Night time driving

Night time driving …and how to do it safely

After passing your driving test you may find yourself in a position that all of your lessons have been during the day and now you’re preparing to drive for the 1st time after dark. Knowing what to expect will help you make that 1st journey out safer and more enjoyable.

It may be obvious to most but the main difference between driving during the day and driving at night is the visibility is not as good. Even in well lit area’s everything looks a bit different at night time. You will notice different lighting in certain area’s, for example urban area’s will be lit better than more rural area’s, most rural areas won’t have any street lighting at all. Before you take that first voyage in to the night make sure all your lights are working: Indicators, brake lights and main lights.

Why use lights; the 2 reasons we need to use our lights when driving are to light the road ahead of you so you can see more clearly at night and also to show pedestrians and other road users that you are there. Your lights have 2 modes, dipped and full beam. In an urban situation and on roads where there is a steady flow of traffic you should use your dipped beams. In more rural area’s where there is little/no street lighting this is where the full beam will come in handy and will help you to see further ahead.

You can use your full beams when there is no other traffic on the road (or pedestrians) When using the full beam if you are aware of an oncoming vehicle or cyclist you MUST dip the lights. The main beam is very powerful and could momentarily blind other drivers ahead of you causing an accident. Make sure you learn where all your lights are and how to use them.

Being more aware of your surroundings at night time

The most important thing to remember when driving at night is that you need to be more aware of potential hazards. Pedestrians will not be as easy to see, also cyclists especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing or have lights on their bike. Always double check at junctions as visibility is not as good as during the day.

Any kind of manoeuvre with limited visibility is more difficult, so be very aware when overtaking, it’s much harder to judge distances in the dark and also how fast other vehicles are travelling towards you. The darkness ahead could be hiding a sharp bend or a dip in the road.

Although the vast majority of driving is done during the day 50% of accidents happen at night time. Driving at night requires a higher level of concentration and the right set of skills.

For more information on staying safe on the road click here

Stay safe


Michelle Partington

Customer Support Manager, Surepass Ltd

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