Police in the east of England are stepping up efforts to improve road safety and reduce collisions as the darker nights set in.
Collision rates tend to increase at this time of year and officers are warning drivers to be prepared for the change in conditions as the clocks go back this weekend.
In Suffolk, police will be carrying out roadside checks, focusing on the roadworthiness of vehicles – including defective lights, tyres and windscreens.
The force says collisions tend to increase in October and November, with the driver error of ‘failing to look properly’ being the biggest contributing factor.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk joint roads policing unit, said: “We often see a rise in collisions at this time of year which can be due to a number of factors including lighting defects, poorer weather conditions and people not used to driving in the dark.
“It is important to make sure your vehicle is fit for winter conditions; make sure lights and windscreen wipers are working, that your tyres have sufficient tread and regularly top up the windscreen wash.
“We advise drivers to watch their speed, keep a good distance between you and the car in front, and take time to look out for other road users, cyclists and pedestrians.”
Darker evenings lead to increased collisions
Meanwhile, insurethebox is warning drivers of the heightened risk faced after the clocks go back.
Data from the telematics insurer shows the loss in daylight in the evening leads to a 36% increase in collisions between 5-8pm.
insurethebox says young drivers, with less experience on the roads, are likely to be more vulnerable – especially if they are facing their first experience of driving in wintry conditions since passing their test.
Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox, said: “insurethebox data shows that accident risk increases as a direct result of the clocks going back.
“For many young drivers, the evenings after the clock change will be their first experience of driving in the dark, coping with different conditions like reduced visibility.
“Nearly 5bn miles of driving data accumulated over nearly 10 years provides us with an extensive dataset, enabling us to spot trends and help our customers – before they need to make a claim.”