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The End of Daylight Saving Time: Tips for Driving Dusk Til’ Dawn

27 October 2022

As Daylight Saving Time comes to an end this Sunday, drivers across the UK are going to spend more hours in the dark.

In the UK, clocks go back on Sunday 30th October, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time. This means we will gain an extra hour of sleep as one hour is repeated after the clocks go back an hour. We also lose several minutes of daylight every day at this time of year, so more of us are driving more often in darker conditions.

With this in mind, we have put together some top tips on how drivers should prepare for driving more frequently in the dark.

Prepare your car

Low light driving conditions make it more difficult to drive, so it’s important to check your vehicle before you set off and ensure everything is working.

Highways England advise drivers to check the following before setting off:

  • Tyres – Make sure the pressure on your tyres are correct and look for any cuts and punctures. Tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.
  • Engine Oil – Top up your engine oil before setting off and monitor levels regularly.
  • Water – Check the screen wash is topped up to clear any debris off your windscreen.
  • Lights – If any of your lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and other drivers at risk as visibility is hindered. Ensure all are working before taking any journeys.
  • Fuel – Before setting off, check to see if you have enough fuel, and fill your tank before setting off on longer journeys.

Richard Owen-Hughes, Marketing Director at Driver Hire says, “The winter months can throw many hurdles when it comes to driving in extreme weather conditions. Professional drivers should be doing a daily walk around check in any case. But it’s important for everyone to make sure that your vehicle is in a fit state to be driven by giving it a full check down, looking at the likes of coolant and tyre treads, as well as just making sure you take extra care whilst behind the wheel.”

Avoid Drowsy Driving

It’s natural to feel tired when it’s dark outside, and this can be a further danger when driving during the winter months. Drivers must therefore take extra precautions to avoid drowsiness behind the wheel.

Ensuring you’re getting enough sleep will decrease the chances of feeling lethargic on the road, if still you do then make sure to take regular breaks and even sleep if needed.

With colder months bringing more flu and cold symptoms, make sure you’re only driving when feeling alert.

Allow More Time

Although you may assume driving in darker hours means the roads are less busy, set off to your location in plenty of time to avoid rushing.

Even when running late, you should always drive at a pace where you have enough time to react. Driving fast in the dark, and winter weather, is a recipe for disaster as you’ll have  even less time to react in poor visibility.

Keep A Safe Distance

By keeping a safe distance to the vehicle in front, you can react without the need for an emergency stop, and decrease the chances of an accident.

Driving too close will have an adverse effect on the traffic behind too, as driving speeds will easily vary. In dark conditions, it is important the rhythm of traffic is as smooth as possible to avoid unpredictable  driving.

Prevent Headlight Glare  

Bright lights at night can easily disrupt your vision and ability to make quick decisions. When dark, it’s not uncommon for drivers to have their full beam on, which can dazzle drivers coming the other way.

Although it may seem hard to ignore, look away from oncoming headlight beams to avoid your vision being impaired, and re angle your mirrors to reflect the light away if needs be.