Up to 100,000 driving test candidates may be taking their test each year without having driven in the dark, new details from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has revealed.
Many motorists haven’t practiced driving in the dark before taking their test despite 35 per cent of all road accidents involving young drivers happening after dark.
More specifically, 22 per cent of the 17,000 learner and newly qualified drivers surveyed by the DVSA said they’d driven in the dark for less than two hours prior to taking their test. In addition to this, 17.5 per cent of respondents had no previous experience of driving in the dark whatsoever before taking their test.
Some 610,000 learner drivers aged 17 to 24 reportedly took their driving test between October 2018 and October 2019. This suggests that as many as 106,000 of those hadn’t practised driving in the dark prior to their driving test.
Mark Winn, chief driving examiner for the DVSA, said: “It’s essential that all learners gain experience of driving in the dark, whether with their driving instructor or through private practise.”
The DVSA has revealed some of its top tips for driving in the dark. Some of these include watching your speed as you can’t see as far ahead when driving at night, making sure you can stop well within the distance you can see to be clear, and using full beam on unlit roads but dipping your headlights early enough to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers.
Winn added: “Spotting hazards in reduced visibility is a skill built on experience. The more time a learner spends practising in different conditions, the better prepared they will be for driving safely on their own.”