Overcoming Winter Driving Blues

Many people don’t like driving for long periods in the dark as they find the glare of oncoming lights very tiring….

A little trick that has worked for me for many years is to avoid looking directly ahead and look very slightly to the left of the centre line… Unless you suffer from tunnel vision your view of the road is unimpaired, yet it is rather kinder to the eyes.

While on the subject of glare, please don’t be one of those idiots who put their fog lights on in September and turn them off in the Spring, they are not intended to be seasonal! The Highway Code says that they only are for use in very restricted visibility, for example fog or driving snow. They can be blinding to a following driver in the rain.

Visibility in poor conditions (and ONLY poor conditions!) can be much improved by additional lighting, particularly low level fog lights which give a wide spread of light. Frequently in fog main beam actually provides a worse view of the road than dip beam.

Maximum alertness is always important but even more so when conditions get tough. It is all too easy to turn the heater up full and become drowsy. It is essential to get some cool air to the face occasionally, opening a window every so often is helpful. Always monitor your state of alertness and if you become very drowsy pull off the road for a few minutes, stretch your legs and get some fresh air.

Any alcoholic drink will also make you drowsy and it is both illegal and extremely stupid to drink and drive. I believe there is no safe alcohol limit and would always urge don’t drink any alcohol and drive, even the smallest amount can impair judgement.

At all times read the road, look ahead but keep adjusting your view, closer and then further. If visibility is reduced, slow down, give your reactions a little more time to work.

Article © Graham Benge 2007

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