A third of drivers risking road safety when driving in the dark

A third of UK drivers are risking the safety of themselves and other road users while driving in the dark, new research has found.

A survey of 2,055 motorists, conducted by motorway service firm Roadchef, found 32 per cent admitted to being tired while behind the wheel of a car in the dark.

Further still, 42 per cent admitted to not stopping for a break while on longer journeys. Instead, to keep themselves alert, 51 per cent said they roll their windows down to focus themselves, while loud music has a similar effect for 45 per cent of motorists. For 40 per cent, turning the air con on is said to help with attention.

Statistics from the Department for Transport show that 34 per cent of injuries on the road for car and motorbike users occur in England between 6pm and 6am — despite there being typically fewer road users between these hours.

Mark Fox, Roadchef chief executive, said: “We take our mission to make Britain’s roads safer and happier seriously. Driving in the dark can be dangerous and tiredness can kill, which is why it’s so important for motorway service areas to provide an environment where motorists are able to relax and then continue their journeys safely, especially when travelling long distances through the winter months.”

Samuel Nahk, senior public affairs officer for road safety charity Brake, added: “As the nights get longer, it is vital that drivers are fully aware of the dangers of driving in the dark, and that driving tired can be fatal.”

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