Light up the Dark Nights

AA advice as the clocks go back this weekend

26 October 2007

Next week will see motorists return to commuting home in the dark as the clocks go back. However, for around 400,000 new drivers this will be the first time they have had to do this commute with their lights on and for some could be the first time they have regularly driven in the dark.

New drivers

Andrew Howard, Head of Road Safety at the AA, said, "For new drivers, next week's darker evenings could see them commuting in the dark for the first time. This makes their journey very different and may take some time to get used to. Also, for those who work in well lit areas, they must remember to turn on their lights as they leave work.

"It will also be only a few weeks until the morning journey will also be dark – this together with wet and icy road conditions could prove very testing for these new drivers."


In addition to new drivers the AA also advises that children who walk or ride to school should take extra care. With the sun rising as late as 8.00 and setting between 15.50 and 16.40 over the coming months the walk or cycle to school can become very different to the light summer journeys.

Andrew Howard, continued: "Children, especially those who have recently started a new school, may well have started walking or cycling to school on their own for the first time. With the clocks going back they may now be doing this new journey in the dark. Parents should ensure not only that the children and their bikes are suitably visible but also that the route they use is the safest available."


It's not just children, however, that need to take care, adult pedestrians are also at risk.

Andrew said, "Many adults ensure that their children have the correct reflective clothing and then head out in their own dark coats without thinking of their own safety. No matter how big the pedestrian is, without any reflective clothing they can be invisible to motorists especially in poorly lit areas. Some simple steps such as a reflective armband can help save lives."


In addition, Adam Ashmore, AA Patrol of the Year said, "The darker mornings and nights also mean that there will be more breakdowns taking place when it is dark. As patrols we're used to being out at all times of the night, however for many motorists this could be the first time they experience breaking down at night."

"In the event of breaking down in the dark, motorists should try to stop in a safe, well lit place, put on their hazard lights to warn other road users and then wait in a safe place away from the vehicle for the AA to arrive. If you have any reflective clothing it's always advisable to wear this at the roadside."


26 October 2007