Driving safely at night

It’s more than likely you’ve plenty of experience of driving a car at night or in the dark, so you’ll understand the greater challenges that come with sitting behind the wheel when the sun goes down.

Although there is about 60% less traffic at night, there are about 40% more fatal accidents – often because drivers fall asleep at the wheel or because they look directly at the headlights of oncoming traffic.

As a motorhome is obviously a lot bigger than a car, it makes sense to think about why driving at night might throw up additional challenges – even for the most experienced driver.


Low light levels means it is more difficult to accurately gauge distances, as well as identify pedestrians or obstacles such as potholes.

Glare can also cause issues: this is because our eyes take more time to adjust between bright lights and the dark.

Eye strain

If you’ve been driving a lot during the day, your eyes get tired and this can be exacerbated by the additional strain of concentrating at night.

Reaction time

Our reaction times are slower when the light levels are low – important to know when you are driving at 20mph or 60mph.

Here are a few tips that you can follow to make night driving more comfortable and less stressful for you.


Satnavs remove much of the stress when it comes to tackling an unknown journey, but it doesn’t hurt to plan your route so you know when you’ll be driving on main roads or country lanes.

Drive slower

As noted above, our reaction times tend to be a little slower in the dark, so take the pedal off the gas and enjoy a slower, steadier and safer, ride.


Adjust your headlights, according to how laden your motorhome is. This will ensure you can see what’s ahead of you properly and you’ll also not be dazzling oncoming drivers. Check your vehicle manual to see how to do this.

Interior lights

Minimise distractions inside your vehicle by switching off all but essential interior lights – you might also be able to adjust the light levels of your dashboard.


Your passengers might want to be warm and cosy, but it can make the driver feel drowsy, so turn down the thermostat a bit and have a bit of cooler air on your face to help keep you alert.

Adjust your seat

If you normally enjoy a more relaxed/reclined seated position, adjust the seat so you are sitting up a little more straight as it could help you to maintain concentration.


Top up your wiper fluid and make sure your windows are clean inside and out before you set off – a streaky, dirty windscreen is more noticeable at night than during the day.


If your route takes you off motorways onto minor roads and country lanes, watch out for animals that cross roads without any regard for vehicles that might be in their path.

Don’t be dazzled

It’s a mistake to look directly at other cars’ headlights because the glare can impair your vision, even for a few seconds.

The RAC recommends looking to the left-hand side of the road and following the white line that marks the edge of the road, if there is one.


Last, but by no means least, don’t drive while tired – it can be as dangerous as drink-driving. According to Brake, 10-20% of all vehicle crashes are caused by driver fatigue, while it contributes to 4% of fatal road accidents.

Take regular breaks, get some fresh air and stretch your legs or – even better – park up and get some proper rest before setting off again.

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