Driving in the Dark

More helpful hints and tips for after you have passed your Driving Test in Newcastle.

Now that the summer is over, the dreaded dark nights are once again upon us. This means spending more time driving in the dark. The more experience you gain from driving at night, the more confident you will become; however, as a newly passed driver it is something that can be a little daunting. Fortunately, here in the UK we are blessed with many well-lit areas and our dual carriageways and motorways have cat’s eye reflective safety devices fitted in road markings to help drivers. Despite this there will be occasions when you find yourself driving on roads that are completely dark.

Check your lights

Before setting off on any journey at night or on dark early mornings, you should check that all lights on the car are working. Indicators, headlights, hazards, reverse light and full beam should all be checked to ensure that they are in full working order. The last thing you want to be doing is driving down a country lane with a front headlight out.

Full Beam headlights

You full beam headlights are extension of your standard headlights and provide you with brighter light that can help you see more clearly on dark roads. When your full beam is on, it will show itself as a blue icon on your dashboard. There are a few general rules about using the full beam as the light can blind other drivers. You should avoid the full beam when:

In residential areas

When there is another vehicle close in front

When a vehicle or bicycle is approaching from the opposite direction

When driving on a stretch of road with no other vehicles in site, you’re full beam will be fine to use.

Country lanes

Country lanes are often narrow and winding, this makes them a challenge when driving in daylight, never mind in the dark. You should be conservative with your speed on country lanes and never attempt an overtake unless it is completely safe to do so. While you do have the advantage of seeing oncoming traffic from a distance because of their lights, there is always a risk of wildlife, or maybe even people straying into the road. You should also maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front. It can be tempting when driving in the dark to switch on the interior light to find something or change the radio station; you should avoid doing this as the light can reflect on the windscreen and impair your vision. Experience Driving School will be able to provide you with much more information on how to drive safely during the dark winter mornings and nights.

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