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Why Should You Drive Slower at Night?

You’ll most likely never see us encourage speeding, especially at night.

You should avoid speeding for many reasons beyond just avoiding a ticket and increased insurance premiums.

At night, however, speeding gets more dangerous. So why should you drive slower at night?

Let’s take a look!

Why Should You Drive Slower at Night?

Driving slower at night increases the amount of time you have to react. You never know when an animal or other object will be in the middle of the road. Excessive speeds reduce your reaction time and require a much farther stopping distance. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that animals might be more active at night. Animals like raccoons and opossums typically venture out at nighttime, but deer will be more active during twilight. Reducing your speed improves your ability to see and react to them.

It’s also important to keep in mind the weather conditions. If there’s snow or water on the roads and the temperature drops during nighttime, the streets could be slick. Bridges and overpasses that allow the cold air to surround them will freeze first. Driving too fast could cause you to slide right off the side of the road.

Man driving at night.
Reducing your speed can keep you safe if you’re RVing at night.

Should Drivers Dim Lights When Driving at Night? 

The bright lights of your dashboard can be distracting. Even quickly glancing down at your dashboard can cause issues for your eyes. Many newer vehicles use fancy LED screens that are crisp and easy to read but are significantly brighter than older displays. 

Dim the lights of your display, so they’re not distracting, but you can still read all the necessary information. This will help avoid any distractions. It’ll also allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness so you can see better. On top of driving slower at night, dimming the lights can really make a difference.

Pro Tip: Take on-road lessons and feel more comfortable driving your RV. Learn more about What Is RV Driving School?

Are High Beams Illegal?

It’s not illegal to use high beam headlights on your car. However, most states have laws regarding their use. These laws typically indicate that drivers must switch to their low beam headlights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. Some states also have regulations for switching to low beams when following vehicles.

Woman on phone driving at night.
Remove all distractions while driving at night!

Tips for Driving at Night

When you drive safely, you protect not only yourself and your passengers but others on the road as well. Here are a handful of tips for driving slowly and safely at night.

Be Alert

You want to be in the right mindset no matter what time of day you’re driving, but especially at night. Driving while you’re drowsy or not clear-headed is never a good idea. If you plan to drive through the night, make sure to get plenty of sleep before you start your trip and stop when necessary.

You can stop at gas stations, rest stops, and fast food establishments even late into the night. Pull over, get coffee, have some snacks, and walk around to keep yourself alert. 

Drive Slower

We can’t say enough about why you should drive slower at night. If you have a lead foot, keep it in check when driving at night. Going too fast can be incredibly dangerous because it limits your reaction time and increases the distance required to stop.

You may only have a second or two to respond if you see an object in the road or an animal runs out in front of you. Since every second counts, give yourself as much time as possible to make a decision.

Keep Your Interior Dark

Dim the lights on your dashboard electronics, and make sure to keep any overhead lights out as well. When driving slower at night, extreme amounts of light can make it challenging to see and cause glares on your windshield. Lights can also make it hard for your eyes to adjust, especially if you find yourself looking back and forth from your bright dash to the dark highway.

Look Far Ahead and Check Mirrors

While it’s always important to keep your eyes on the road, it’s essential while driving at night. Look far ahead to watch for any obstructions in the road, the glowing eyes of animals, or reflectors from bikers and walkers.

It’s also vital that you keep an eye on your mirrors. You’ll want to be able to see behind you for traffic. However, you may need to adjust your rearview mirror to the night setting to minimize the harshness of the lights behind you. This setting provides less clarity but makes it easier to see at night.

Pro Tip: Do you prefer to kick off your shoes while driving? Before you go barefoot on the road, find out Is Driving Barefoot Illegal?

Is Driving at Night Safe? 

If you take the proper precautions, driving at night can be safe. You don’t want to put yourself and others in a dangerous situation by driving at night. If you’re not comfortable driving in the dark, then don’t.

Many people can’t drive at night due to issues with their vision or other circumstances. It may be inconvenient, but it’s better to be safe than to find out the hard way why you should drive slower at night.

Driving is a dangerous activity, no matter when you’re doing it. This activity requires your full attention, especially at night. You can easily miss or overlook items in the road or animals who’ve crept into your path.

Could Driving Slower at Night Save Your Life? 

Why should you drive slower at night? It might just save your or someone else’s life.

You significantly reduce the chances of an accident by driving slower at night. Every second counts if you’re driving at night and encounter some kind of hazard. So back off the gas pedal and take your time. When you’re in a hurry, you make mistakes, and people can get hurt or worse.

Do you avoid driving at night? Drop a comment below!

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