Winter officially arrives this weekend, when the clocks go back by one hour. While this means that we get an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning, it also means that the evenings will be getting darker much earlier.
Here’s some quick top tips to stay safe when out and about as the nights draw in.
People are often hurt on the road because they can’t be seen clearly by other traffic. The problem gets even worse during the winter, when the days are shorter and there is more bad weather, like heavy rain or fog.
Remember as well, that the twilight hours – just before and after the sun sets – are the most dangerous times of all, because drivers’ eyes are adjusting to the changing light.
- Help yourself to stand out against the gloom by wearing bright clothing. Fluorescent colours stand out best during the day time but they don’t work after dark, so wear something made from reflective material. There are lots of different things to choose from, from full high-visibility vests that you wear over your own clothes, to reflective stripes and patches that you can sew onto your coat or schoolbag.
- Keep to routes that are well-lit by street lamps and always cross the road at safe places, like zebra or pelican crossings. If you need to walk somewhere that there is no pavement, make sure that you always walk facing into the traffic.
- If you cycle to school while it is dark, you will need to have lights fitted to the front and back of your bike, as it is against the law not to. You will need a white one at the front, and a red light and red reflective panel at the back. Check them regularly to make sure they are in good working order and that the batteries are well charged. And remember to turn them on as soon as it starts to get dark!
- To really stand out on the road, you can even get some flashing LED lights that attach to your pedals. Not only do they help you be seen by other road users, they look really good too.