Darker Nights: Danger for Road Safety
Now that British Summer Time has officially ended with the clocks going back last week it brings darker evenings.
As we all adjust to the evenings drawing in and the days being shorter many of us will only be driving our cars in the darker hours until next spring.
When the clocks go back we go from an average of 16 hours of daylight in the height of summer to a mere 8 hours of daylight in the depths of winter. Spending so many hours in darkness requires extra care and attention particularly when travelling on roads.
Our Personal Injury Solicitor Ian Wolstenhulme say’s ”According to RoSPA 40% of accidents occur during the hours of darkness which means we all need to take extra precautions for our own safety and that of others too. We also need to be vigilant and adopt a different approach to driving particularly at night.”
Here are some top tips from Ian for staying safe on the road at night and helping to prevent road traffic accidents :-
- Fluid Levels
Winter driving causes more stress on your car, a general check-up of your car is a good idea, do you have enough oil, is your coolant topped up and is there anti-freeze in there, have you enough screen wash, especially for those cold mornings when the gritters have been out.
- Check your lights
It’s important to check that headlights, side lights, main beam, rear light’s and brakes, reversing light and fog lights are all checked to make sure they are working. This may seem obvious but is often something that people overlook and of course you don’t want to be pulled over by the police.
- Be prepared for emergencies
During the winter it is a good idea to carry extra supplies such as gloves, blankets, de-icer, water and mobile chargers. These items could be invaluable in the case of an accident, it is always a good idea to have a torch, reflective jacket, as well as a pen and paper in your car.
- Keep your car clean
Winter weather creates dirt to gather on your car and visibility reduces due to frost and fog. Make sure your windscreen is clear before your begin your journey
- Take regular breaks
It is so important to take breaks when you are travelling long distances to keep yourself alert, helping to prevent accidents and collisions
- Keep distractions to a minimum
With various forms of in car entertainment it is easy to get distracted and not give 100% attention to driving. The same with carrying children or chatting to other passengers – it is easy to become engrossed and that’s when accidents are most likely to happen. Accidents take seconds to occur, the outcome can last a lifetime.
Ian adds an extra warning, “The law states that your vision must be clear, Section 229 of the Highway Code confirms before you set off, you must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from your windows, ensure lights are clean and your number plate is clearly visible and legible, ensure your windows are demisted, remove all snow that might fall off your vehicle into the path of other users. Failing to clear windows properly could lead to a fixed penalty fine and three penalty points.
For any advice on Road Traffic Accidents or other Personal Injury issues call us on 0161 785 3500
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.