Tips from the experts: driving in the dark

Driving in the dark
The winter is shuffling off slowly but it's important to remember that it's still pretty dark on the commute to work and the sky's a dark, inky blue hue on the way home. Driving conditions are pretty different in the dark, much like (pun intended) the difference between night and day.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists is a brilliant source of advice for methods of coping with adverse conditions, whether it's ice, snow or wind, the IAM is there to help those who feel they need it.

Darkness can stump many drivers. You can't see as well as you think you can (especially in twilight) and road users like cyclists can spring from anywhere if they're unlit. It's not fun, especially if you're not expecting it.

So, the IAM has come up with this handy list of tips for your delectation:

• To improve your view as far as possible, keep your lights and windscreen clean.

• Use main beam, but when other drivers are approaching make sure you dip your lights to avoid dazzling the oncoming traffic.

• Make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.

• If you're feeling tired, caffeine alone is not a fix. Take a break and have a 20 minute nap.

• If an approaching car forgets to dip its lights, look beyond the lights, but to their left to avoid being dazzled as much.

• Look at how the traffic ahead behaves for clues to possible problems you can't see yet.

• If it's gloomy in the morning, don't forget to put your lights on.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger commented: "The risk of fatal accidents increases in the dark as visibility is reduced. Have regular eye examinations to ensure you are wearing glasses or contact lenses if you need to."

Basically – common sense will prevail with dark driving.