Driving at night on dark roads

Driving at night on dark roads

Published on 19 January 2014
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Driving your car at night can pose more hazards than driving during day. The dark of night can reduce visibility, making it more difficult to spot pedestrians, road signs and even other vehicles. There are also many dark roads throughout Ireland that don’t have any streetlights.

Fear not, you can take a number of steps to make your driving conditions safer at night.

Before leaving on your journey make sure your windscreen is clean. It may seem obvious but very often people drive with smudged or dirty windscreens.

Also check your lights before driving. Do they work? Are they clean? Are they aligned? Out of line headlights are less effective and can dazzle oncoming traffic.

Always turn on your headlights as soon as the sun goes down. Dipped headlights are usually good enough for night time driving in towns and cities. Sometimes, it will be necessary to turn on your high beam headlights on dark roads. However, these lights should only be used when there are no cars approaching.

If an approaching car dazzles you with their full headlights, you can avoid the dazzle by looking down towards the verge of the road. Slow down and pull in if it is safe to do so, and always look out for pedestrians or cyclists approaching.

Slowing down will also make it easier for you to drive on dark roads at night. Drive at a speed at which you feel comfortable and in control of the car. On an unlit road and in good driving conditions, the headlights of a typical car will let you see for about 100 metres. Dipped headlights will let you see for 30 metres only, and it takes a car travelling at 100 km per hour just one second to cover that length.

Breakdown assistance

If you are unfortunate enough to breakdown at night, we can provide breakdown assistance. Please refer to your policy documentation to see if this is included. Breakdown cover provides:

  • 24hr Roadside assistance
  • Home Start
  • Vehicle recovery or Journey completion
Driving at night on dark roads