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Motorists warned to take extra precautions in the dark as shortest day approaches

ByDave Stopher

Dec 20, 2021 #Business

AS the shortest day rapidly approaches and with the worst of winter weather still ahead, motorists are being asked to take extra precautions when driving in the dark to reduce the risk of fatal or serious collisions.

Paul Graham, the Managing Director of H&H Insurance Brokers (HHIB) which operates throughout the North of England, Scottish Borders and Wales, has issued a warning to drivers as the latest figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show the high volume of collisions which occur during hours of darkness.

The data from RoSPA reveal there were just under 700 (690) fatal accidents involving vehicles at night in the UK in the space of one year, and nearly 38,000 (37,483) injuries were sustained during the same period.

Of the fatalities, 336 involved car users and 93 were motorcycle users, with the other fatalities involving other road users including cyclists and pedestrians. A total of 24,283 car users were injured with 3,814 motorcyclists sustaining injuries.

Paul said: “Road casualty figures show that 40 per cent of all accidents on the road happen during the hours of darkness. Driving in the dark is more difficult for even the most experienced of drivers, so it is of extreme importance that people take care when driving at night.

“Visibility is much reduced at night and other road users, whether that may be motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, are trickier to see so you need to be at your most alert to prevent any collisions.

“The most important message to anybody driving at night is to take it easier than you normally would as hazards on the road can often seem to appear out of nowhere.”

Of all collisions leading to injuries, falling asleep while using a vehicle accounts for 20 per cent of incidents.

Paul said: “It sounds obvious but if you are feeling tired then you shouldn’t set off on long journeys especially as the dark only adds to the feeling of tiredness.

“You should plan your journey at night in advance and plan regular rest breaks if it is going to be a long one where you may feel extra fatigued.

“If you are travelling with other people who can legally drive the vehicle, then it would be a good idea to share driving responsibilities.”

HHIB offers independent advice on all aspects of rural and business insurances in a range of sectors, and can be contacted via www.hhinsurancebrokers.co.uk.