Clock Change Has Highlighted Defective Car Lights On Our Roads
With thousands of vehicles that had their NCT test date extended due to Covid-19 earlier in the year are now due for an NCT test, some motorists are neglecting to maintain their vehicles. Some vehicles on the road today won’t have been NCT tested for 16 months due to the Covid NCT 4 Month Test Extension, so it is vital that drivers check and maintain their vehicles properly.
Motorists are being urged to check their headlights as evening commutes get darker thanks to the clock change.
As a result, Road Safety professionals have pointed out that defective lights are becoming more apparent as the evenings become darker, and all drivers are encouraged to check their car for any faulty bulbs in a bid to help them “see and be seen”.
They also say that simple checks could prevent a costly run-in with the Garda.( https://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Your-Vehicle/Your-Vehicle-/Road-Worthiness--Related-Offences/Lighting-/)
The cost of a service is tiny compared to the potential human cost of driving a car that has a serious fault or defect, and many of us have our vehicles serviced at the same time as the NCT, which often flags mechanical and safety issues that need to be addressed urgently.
For those motorists with older vehicles, which tend to be more susceptible to problems due to wear and tear, they might be wise to use their original NCT date as a prompt to give vehicles a full check and service. It will give them the peace of mind that it's in good condition and mechanically sound at the present time.
Sergeant James Malone Castlebar Traffic Policing unit said “It is the responsibility of the motorist to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy. The NCT extension isn’t a get-out for tyres with no tread, defective brakes ,defective lights ect. We’re not here to catch people out – we want to ensure people stay safe and legal”
Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council, said a blown bulb can easily cause an accident by making cars less visible to other road users. Faulty head, brake and taillights can inhibit your ability to see the road and other motorists’ ability to see you at night or in wet conditions, which could have disastrous consequences
“In the dark, a faulty headlight can make a car look like a motorbike from a distance,” he said. “This makes judging gaps and overtaking a hazard, as well as increasing the risk of the vehicle being hit in a breakdown. Broken brake lights give drivers behind less time to react when the traffic slows”.
“During the lighter summer months, people ignore or simply don’t notice problems with their car’s lights. When the clocks go back in autumn, more accidents happen as cars with a blown bulb suddenly stand out in the darker evenings. It’s much more difficult for other road users to gauge how wide these cars are, and they can easily be mistaken for a motorbike.”
In light of that, Mr Gibbons says drivers should check their vehicle over at least once a fortnight – ideally as part of a regular routine covering tyres, oil and coolant.
“Don’t rely on automatic lights all the time. Heavy rain or fog in daytime can reduce your vision and vehicle visibility to dangerous levels, but it might still be bright enough to prevent automated lights from coming on”.
“Daytime running lights are only fitted to the front so you can’t want to rely on them in the daytime when visibility is seriously reduced, or as night falls, as you could be virtually invisible from behind.”