empty stretch of road in seriously reduced visibility, switch on your full beam to help you see further ahead. However, you mustn’t use your full beam during the day even in poor visibility as you risk dazzling other road users.

Look out for vulnerable road-users in the dark including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Take particular care when driving near schools in the late afternoon when children are travelling home – see and be seen at all times.

Pedestrians are not easily spotted when they wear dark clothing. Keep your eyes peeled and avoid speeding when your vision is reduced in both dark and bad weather conditions.

Keep an eye out for reflective road signs and motorway studs that help you drive in poor light. Use these to guide you with your journey.

Judging the speed of vehicles is difficult in the dark – increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. If you cannot see ahead, you must slow down to give yourself more time to react to a potential hazard.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The University of Suffolk celebrated the work of its final three honorary graduates at its ceremonies on Thursday.

A motorcyclist has been injured after a crash involving a van in Felixstowe.

Cineworld in Ipswich has reopened after drainage problems caused it to shut for several hours today.

Campaigners have demanded answers and greater transparency from mental health bosses over a “shocking” rise in unexpected patient deaths in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Suffolk’s pantomime season is almost upon us, but which of the county’s festive treats will you see this year?

Today I’m spending my last day at my desk in our Lower Brook Street offices more than 34 years after I first walked into the newsroom as a junior reporter, writes Paul Geater.

A Kesgrave man accused of attempting to rape a schoolgirl has been cleared by a jury.

A “generous” and “patient” school dinner lady was served a surprise treat as she said her final farewell after 44 years on duty.

Everyday our readers send in photos to iwitness24 that they have taken while out and about along the Suffolk coast, visiting one of our many beauty spots or while relaxing in their own gardens.

Today we reach M in our A-Z look back at the history of Ipswich - M for Miss Anglia.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24