There are a variety of traffic and road conditions all across the country. Adjusting your driving style at night can be particularly important when you are traveling on rural roads where roadway lighting can be limited or even non-existent.
Based on her experience, Penny Davis, a Young Drivers Driving Instructor for 25 years, emphasizes how important visibility is. “One way to help increase visibility is to use your high beam lights whenever possible. Avoid over-driving your headlights.” By over-driving your headlights, that would mean traveling at a speed where your stopping distance is greater than the distance illuminated by your headlights.
As well, the posted highway speed limit is for ideal conditions. On a dark highway, it is a good idea to reduce speed. Penny explains, “Adjusting your speed and looking well ahead will help minimize your risk. Be sure to maintain a minimum eye lead time of 20-30 seconds, which is approximately 1 kilometer. In other words, look to where you think you’ll be in 20 to 30 seconds. Particularly out in the country, you may encounter animals on the roads. Be prepared to anticipate any problems.”
In addition to turning on your high beams and reducing your speed, remember to keep your eyes moving. Check your rear view mirror and side mirrors to gauge what is happening around your vehicle at all times.
Hopefully, these driving tips have helped shed some light on driving at night.