This winter drivers have had to face a myriad of driving hazards including snow, ice, torrential rain, fog, and flooding. However, drivers are now being warned about the hazards of driving on the motorway whilst it’s dark, and seeing as England only has as few hours of daylight during the winter months this is beneficial to nearly all those that use the motorways.
Driving in the dark means that drivers have poor visibility on the motorways, which is made worse by the fact that they are the busiest roads in the whole country. The Department for Transport reported in 2011 that 20.3% of all motorised traffic was on motorways, which only account for 0.9% of all the roads in the UK. Even more worrying is that the Department for Transport went on to reveal that speeding is more common on motorways than any other road, with almost fifty per cent of car traffic on the motorway being over the speed limit in 2011.
So how can you be safe whilst driving on the motorway in the dark? The Institute of Advanced Motorists have published some tips, such as “Many stretches of motorway are not lit during hours of darkness. To improve your view as far as possible keep your lights, mirrors, and windscreen clean. Make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear.” They go on to say that during the winter months it is more likely for drivers to experience fatigue due to the darkness, and it is important for drivers to pull over when this happens and not ignore the warning signs.
Breaking down in the dark is also a concern as your visibility to other drivers will be minimal, so the Institute of Advanced Motorists have advised to “Pull over to the hard shoulder and stop as far to the left as you can, pointing your wheels towards the curb. When stopped on the hard shoulder, leave your vehicle and get as far away from the road as possible, behind the crash barrier, and up the bank if there is one.” It is also important for motorists to call their motor insurance providers or break down company as soon as possible in order to prevent any danger to other drivers.