Safe Night Driving

Advice and tips on how to stay safe

  • by onRoute
  • Jan 28, 2015
  • 467
  • News

It’s estimated that traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day. Night driving presents unique challenges and increased risks. If you cannot avoid driving at this time then be well prepared and adjust your driving to be more defensive! Arrive Alive shares some tips…

Use Lights safely and effectively

    It’s estimated that traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day. Night driving presents unique challenges and increased risks. If you cannot avoid driving at this time then be well prepared and adjust your driving to be more defensive! Arrive Alive shares some tips…
  • Do not delay using the lights and make yourself more visible to other road users.
  • Always be careful with your high beams so you don't blind others and cause a head-on collision.
  • Slow down if the other driver is blinding you with his high beam – it is not the correct response to match his mistake by doing the same. Think Safety!
  • If the oncoming vehicle does not dim their lights, look towards the left side of the road and try not to look directly at the oncoming headlights, rather, use your peripheral vision.
  • Look at the lane marker as a guide then look quickly ahead to determine the other vehicle’s position. Keep doing this until you have passed the other vehicle.
  • Be aware that oncoming truck drivers, seated much higher than you may be blinded by your lights much earlier than you may be by their lights!
  • Do not use high beams when it’s foggy – they will reduce your own ability to see and may temporarily blind other drivers. If your vehicle is equipped with fog lamps, use them with your low beams only when there is fog and not for ordinary night driving.

8 Defensive Driving Techniques for Night Driving

  • Plan your route so you're aware of steep descents, sharp corners and other hazards specific to that route.
  • When in doubt as to whether you should use your lights, turn them on!
  • A safe speed should enable you to brake or manoeuvre to avoid a hazard without endangering those around you.
  • On rural roads go slower to spot pot-holes and avoid an accident.
  • Be aware that it is more difficult to judge speed and distance at night. So increase following distance to increase crash avoidance space.
  • Take frequent breaks to give your eyes a chance to recover.
  • Do not assume safety! Approach slowly, look both ways and proceed with caution.
  • Never use cruise control when driving at night.
  • Consider your vision

    • It is recommended that drivers go for check-ups, especially if they believe that they might experience symptoms of night blindness.
    • At night, we are dependent on artificial light hence our reduced ability to see road signs, vehicles, pedestrians and other hazards.
    • We are also less able to pick up sudden movements quickly and respond to them effectively at night.
    • Our eyes often take time to adjust from the wide range of light from pitch dark to strong light.