Newly released figures show 40% of all road accidents happen when it’s dark outside


According to a new study, almost a third (31%) of UK drivers fear night time driving, which is a high percentage when you consider there’s 38 million drivers on the road.

Newly released figures by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), show that 40% of all road accidents happen when it’s dark outside.

Nodding off behind the wheel is a big issue and leads to around 20% of serious accidents on motorways and repetitious roads in the UK.

Another obvious danger is reduced visibility, as the distance a driver can see is reduced because it takes longer for our eyes to get used to the darkness.

It can also be tougher to judge the speed and distance of other roads users, who might be travelling much faster than first anticipated.

The study was conducted by lens manufacturer Essilor, who discovered that 91% of drivers are dazzled by oncoming traffic regularly.

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91% of drivers are dazzled regularly by the bright lights of oncoming traffic.

According to Government data, around 300 accidents are caused by glare every year in the UK.

Apparently, says RoSPA, between the ages of 15 and 65, the length of time it takes for eyes to recover from glare increases from one to nine seconds.

“With such short days in the winter – and driving conditions frequently made worse by the British weather – often people have no choice but to drive in the dark,” said Dr. Andy Hepworth from Essilor, adding: “But this means that we face glare from oncoming traffic and other light sources, which is arguably the biggest issue regarding the reduction or loss of visibility, and glasses lenses can actually create more reflections impacting your vision further.”

7 Ways To Improve Your Vision At Night by Essilor:

  • Keep the windscreen clear – make sure the outside of the windscreen is clean and streak free. Keep your washer fluid topped up and carry a microfibre cloth in the glovebox to keep the inside of the screen clean.
  • Use anti-glare lenses – ask your optician about spectacle lenses designed to reduce glare and reflection.
  • Check and adjust mirrors – dip the rear-view mirror at night or consider a car with an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
  • Dip, don’t dazzle – remember to dip your headlights when faced with oncoming traffic. You should also adjust your lights when carrying heavy loads.
  • Slow down or stop – if you’re worried about your vision, pull over in a safe place and make adjustments to improve visibility.
  • Adjust your eyes to the dark – allow yourself a couple of minutes before setting off for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
  • Keep your distance – it’s harder to judge speed and distances at night, so allow more space between you and the car in front.



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