Time was turned back last weekend as daylight saving came to an end along with the Irish summer. While many of us enjoyed the chance to sleep an hour longer, the Irish Advanced Motorists/IAM Fleet warns there are potential dangers that come with the changing of clocks and increased darkness.
Motorists need to adapt their driving behaviour to accommodate night driving conditions as the clocks change. Night falls an hour earlier, so the typical commute home from work or school will be in the dark. Night conditions make the road ahead more difficult to read and yield less information for a driver. Other road users, road signs and objects are harder to see and road conditions and edges become indistinct. Driving at night at this time of year will be aggravated by seasonal driving hazards – rain and wind.
As night draws, people also naturally want to slow down and are more likely to grow tired. It is worth bearing in mind that fatigue is now recognised as a significant factor in many crashes.
It is also important to consider vehicle condition when driving in dark conditions. Windows (inside and out ), mirrors, and the lenses of lights and indicators should be kept clean regularly to give the best possible visibility. Lights must be correctly aligned and adjusted for the vehicle load – and bulbs must all work. Now is a good time to renew your windscreen wipers and top up the washer bottle with a good quality detergent.
Leaving the lights on at work or the shops will drain your battery very quickly. It is too easy to forget to switch off your lights when leaving the vehicle and an already depleted battery will be less forgiving. Check your battery is healthy or renew it now before being stranded on a wet and windy roadside.