Pedestrians in the dark – as the nights draw in: tips from IAM RoadSmart

Blog post posted on 31/10/17 |

With summer well and truly over and the clocks now reverting to GMT, the nights will be well and truly drawing in. During the period of shorter daylight hours (October to March) we statistically see more incidents involving pedestrians and vulnerable road users than during other months. With the most incidents being between 3pm and 7pm we need to keep our eyes peeled for our vulnerable pedestrians in the dark. This week’s tips for keeping pedestrians safe are from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman.

  • Keep an eye on your speed, remember you are twice as likely to kill a pedestrian driving at 35 as you are if driving at 30mph. Be especially aware near schools, the only predictable thing about children is how unpredictable they can be. Remember 20 in these areas really is plenty
  • Children can be harder to see and may run out between parked vehicles, remember to ‘LOOK OUT’ (over, under and through) vehicles, you might just spot someone before they step out
  • Some pedestrians give a tell-tale sign of what they are about to do – look out for people who keep looking over their shoulder, they might be looking to cross the road.If you have a generous space in front of you and vehicles behind you they may well run across rather than wait for all the traffic to come past. You also need to watch for mobile phone ‘zombies’, if you see someone concentrating on their phone they are not concentrating on the traffic, be ready for them to just step out
  • When passing stationary vehicles keep at least a door’s width whenever possible, not just for the car door that might open into your path; also for someone or something coming out into your path from between the vehicles
  • Be considerate where you park, parking too close to a junction can obstruct someone’s view and make it harder to see, also be aware of not obstructing pavements and dropped kerbs
  • When it’s raining and blowing a gale pedestrians are more likely to dash about and road safety often falls lower on their list of priorities than trying to keep dry
  • With the clocks just gone back it can take children on bikes a bit of time to get used to the fact they need lights and can often get caught out being out without lights – make sure your children are aware of the need for lights on their bikes

Richard said: “In a perfect world pedestrians would all be on the pavement and would never have to cross a road, in a near perfect one a pedestrian on a road would be wearing flashing high viz and your car would be shouting about their presence – in our real world it is up to us to share the road space, be aware and help where we can. An effort to be courteous will go a long way to making someone’s day and will help keep us all safe”


Notes to editors:

  1. Richard Gladman is IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards.
  2. IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

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