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Driving Tips: Tips for Driving at Night

Date: Wed 9th January 2019   |   Author: L Blake

Driving Tips: Tips For Driving At Night

Driving at night can present a number of challenges, especially for new drivers. Road casualty statistics show that 40% of collisions occur in the hours of darkness, so it is important to know the risks and be prepared. Here are our top driving tips for driving at night, to ensure that you and your vehicle stay safe on the roads.

Use your lights carefully and correctly

It is illegal to drive at night without fully functioning front and rear lights. Before you begin your journey, be sure to check that all of your vehicle’s exterior lights are clean and are working properly. Your lights are there for your safety and the safety of those around you, as they allow you to be seen by other road users.

According to The Highway Code, you must ensure that all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise. You must use your car headlights at night.

In urban areas on a road which has lit street lighting, you should use dipped headlights.

Full beam lights can be used on all other roads and it is advisable to use them on any unlit roads and especially on country roads. Avoid dazzling other drivers by switching back to dipped beam whenever you see another car.

Slow down and allow plenty of time for your journey

When driving at night, visibility is reduced, often making it more difficult to judge the road and see other road users. For example, vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, may be more difficult to spot if they are not wearing reflectors.

By slowing down a little and sticking to a safe speed, you will be able to see what is coming, judge the road and react accordingly. Speed limits are in place for a reason but it is important to remember that they display the maximum speed at which a vehicle can travel on a particular stretch of road and should never be exceeded.

Slowing down your vehicle can also help when driving from a well-lit area to a driving along an unlit road, as your eyes will need time to adjust.

cars driving at night on motorway

Avoid driving when you are tired

The road signs are true, tiredness can kill. Accord to the Royal Society for the Prevention Of Accidents (ROSPA), falling asleep while driving accounts for 20% of serious road accidents in the UK. It goes without saying that you should never drive when you are feeling drowsy, tired or are at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Although strong coffee may make you feel more awake in the short term, the only cure for drowsiness and fatigue is rest! To reduce the risks inherent to driving at night, make sure that you are well rested and are feeling alert before you set off.

Plan your route in advance and be sure to allow plenty of time to get to your destination. If you are driving a long distance, you may want to consider staying in a hotel overnight. Otherwise, try to factor in rest breaks along the way so that if you do become fatigued or need a short break, you can pull over and get some rest where it is safe to do so.

If you are driving with other people who can legally drive the vehicle, consider sharing the driving.

Visibility is key

Good visibility doesn’t just refer to your lights. Be sure to make sure that your rear-view and side mirrors are clean and clear. You should also keep your windows clean on the inside as well as on the outside and try to avoid them misting up.

Consider extra training

If you are a new driver or are an experienced driver who feels uncomfortable driving at night, there are many training programmes on offer that can help build your confidence and develop your driving skills. These include Pass Plus, which is ideal for new drivers, and advanced training for more experienced motorists.

We hope you find our tips for driving at night useful. For other interesting articles and further driving tips, be sure to explore the AutoProtect Engage Page.