Driving at night has its own particular risks. With the combination of reduced visibility, risk of glare and fatigue, it is best to change our habits and adopt safe practices to ensure our safety and that of others.
Several factors come together to make nighttime driving more complicated. The principal ones concern:
At night, our vision is affected by the decrease in natural light. Headlights are unable to compensate for the lack of daylight. Contrasts are less pronounced, which affects depth perception and our ability to see movement. As a result:
In order to properly “read the road”, it is therefore necessary to look beyond the headlight illumination range. It is also important to adopt strategies specific to nighttime driving:
Light cast by the headlights must ensure good visibility, both for you and for drivers in other vehicles, which is why it is important to make sure that headlights and lights are clean and work well.
Do not blind other drivers! It's the law!
It is mandatory to switch to low-beams:
If you fail to obey the law, you are liable to a fine of $60 to $100, plus costs.
Taillights are what allow drivers in vehicles behind you to spot you. It is important that these lights work well and not be obstructed.
With the exception of dashboard lighting, all lights inside a vehicle must be turned off to avoid the risk of glare.
Dashboard lighting can be adjusted to a brighter setting when in a city, and dimmed when on a road that has little or no lighting. In the latter case, it is recommended that dashboard lighting be dimmed as much as possible to avoid visual fatigue.
When driving at night, it is more prudent to:
In some places, signs warn drivers that they may come across wild animals. However, wild animals are also present in other areas where there are no signs. It is important to be careful at all times. Slow down.
If you drive at night
Driving at night requires you to be even more vigilant, which could cause you to tire more quickly. Take a break every 2 hours to counter the effects of driver fatigue. At the first signs of fatigue, stop in a safe location and take a 15- to 30-minute nap.
Last update: October 12, 2018