Night Time Driving Tips For Learners
NSW, ACT, and VIC all require learner drivers to get at least 20 hours of night driving time while they work toward their P plates.
Driving at night can be challenging. Even with proper street lighting, you can’t see nearly as much as you can during the day – and the bright lights of oncoming traffic can make it harder to see at night time, as well.
So, how can you learn to drive safely at night as a learner driver? Here are a few top tips From Pass First Go. Read on, and make sure you mitigate the risks of night driving while on your Ls!
1. Check That Your Exterior Lights Are Working Properly
Before you set out, make sure all your lights work. Check your rear brake lights, the light at the top of your rear window, as well as your headlights and high beams. You may also want to check your interior lights, as they may be needed if you have to pull aside to look at a map or for some other task.
2. Don’t Leave Interior Lights On While You Drive
If the inside of your car is bright, your eyes won’t be able to properly adjust to the darkness outside, affecting your vision and depth perception. This can lead to difficulties identifying road objects and reacting to obstacles in time. If you need to turn on the interior lights, pull over – don’t drive distracted, especially at night!
3. Flip The Switch At The Bottom Of Your Rear View Mirror
Many learner drivers don’t know what this little paddle switch does. Basically, it changes how the rear mirror reflects light, dimming the lights of drivers behind you, while still allowing you to see them.
If you don’t flip this switch, you may find that the bright lights coming from behind you can impair your vision, so flip it whenever you’re driving at night. It only takes a second!
4. Never Use Your High Beams If There’s Oncoming Traffic
High beams or “brights” are meant to be used if there are no oncoming drivers. They project light higher than your normal headlights, which are aimed at the ground. This provides better visibility – but at the cost of blinding other drivers if they’re coming toward you.
In most cases, you will need to turn off your high beams if there is a driver within 200m of your vehicle. Failing to do so could result in a citation.
5. Keep Your Eyes Moving At All Times
Especially during the night time when visibility is restricted, it’s easy to “zone out” and stop paying attention to what’s happening around you. So keep your eyes moving and pay attention – and never drive at night if you’re drowsy or tired!
6. Be Cautious When Cresting Hills & Going Around Corners
When you reach the top of hills or go around a corner in the road, you can be temporarily blinded by other cars, especially if you haven’t seen bright lights in a while and your eyes are very adjusted to the dark. Be prepared, don’t panic, and always take hills and corners at a safe, predictable speed.
Need Help With Night Driving? Contact Pass First Go!
If you’re nervous about driving at night, Pass First Go can help. Our driving instructor partners can provide nighttime driving lessons in VIC, NSW and ACT, help you learn more about how to drive safely in low-light conditions, and give you the confidence you need to upgrade your Ls to Ps! Don’t wait book online today.