Too many drivers are in the dark with their lights, say the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
IAM director of standards, Mark Lewis, says there are simple rules for driving with the correct lights under different circumstances on the road and you shouldn’t rely on dashboard displays to tell you if they are faulty.
- Lots of cars now have dashboard warning lights to let you know of a bulb failure, however, you should still check your lights manually on a regular basis. If any bulbs need replacing, change them beforehand to reduce the risk of any road incidents taking place.
- Use your full beam lights only when you’re driving on an unlit road and where there is no vehicle in sight ahead of you. However, remember to switch back to your dipped headlights to avoid dazzling other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.
- Dipped headlights can be used during any time of the day and should be switched on in poor weather conditions. Don’t rely on daytime running lights as the rear lights will not switch on with them – they are not sufficient in reduced visibility conditions.
- If you cannot see beyond 100 metres when it’s misty switch on your fog lights. It’s illegal to drive with fog lights on in clear visibility so don’t forget to turn them off.
- Hazard warning lights may be used when your vehicle is stationary to warn that it is temporarily obstructing traffic. However, don’t use them while you’re driving or being towed unless you are on a motorway or unrestricted dual carriageway and you need to warn drivers behind you of a hazard.
Mark said: ‘It is so important to make sure you can see and be seen at all times, so keep all lights working correctly and use them when you need to’.
Road Safety Wales is reminding pedestrians, runners and cyclists that being easily seen by drivers is especially important at this time of year.
Although the UK has one of the best road safety records in the world, 249 pedestrians and 138 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads in 2014. Everyone needs to play their part in keeping themselves and others safe. With the fashion for black and dark clothes, it can be difficult to buy a coat that is light in colour, but simple things such as carrying a white carrier bag could make all the difference to your visibility. If you prefer your safety equipment a little more high tech then it is possible to buy flashing light armbands, bag accessories and children’s shoes.