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5:00 PM 31st December 2023
cars

Fireworks Cut Drivers' Visibility By Half

 
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Image Credit: Shutterstock
Motorists have been warned that fireworks are a driving hazard and can cut visibility by over half.

As New Year’s Eve is here, motoring company LeaseCar.uk have advised Brits to avoid driving during firework displays.

Although enjoyed during New Year celebrations, fireworks can affect short-term air quality and lead to a significant reduction in visibility which is a hazard for all road users.

Using data from meteorological stations throughout the UK, scientists found that on average visibility is reduced by a quarter when there are fireworks.

In some parts of the UK, significantly higher visibility reductions have been recorded, including a shocking 64% in Nottingham.

The visibility-reducing effects can last for up to two days after a fireworks display, meaning drivers should be extra cautious until at least January 3.

The reduction in visibility is caused by atmospheric particulate matter from fireworks which is scattered after detonation.

If humidity is high, the effects can be even worse because the particles can scatter light more effectively.

Motorists who are unable to avoid driving during the New Year celebrations must take extra precautions to stay safe including lowering speeds.

The Highway Code also states that motorists must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, and that they can use front or rear fog lights until it improves.

Other tips for driving in low-visibility conditions include braking slower to give drivers behind more time to slow down and listening for other vehicles before changing lanes.

Tim Alcock from LeaseCar.uk said:
“Many motorists will be shocked to find out that fireworks can dramatically cut visibility on the roads.

“Although firework displays can be distracting, the majority of drivers know the importance of keeping their eyes on the road.

“However, it is not common knowledge that fireworks can affect air quality which has visibility-reducing consequences which are dangerous for all road users.

“On average, fireworks displays cut visibility by a quarter, but in some parts of the UK, it has been recorded at over 60 per cent.

“This is a real concern for motorists heading out over the New Year period, and for the days after, because their chances of getting involved in a car crash are increased.

“It is important that motorists alter their driving style if they know firework displays are on because there is evidence to suggest it will lower visibility, even if you don’t see a difference.

“Use headlights, reduce speeds and brake slower on the day, and the days that follow a big display, to avoid getting into an accident.”