Our tips for driving in the dark

During the winter, it is very likely that at some point you will have to drive in the dark. Factor in some snow and ice, and you’re certain to have a potentially dangerous driving situation. We are looking out for you and we’ve collated our best tips for driving through dark and difficult conditions – just read on.

Watch your speed

It seems like the obvious thing to do, but we cannot emphasise enough the importance of driving within, even below, speed limits. Reduced visibility and poor weather are already making the drive harder than usual, so your best bet is to drive under or at the speed limit. Due to the increased difficulty in judging distance and speed of the other vehicles on the road, you will find it harder to stop quickly if you are driving too fast.

Turn your lights on

Experts advise that you should turn on your headlights before the sun is down and you should keep them on for at least an hour after the sun is up. By doing this, you will make it easier for the other drivers to notice you at these times when there is dim light or twilight. However, don’t drive with the inside lights on as this can distract you as your eyes will not be used to the darkness. The most important thing is good maintenance of your lights because you don’t want to end up with dirty or broken lenses right before a big trip.

Aim your lights

Even if you have checked our second point (see above), you will need to take extra care with the direction of your lights as often accidents on the road – especially in winter – are caused by blinding lights. Even if your car is new, it’s definitely worth checking that the headlights are pointed perfectly straight and are not uneven or too low. In the car manual, there should be a section which explains how to do it but if you are a bit unsure, you can always check with a Service department / Rental department. Important note – don’t stare into oncoming lights under any circumstances.

Plan, plan, plan

In winter, more than ever, it’s crucial that you plan your route in advance. Even if you know the road like the back of your hand, make sure to spare five minutes to check the conditions and the traffic. By doing this, you will allow yourself enough time if there are any disruptions and you won’t need to hurry (refer to our first point)! Even if you don’t normally study the road before you get on it, we advise that you take the time to do this in the winter months.

Take care of that windshield

While during the day the windshield might appear clean, at night you’ll find it’s not as streak and smudge-free as you thought. This is because streetlights can expose any residue and some of them, if too big or too greasy, might obscure your visibility and are potentially dangerous. Wipe them away with a newspaper just to be on the safe side.

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