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It's that time of year again when rush hour becomes that little bit more challenging, due to the nights drawing in. Obviously, driving at night and in the early hours is far more tricky so we thought it would be a good idea to share some of our tips to help you stay safe.

1. Check your bulbs

Obvious? Sounds simple, but when was the last time you gave your bulbs the once over? Some modern cars warn drivers via a warning light if a bulb has failed, but it's always a good idea to check the cars lights before any journey to make sure you don't get caught out. Checking for damage to the lenses is also a good idea, to ensure moisture or debris cannot damage the bulb too. It's also good practice to keep a spare set of bulbs in the car, especially if your car is older, as bulbs are more likely to fail. Sounds simple, but then good advice usually is.

Check your bulbs

2. Cleanliness

Again, another simple yet effective tip. The roads at this time of year are covered in salt and mud from the harsher weather, which have a habit of making your car seem to be forever filthy. By regularly cleaning your car, headlights, taillights etc. will be more effective, as they won't have layers of dirt reducing their ability to project light. Lights ensure you and your car can be seen, so its general safety advice to keep them as clean as possible. If you can't get your car clean, a simple once over on the lights and number plates with a damp cloth will suffice.

Cleanliness

3. Eyes up to the test?

When was the last time you had an eye test? Our eyesight is very important, and vital to safe driving. Therefore it's always a great idea to make sure your eyesight is as strong as possible, as reduced light will always make it trickier to see certain instances on the road. If you need glasses, there are now special lenses that reduce glare from oncoming car headlights, which makes driving at night much more pleasant and of course a lot safer.

Eyes up to the test

4. Allow more time

Another simple, yet effective tip for driving at night. Trickier conditions mean that, unfortunately, accidents, and therefore traffic build up, is far more likely. Therefore, to keep ahead of the game allow more time for your journey. It's stressful if you are up against the clock, so allow more time and you'll be less stressed meaning you'll be more at ease and can concentrate on driving, rather than being late!

Allow more time

5. Use main beam wisely

Your car's main beam is useful for those country roads with no street lights. But it's important to make sure you don't dazzle oncoming traffic. So always be aware of oncoming vehicles, and proceed with caution around bends, maybe using your regular beam to not dazzle cars that could be approaching the corner from the opposite way.

Use main beam wisely

6. Don't drive tired

Straight forward really. It's darker in the morning and evening, the two times when you tend to be at you're tiredest. Therefore, ensure you get plenty of sleep to make sure you're alert whenever you're driving - whether it be first thing in the morning, or in the evening on the commute home from work.

Don't drive tired

7. Don't drink and drive

It may seem obvious, but it's the time of year when alcohol consumption is increased, due to the festive period. Why risk it? Keep a level head and if you plan on driving, don't drink at all. This will ensure you are more alert when faced with these trickier driving conditions.

Don't drink and drive

8. Drive slower

Common sense can go a long way. With decreased visibility, especially on poorly lit roads, it is always a good idea to slow your speed down, then you'll always have time to react, if a hazard is presented in front of you. Initiative is obviously a key factor here, so don't slow down to a pace that will turn you into an even bigger hazard, but by reducing your speed slightly where needed is a sensible idea.

Drive slower

Evans Halshaw Services