Night Driving Tips: 11 Tips to Stay Safe on Dark Roads

by EzLicence Last updated


If you’re a new driver or hold a current learner's licence, getting the hang of night time driving is a crucial part of becoming a competent and safe driver. Driving at night for the first time, or without much practice, can be a daunting prospect. The lower visibility of the road presents challenges for learners that can make driving at night more difficult - but there are ways to make night driving a more simple and safe experience. 

Here, we have assembled some tips to aid new drivers or learners who are looking to increase their night hours in preparation for night driving sessions, so that you can begin to drive on dark roads with more confidence and skills up your sleeve - keeping you and everyone on the road safe. Plus whether you’re from Sydney, Melbourne or one of our many other cities served in Australia, you can find the right driving instructor for you and book an evening session - a great way to get confident driving at night. 

General Tips for Driving at Night

1. Optimise Your View

Before a night drive session, ensure a clear and unobstructed view of the road by keeping windows clean and headlights properly adjusted. This includes removing any items hanging from the rear view mirror, and anything that may be sitting on the dashboard - you don’t want any distractions around that might disturb your focus. 

2. Properly Angle Your Headlights

Adjust your headlights to illuminate the road effectively without blinding oncoming drivers. Having correctly angled headlights is crucial for night time drivers, particularly on poorly lit roads such as freeways.

3. Manage the Interior Lighting of Your Car

Minimise interior distractions and glare by adjusting dashboard and cabin lighting. Interior lighting can cause issues when driving at night, particularly reducing visibility of cars behind from the rear view mirror. 

4. Focus on Visual Awareness

Keep your eyes moving, scan the road ahead, and check your mirrors regularly. Never take your eyes off the road, even a split second could cause an accident. Keep your phone out of view so you're not tempted to read notifications, and request that your front seat passenger doesn’t use their phone on high brightness or ideally at all. 

5. Test and Maintain Your Lights

Regularly check and maintain your vehicle's brake lights, head lights and blinkers to ensure they are working correctly. Monitor how long since your lights have been replaced. If you notice a dimmed or flickering light, replace it immediately even if the effect is mild - you definitely do not want to lose your light source on a dark road. 

Stay Alert and Attentive Behind the Wheel

7. Take Breaks to Combat Fatigue

Stay alert by getting adequate rest before night drives, taking breaks, and avoiding driving when tired. If you begin to feel fatigued, pull over as soon as is safely possible and have a rest. If you are a learner with a driving instructor or parent and still feel tired after pulling over, let them know and request they drive you home or take over for a while. 

8. Reduce Eye Strain Where Possible

Dim dashboard lights and use night mode on navigation systems to reduce eye strain during long drives. The intense concentration required for driving at night can be quite straining on the eyes. Regular breaks on longer drives helps to combat some of the eye strain that comes with this level of visual focus.

Drive Safer and Smarter in the Dark

9. Adjust Your Speed for Sharp Corners and Other Drivers

Reduce your speed to account for reduced visibility and increased stopping distances at night. Corners often present a change in direction and can hide potential hazards like obstacles, pedestrians, or oncoming traffic. Slowing gives you more time to react to any unexpected situations that may arise, especially at night when it is more difficult to see.

10. Use High Beams Strategically to Keep Yourself and Oncoming Cars Safe

Use high beams on dark, empty roads, but switch to low beams when approaching other vehicles. High beams are helpful for unlit roads but must be used with care, as to ensure you don’t blind coming drivers.

11. Watch Out for Wildlife on Australian Roads

Be cautious and prepared for wildlife crossing roads, especially in rural areas like WA and Tasmania. Wildlife strikes are all too common in Australia, accounting not only for a large number of fatal accidents, but also threatening some populations of native species.

Book Night Drive Sessions with Expert Instructors

EzLicence allows learner drivers to compare and book skilled driving instructors in your area! Improve your night driving skills today.  

Night-Time Driving FAQs

How can I be more confident driving in the dark?

Practice makes perfect! While these tips are a great starting point, the only way you will gain confidence in your night driving skills is by consistently driving at night and striving for improvement. 

What is the best general rule for night driving?

Never look directly at oncoming headlights. Instead, always keep your eyes on the road ahead of you or in mirrors. If someone doesn't turn their high beams off as you approach, don't take your eyes off the road, focus on the white line in the middle.

How can I get better at night driving?

Book driving lessons with a skilled professional driving instructor. Instructors are trained to help you learn in a way that is simple and effective, putting you at ease and drastically improving your night driving abilities. 

How many hours of night driving do learner drivers need before the test?

This varies from state to state. For NSW 20 night hours are needed, TAS and SA require 15 and QLD & the ACT require 10 night hours. In WA you only need 5 night time hours.

What times are considered night hours in Australia?

Across Australia, from sunset to sunrise are considered night time driving hours. 

About the author


EzLicence takes the hassle out of choosing a driving school by helping learner drivers find, compare and book verified driving instructors online.

The EzLicence online platform brings transparency, choice and efficiency to booking and managing driving instructors and driving lessons in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Find a driving instructor

Including availability, pricing & bookings

Popular Articles