Driving in winter is something many new drivers have not yet experienced, but sure is something we’ll all have to deal with soon – thank you, Great British weather! Winter months approaching means more than just moaning about the cold and having the pain of de-icing your car, it also means the days get shorter. Ah yes – the clocks have just gone back which means the majority of our driving time will likely be in the dark. But fear not, we’ve got tips to help you out.
Your lights are key
Knowing your car lights, how to work them, what they mean and when to use them is essential when driving in the dark. I mean after all – other drivers need to see you! The majority of the time, you’ll be using your dipped headlights, but you still need to know what the rest of your lights do, how to put them on and when to use them! Lucky for you, we’ve got all you need to know about your car lights here.
It’s important that you check all of your car lights are working before you head off in the dark – including your indicators and brake lights! It’s also wise to carry spare bulbs around with you in the car, in case one stops working mid-journey. Which has got me thinking, but do you know how to change a bulb?
Stick to what you know
When first venturing out into the dark, it’s best to stick with routes that you know. Confidence is important when driving, so throwing yourself into an unknown place without the experience of driving at night probably isn’t the best idea! Build up confidence and head further out when you feel comfortable doing so. A great way to do this is to ask a friend or family member to accompany you on the first few trips in low light – a second set of eyes never hurt anyone!
There are many different things to be aware of when driving at night and a lot of them can be challenging. Stay alert and aware from other road users, giving yourself time and space between your car and theirs. Other things such as cyclists with no high vis, unlit roads, drivers with no lights on – they’re all going to test you when driving in the dark, from your skill to your control of the car. You need to remain alert to what other road users are doing, just as you would in the daytime.
Driving at night can also have a different effect on your eyes, so it’s best to get them checked if you haven’t done so recently.
Allow extra time
Make sure you give yourself extra time when it comes to nighttime road trips, especially if you have somewhere to be. Allowing yourself extra time on a journey means you can make the most of those service stations for a well needed caffeinated drink and a rest. Giving yourself more time also means you’re not in a rush, so you can drive slower if needed in areas that may not be as well lit. Ensure you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed to be able to tackle the drive and if you’re not – wait until you are! Ever heard of the saying, better late than never?
Consider Pass Plus
It’s ok if you’re not super confident behind the wheel when the night draws in. There are different options for you to increase your confidence and boost your skill at nighttime driving. Why not consider taking a Pass Plus? It’s ideal for new drivers to become more confident behind the wheel. Not only does a pass plus cover the night time driving peril, but it also covers motorway driving, driving on rural roads, in towns and in all weathers! Our lovely blogger Chanell recently took her Pass Plus course – you can find out how she got on here.
Winter means the sun rises later and sets earlier, so it’s likely we won’t be able to avoid driving in the dark, but following these tips and making sure you’re using the correct lights will make the journey a bit smoother.
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