Tips for driving at night
Monday 11th January 2021
Whether you’re a new driver, you’ve taken a break from driving for a while, or simply want to brush up on your skills of driving at night, our top tips on driving in the dark have you covered. With the additional challenges it can pose, late night driving can be more dangerous than daytime driving – meaning it’s important to take extra precautions to feel confident behind the wheel.
How to stay safe driving in the dark
1. Go at your own pace
One of the best tips for driving at night is simply taking your time, and going at your own pace. Night time driving often means the roads are much quieter, which allows you that extra time to spend checking your mirrors, making turns and driving at a reduced speed. Not only will this give you more confidence in your driving, but it will also provide a safer driving experience – especially in poorly lit areas.
2. Light it up
Using your headlights appropriately is one of the most important rules of late night driving. Drive with your full beam whenever possible, but also make sure to switch them off when another driver is facing you, or in front of you, to ensure you don’t dazzle them. Try not to directly stare at oncoming vehicles, either, to avoid being dazzled yourself – as this can affect your vision temporarily.
Headlights should also be turned on one hour before sunset, and kept on an hour after sunrise, too, to ensure you experience optimal vision when driving in twilight. Also, it’s important to note that it’s illegal to drive at night without properly functioning lights – in both the front and the rear of the vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is always prepared for night time driving by booking in for regular car services.
3. Keep windows clean
It’s important to ensure that your windscreens and windows are clean, both on the inside and out. This is because, if your windows are dirty, this will likely increase your chance of glare from other vehicles. Dirty windows are also more likely to steam up, creating condensation that can impair your visibility. Also, make sure your window wipers work effectively – learn how to tell if you need new windscreen wipers from our guide.
4. Take regular breaks
Night time driving can take its toll on your eyes, and your fatigue levels, so make sure if you’re driving long distances, you take frequent breaks. Maybe split the driving with a partner or friend, or if that’s not possible, ensure you stop at service stations to wake yourself up.
5. Have your eyes tested
Following on from the above point, ensuring that your eyesight is up to scratch is really important for late night driving. It’s also worth noting that you should never wear darkened or tinted glasses for night time driving, as this can affect your vision.
6. Be vigilant
Ensure you are extra vigilant to keep an eye out for any obstructions, or vulnerable road users that might come into your path when driving at night. This can include children, elderly pedestrians, cyclists on the road or animals running out into your path. That’s why it’s important to take extra care when driving around schools, especially in the winter months when the daylight hours are reduced.
Other late night driving considerations
Sometimes, driving at night can be a trigger for anxiety in nervous drivers – which is why we’ve created an article governed towards tips for nervous drivers, and how to combat driving in the dark as one of those anxiety points.
Our tips for driving in winter article also references driving in the dark, as this can be made trickier if you’re having to also contend with ice or snow in plummeting temperatures.