How to drive safely at night

For a newly qualified driver, driving at night can an unnerving experience. In order to pass the UK driving test, it is not compulsory to have received driving tuition at night. Once you have passed your test however, taking the Pass Plus driving course will among other things, provide you with professional instruction on how to safely drive at night.

Ensuring your head lights are clean will provide maximum visibility. Head light covers quickly get covered in grime especially during Winter and rainy periods. 
Whilst driving at night without the aid of street lighting, you can only see as far as your head lights allow you to. Rural roads pose the highest challenge and dangers at night. Lowering your speed on such roads so you are able to confidently stop within the visibility that your head lights provide will ensure a much safer journey.

As well as reduced visibility, dazzle from oncoming vehicles lights is another common problem. Being dazzled by an oncoming cars head lights makes your viewing distance ahead highly restricted. To help avoid the effect of being dazzled:

Car keys
  • Avoid staring at oncoming lights, if very bright, stare at the left side of the road until clear. Use lines, road markings or curbs to help guide you.
  • Ensure windscreen washer reservoir has sufficient fluid. Keep a clean windscreen. Ensure the inside of your windscreen is clean as this will also reduce dazzle.
  • Wiper blades in bad condition can cause streaks and smudges on your windscreen when raining. Replacing the rubber blades is inexpensive and easy to fit.
  • If you really are struggling to see ahead, slow down.
  • Headlights reflected in the rear view mirror can be dazzling. Select the anti glare option for your interior mirror.
  • Keeping your interior mirror clean from smudges will reduce glare from reflected head lights.
  • Increase your following distance from the car in front. He or she may also be struggling to see the road ahead and may need to slow down.
  • Use full beam lights when on unlit roads, motorways, dual carriageways and rural roads. If there is another vehicle approaching, pedestrian or cyclist, switch back to dipped lights.
  • Anticipate oncoming vehicles. If on rural roads and light from a approaching car can be seen rounding a bend, chances are you will be dazzled. Slow down and ensure you have good road position.