2019 Toyota RAV4 driving on an empty road at night

Driving in the Dark? Follow These Safety Guidelines

Thanks to headlight glare, animal crossings, and reduced visibility, driving at night can be a lot more dangerous than driving during the day. Find our top 5 tips for safe driving at night here.

5 Tips for Safe Driving At Night

Follow Headlight Etiquette

It’s pretty obvious that using your headlights during night driving can drastically improve your field of view. However, it can be easy to turn the brights on for maximum visibility and forget to turn them off when a vehicle approaches. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with automatic headlights, be sure to dim your brights whenever there is oncoming traffic, so you aren’t causing unnecessary glare for other drivers.

[Read More: How to Brighten and Dim the Dashboard Lights on Your Toyota]

Car headlights illuminating a wooded road at nightLook Out For Animals

Animal crossings always seem to pick up in the fall thanks to mating and hunting seasons. Be sure to keep a sharp eye on the sides of the roads and watch for animals who are looking to dart across. Be especially vigilant during dawn and dusk when animals are the most active. At night, look for their eyes first as they glow from the reflection of your headlights.

Dim Interior Lights

Keep eye strain at bay by making sure your interior dashboard and touchscreen lights are dimmed. When your eyes have to switch between bright interior lights and the darkness outside, it can take them a lot longer to focus and could distract you from seeing oncoming hazards. If you aren’t sure how to dim your interior lights, check your owner’s manual which should provide some useful information.

Keep Your Windshield Clean

Glare from oncoming headlights can cause limited visibility and is a major distraction during night driving. While there isn’t much you can do to avoid headlight glare entirely, you can be sure to keep your windshield clean which can help to minimize the issue. We like using a solution of diluted vinegar and water to clean the windshield as it can help remove oils left from fingerprints.

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Increase Your Following Distance

The best way to ensure that you and your passengers have a safe driving experience at night is by increasing your following distance to give yourself plenty of time to react to changing conditions. We like to take the following distance we use during dry conditions and daylight hours and double it.