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Driving At Night Time – Lessons in the Dark

The winter approaches and darkness falls in the mid afternoon. This is a hard time for driving instructors everywhere as customer numbers plummet and daylight working hours are cut short. Prospective customers will delay the decision to learn to drive until the new year. Driving instructors can take advantage of the conditions to teach different elements of driving.

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City environments carry a lot of traffic at evening time so driving schools will need to find quieter areas to teach. Headlight glare can disturb learners and often leads to them steering to the left and striking the kerb unless the driver trainer controls this by holding the steering wheel. This problem can be kept to a minimum if the oncoming traffic is not a continuous flow and there is time to coach the pupil into looking ahead into the space to the left of the oncoming car. In heavy traffic motorcycles filtering through the middle of traffic flow can come dangerously close to the wing mirrors of the school vehicle. In darkness it will be difficult for a pupil to judge a safe position on the road.

Heavy traffic flow at night means a lot of braking when approaching junctions. Brake lights can dazzle especially if the windscreen is wet with rain. Brake light dazzle can be tiring on the eyes and make it difficult for a learner to judge the amount of braking needed when approaching the vehicle in front. Use of the handbrake when waiting should be taught as this replaces the foot brake which can be released so the brake lights go out preventing dazzle to the driver behind. Not many instructors teach the use of the anti dazzle feature of the rear view mirror. It is not included on the controls lesson but is certainly useful information for pupils. Remember to put the mirror back to the normal position when glare has stopped.

If a driver training session begins in the light and darkness falls during the lesson the eyes adjust naturally. If a pupil has just left a well lit workplace and got straight into the car they may need time for vision to adjust and driving instructors will need to account for this. The main beam function is often located on the indicator stalk of the vehicle and clumsy use of indicators by pupils taking driving lessons can lead to main beam being switched on unintentionally. Instructors need to make sure switch back to dipped beam as soon as the fault is spotted to prevent dazzling other drivers.

Vulnerable road users are at greater risk during darkness. Inexperienced learners can fail to see them at pedestrian crossings especially if the crossings are light controlled. People on bicycles who aren't wearing a reflective safety jacket of do not have lights fitted are a particular hazard that driving instructors must watch for. Night driving courses could be marketed by driving instructors to teach these aspects of driving to learners and recently qualified motorists.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 

Hello there. My name is Russ Chaplin. I am a DSA approved driving instructor giving quality driving lessons Arnold Nottingham area. I hold the Diploma in Driving Instruction and have passed both the Diamond Advanced and Special driving tests, qualifying me as a Diamond advanced Instructor. I am ORDIT registered to deliver all parts of the Approved driving instructors in Nottingham qualifying exams as well as Check test re-assessment and training for other driving schools in Nottingham. I am a member of thedriving instructors Arnold Nottingham group.




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