Night driving presents very different challenges from driving during the day. At night – without the colour and contrast of the day – vision and depth perception are significantly challenged.

Here are some tips for improving your vision and driving ability at night. You can also talk to your parent / supervisor or Streetwise Driver Instructor to ensure you gain as much night time driving experience as you can.  We have so many amazing learn to drive routes on the Gold Coast to take advantage of:

  • If you are still utilising your triple time hours in your QLD logbook, these are allocated BUT you must have actual hours of night driving, so one hour is placed in the night column whilst the remaining two hours are allocated to the day time driving column.
  • Before you drive, check that all exterior lights work properly (front and rear, brake lights and high beams), and ensure your windows and headlights are clean (inside and outside). Dirty windows can add to glare and impair vision, making it more difficult to see; dirty headlights can greatly reduce efficiency and visibility to other road users.
  • Avoid using high beams when it’s foggy – they will reduce your own ability to see and may temporarily blind other drivers.
  • Avoid flashing your high beams at another vehicle that has their high beams on – this will affect their visibility and the visibility of other drivers.
  • Adjust your rear-view mirror to avoid the reflection of other vehicles’ headlights – most cars have ‘day/night’ rear-view mirrors that can be tilted easily to reduce the glare. NB:  in the driving test you could be asked what this control is, it’s a night/light deflector.
  • Avoid using your vehicle’s interior light while driving – if you need to check the map, safely pull over to the side of the road first as it can be otherwise highly distracting whilst driving.
  • Keep your eyes moving, watch for flashes of light – at the top of hills on your horizon, at road bends and intersections – that may indicate the headlights of other cars.  This can often give you more anticipation time as its easier to see lights up ahead in the dark.
  • Increase your crash avoidance space to make it easier to spot potential hazards and give you more time to respond.
  • Night time driving requires lots of concentration, which can be tiring. To prevent fatigue, take frequent breaks to give your eyes a chance to recover, especially if you are driving a long distance.
  • Reduce your exposure to peer group distraction if you have loud passengers, pay more attention and ensure your passengers understand “YOUR” rules for getting in the car. 

The licensing laws in your State or Territory will require you to log a minimum number of night driving hours as a learner; given that car crash rates increase considerably after dark.  You should aim to do as much night time practice as you can, in as many driving situations, for example Motorway, country drives, busy urban and wet weather.  The more exposure you have to these driving experiences the more preemptive you will be as a solo driver.