As a new teen driver, there are many aspects of driving you will need to get used to. Permit and driving classes like ours at Your Drivers Ed Online do their best to get you ready to be behind the wheel, but your practice is what makes perfect. A huge part of driving is being able to safely adapt to the time of day, the season, and the weather. Driving at night is one of those aspects that can be tricky to learn and hard on new drivers. 

Driving at night adds an additional element that all drivers, especially new drivers, need to prepare for. In this article, we are going to take a look at some tips and tricks all drivers should know and practice when driving at night. Following these simple tips will help make sure you and other drivers arrive safely at your destination. 

#1: Don’t Drive Tired

According to the NSC, “A National Sleep Foundation poll says 60% of adults have driven while they were tired, and another 37%, or 103 million people, have fallen asleep at the wheel. Of those, 13% say they fall asleep while driving at least once a month, and 4% say they have caused a crash by falling asleep while driving.”

As shown by the statistics, many people drive tired. Here are a few reasons to avoid this as much as you can. 

  • Mistakes. Tiredness can cause you to make silly mistakes. You might misjudge a turn or fail to see a stop sign. 
  • Reaction time. Tiredness can also affect your reaction time. If you need to brake suddenly, you might not be able to react quickly enough. 
  • Danger. Driving when you’re tired can also be very dangerous. You might fall asleep at the wheel, which could lead to an accident and severe injury or death. 

If you’re feeling tired, it’s best to pull over and rest. Alternatively, call a friend or family member to pick you up, pull into a parking lot and take a short walk to wake up, or even pull into your local Starbucks and get an extra boost of caffeine. Your safety – and the safety of others – is more important than getting to your destination on time.

#2: Use your High Beams

High beams are a great way to improve your visibility at night, but they should be used sparingly. If you’re driving on a dark, empty road with no oncoming traffic, you can use your high beams to see further ahead. This can help you spot potential hazards early and give you more time to react. But only use your high beams only when there are no oncoming cars and you need the extra light. 

When you do use them, be sure to dim your lights when an oncoming car is within 500 feet. High beams can be very dazzling to other drivers, and you don’t want to cause an accident or impair their vision. Doing this makes the road more dangerous for both parties. In addition to being courteous to other drivers, using your high beams wisely will also help you avoid getting pulled over. So next time you’re driving at night, remember to take it easy on the high beams.

#3: Take Your Time

The lack of daylight means that there are more shadows and less contrast, making it difficult to see potential hazards. It’s also harder to judge distances in the dark. For new drivers, all of these factors can combine to create a dangerous situation. That’s why it’s important to take your time and slow down while driving at night. By increasing your following distance and being extra cautious at intersections, you can help reduce your risk of an accident.

There are also fewer cars on the road, which tempts drivers to speed. Speeding is one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. When drivers exceed the posted speed limit, they put themselves and others at risk. Speeding makes it difficult to control the car, and it also increases the chances of being involved in a collision. In addition, speeding makes it more difficult to stop in an emergency situation. Drivers who speed are more likely to lose control of their car, and they are also more likely to be involved in a serious accident. These risks are even higher at night when it’s harder to see. If you are caught speeding, you may be subject to a ticket or even imprisonment. Don’t speed at night or during the day. 

#4: Be a Defensive Driver

When driving at night, it’s important to be extra vigilant and drive defensively. This is because there are more potential hazards on the road, and it can be more difficult to see them or gauge their size. For example, deer are more active at night, and they can cause serious damage to your car if you hit them. Additionally, drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road at night. This is especially true on weekends. As a result, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and drive defensively (giving yourself ample space between you and the car ahead of you, driving at a more cautious speed, and slowing down well ahead of anything that appears in your way on the road) when driving at night.

#5: Turn down the lights Inside your Car

When you’re driving at night, it’s important to be able to see as much of the road as possible. Unfortunately, this can be difficult when you have lights on inside your car. The glare from the dashboard, console, and other interior lights can make it harder to see outside, and it can even cause eye fatigue. Additionally, when your eyes are adapted to the darkness, they can be temporarily blinded by sudden bright light. This is why it’s important to dim your interior lights when driving at night. By reducing the amount of light inside your car, you’ll be able to see more of the road and reduce the risk of an accident.

#6: Watch for Animals

According to Havahart, “​​In a given year, there are over 260,000 crashes involving animals accounting for 12,000 human injuries, and over 150 human fatalities.” This statistic counts for both daytime and nighttime, but when driving at night you will have even less time to react. If you are in a wooded area or a place known for wildlife, we highly recommend slowing down at night. 

Take each winding turn slower, making sure you have enough time to stop in the event an animal darts out in front of your car. You will also need to be hyper aware of your surroundings. Many people have the instinct to swerve out of the way or try and avoid the animal. 

But the unfortunate truth is that sometimes swerving out of the way can cause more harm to you and other drivers on the road. When reacting that way, you can accidentally swerve into oncoming traffic, a telephone pole, or off a cliff. Watching for animals is extremely difficult, but they cause a risk of serious injury concern and are a consideration that everyone should take seriously. 

#7: Clean your Windshield

A clean windshield is important for several reasons. First, it helps you as the driver to see clearly. A dirty windshield can obstruct the driver’s side view, making it more difficult to see potential hazards on the road. A clean windshield also helps reflect light from oncoming headlights, making it easier for the driver to see at night. Lastly, a clean windshield helps you to focus on the road. A dirty windshield can be distracting, and it can cause you to take your eyes off the road. As a result, a clean windshield is essential for safe driving at night. 

#8: Avoid roads that make you uncomfortable

When you’re a new driver, it’s important to not drive on roads you don’t feel comfortable (yet) on at night time. While it may seem like a good idea to get some experience driving in different conditions, it’s not worth risking your safety. If you don’t yet feel comfortable on the freeway or a windy road, then nighttime is not the time to try it. Get plenty of practice during the day and, once you feel comfortable, go ahead and try to take that new route at night. 

Driving at night is already more challenging than during the day, and you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you’re not comfortable. Stick to well-lit roads that you’re familiar with. 


Driving at night can be a challenge for even the most seasoned driver. For new teen drivers, it can be even more daunting. It’s important that all new drivers take driving at night seriously to ensure they arrive at their destination safely along with keeping other vehicles on the road safe. We know accidents happen, but if you follow these 8 tips you will be better prepared for whatever the road throws your way while driving at night.