Tips for Night Time Driving

As the end of a long, tough semester of college comes to an end, the only thing on most students' minds is heading home for the holidays to see their family and friends. Chances are, you could get stuck driving home after a grueling day of finals, putting you on the road after dark. Get home safely this holiday season with these night driving tips.

The Dangers of Driving at Night

Nearlyhalf of all traffic fatalities occur at night, which doesn't seem shocking until you consider that only a quarter of all travel happens in the dark. Higher levels of fatigue paired with lower levels of visibility are the main contributing factors to these accidents. Couple these with people leaving bars after having a few drinks and increased animal movement, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Tips to Stay Safe When Driving at Night

If you get plenty of rest, make sure your vehicle is ready to go, and slow down, you'll ready yourself to drive at night.

Get Plenty of Sleep

As tempted as you may be to get on the road right after your final class, a quick nap can't hurt, especially if you aren't getting the CDC-recommended 7-10 hours of sleep a night. But if you decide to get behind the wheel while you're tired, just be aware that fatigued driving is just as bad as driving at the top of the legal alcohol limit.

Prepare Your Vehicle

Not only do you have to be ready to drive in the dark, but your vehicle needs to be as well. Adjust the following parts of your car so they're fully functional:

  • Adjust Your Headlights — Your low beams should point slightly towards the ground to properly illuminate the road without blinding other drivers. If they point directly at the ground, you can't see what lies in front of you. Keep the plastic housing and bulb clean as well to maximize their efficiency. An auto shop can help you if you can't adjust them yourself.

  • Clean Your Windshield — A dirty windshield scatters incoming light and only makes the glare from oncoming headlights worse. Stop by the nearest gas station or rest stop and give your windshield a good scrub on the inside and out.

  • Check Your Interior Lights — The fewer sources of light coming from inside your car, the better. Turn your screens to night mode and dim any other dash lights to allow your eyes to focus solely on the road ahead.

  • Use Your High Beams — Don't be afraid to turn on your high beams to illuminate the roads when needed. Turn them off when approaching other cars.

Slow Down

There are numerous reasons why you should slow down when you're driving at night. Your visibility is at a minimum, so you have less time to react to things you would normally see in advance, like a deer running onto the road. You'll likely encounter tired drivers, so leave yourself space to react to their unpredictable movements. Don't be afraid to drive below the speed limit if it'll get you home safely. The extra few minutes gained by speeding aren't worth getting into an accident.

Avoid Two-Lane Highways

While they are unavoidable on some parts of your drive home, try to skip traveling on as many two-lane highways as you can. Oncoming traffic in such proximity can lead to accidents if another driver dozes off and swerves just a tiny bit into your lane. Drivers can also blind each other with their high beams when coming around bends. The best option is to travel on multi-lane highways where there is a median to block the lights from oncoming traffic and multiple lanes to put space between you and other drivers.

Stay Safe With Driver's Ed From Aceable

Now that you know how to drive safely at night, you're family's minds will be at ease when you journey back to see them over the holidays. If you want to enhance your nighttime driving knowledge even more, sign up for a driver's ed course at We'll teach you how to stay safe at night through courses that you can take entirely online all on your own schedule. Our courses cover all you need to know about nighttime driving so you'll be able to hit the roads like a pro.

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