Preparing to Drive at Night

Preparing to Drive at Night

One of the most stressful things a new driver can do is take their first drive at night. This is especially true if you have only just passed your test as the chances are that your initial experience with an instructor will have been during the day when circumstances were less challenging. 

The primary issue with driving during the night is the reduced visibility, however, there are other issues to contend with. Colors are not as easily perceptible and contrast is less clear, with the edges of things coalescing, putting an added strain on the eyes. Add in a shower of rain and driving at night can be rather challenging.

In this article, we’ll be looking at a few ways you can prepare for your first night drive and a couple of things to bear in mind about night driving.


Before you drive off into the night, you should make sure that your lights are clear of dirt and have a quick check that indicators, brake lights, and main lights are all operating properly. It is also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the position of your lights in your car and how they operate.

You should also keep in mind that Urban areas will generally be well lit but could have more traffic, particularly in areas like cities. However, rural areas often have no lighting at all, not even cat’s eyes on the roads so extra care has to be taken.

Using Full Beams

In most urban situations and roads where there is a decent amount of traffic, you should be using your dipped beams. Your full beam lights should be reserved for dark roads where there is no other traffic or pedestrians visible.

If you are using your full beams you see a vehicle approaching or a pedestrian or cyclist on the road, you’ll need to dip your headlights. If you continue to use your full beams, you run the risk of momentarily blinding someone driving towards you and potentially causing an accident.

Staying Aware

Awareness is a key part of road safety during the day and this is doubly true at night. Cyclists and pedestrians can simply blend into the background, especially if they are not wearing high-visibility clothing. Because of this, it is always important to check twice at junctions and before you move off.

You will also need to take extra care when ordering maneuvers, such as parking and overtaking, during the night. This is because low light conditions make it hard to judge distances and conceal changes in elevation or potholes that would be obvious during the day.

Expert Training

The Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provide the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.

At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.

Written by:
Rich Heinrich
Master Instructor, Emeritus

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More