Derbyshire Police have issued advice on how to keep yourself safe while travelling on foot or on the road in the dark.
We are now firmly in the season of community in the dark, with the shortest day of the year - the Winter Solstice - to come on December 22.
It goes without saying that travelling by any mode of transport is more dangerous in the dark.
With that in mind, police have released some guidance for people to keep themselves safe when out and about during winter.
If you’re travelling on foot:
- Use dedicated pedestrian crossings at all times to cross the road.
- Remind children to put all electronic devices away to be vigilant before crossing.
- Be careful when walking across driveways. There could be cars pulling in or reversing out.
- Try to walk on a footpath or pavement at all times. If there are none then keep in single file to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic.
- Carry something that’s bright or fluorescent (arm band, jacket, footwear etc) to help other road users/drivers to see you when it’s dark.
- Carry a small torch that you can easily clip on to your key chain or using your smartphone’s torch app.
If you’re driving or riding:
- Ensure you stick to the speed limits, especially in residential areas and be extra cautious for children who may suddenly appear from between parked vehicles.
- Be extra vigilant when approaching junctions or zebra crossings. People may be in dark clothing making them harder to spot at night.
- Eliminate all distractions from inside your car so that you can concentrate better.
- Take extra care when entering or exiting driveways, especially if you are reversing out on to the main road. Check all blind spots before reversing.
- Ensure your headlights are working and not obscured by dust or dirt. Switch them on before dusk so you’re not inadvertently driving around unseen.
- Make sure that you are concentrating fully on what you’re doing when you’re travelling. One moment of lapsed concentration can come at a cost.