Several learner drivers panic when it comes to driving in the dark, which is one of the most common fears learners face. It is believed that at least half of all drivers do not feel as safe driving at night as they do during the day. However, in many cases, it is easier to drive in the dark, and with practice, there should be no issues with driving.
Tips For Driving At Night
- Be Alert: It's important to always remain alert whilst driving, but especially at night, You must be extra cautious with your reduced visibility and look out for animals running into the road, pedestrians crossing in dark clothing and drunk drivers. It is also important to look for sudden tight bends to prepare yourself in advance.
- Keep Your Car Clean: If you have a dirty windscreen or mirrors, you may have reduced visibility, making you even more at risk of an accident. If you have a dirty windscreen, you are more likely to have your windscreen steam up and potentially cause glare for other drivers.
- Look Out For Pedestrians: If you are driving at night, pedestrians are likely to be wearing darker clothing unless they are a cyclist or runners, who may be wearing reflective clothing. When driving through busy cities like London or Milton Keynes, there may be enough street lights to see pedestrians. However, it may be easy to miss pedestrians crossing roads dangerously in darker areas.
- Use Main Beans On Unlit Roads: Country roads are very rarely well-lit, so if dipped headlights prove unhelpful, switch over to your main beam. Always switch back to dipped headlights if you see another car approaching; otherwise, it will dazzle them.
- Increase Stopping Distance: Increasing your stopping distance will give you more of a chance to stop in emergencies. Always leave a gap within the range of your headlights.
- Switch Off Headlights When Stationary: Switching off your headlights when stationary will avoid confusion from other drivers.
It is more than likely that at some point while learning to drive, you will have to take a lesson in the dark. Even more so if you take lessons in the Winter, as it becomes dark from as early as 4 pm onwards. Although taking a driving lesson at night may be a nerve-wracking thought, it is excellent practice for the future. Your surroundings dramatically change in the dark, so practising aspects such as manoeuvres will change and eventually help to increase your driving confidence.