10 Things You Should Do When Driving At Night

Driving at night can be peaceful because there are fewer cars on the road and the sun doesn't hurt your eyes. However, night driving comes with its own set of dangers and difficulties.  RV owners should be especially careful because controlling such a large and heavy vehicle compounds the risks.

In many cases, it's better to avoid driving once the sun goes down. But sometimes it's unavoidable, especially if you're doing a long haul.  To keep yourself and other drivers safe, follow along with these night driving safety tips.

1. Don't drive drowsy

This is incredibly dangerous because it slows your reaction time and increases the likelihood of a crash. If you notice yourself nodding off, pull over as soon as possible. Switch off with another driver, or do whatever you need to do to wake yourself up.

2. Follow the speed limit

Your vision is limited at night. You won't be able to see approaching dangers and avoid them if you've got the pedal to the floor. Plus, you're more likely to get a speeding ticket if you're the only one on the road that's going above the speed limit.

3. Adjust your headlights

Figure out the different settings for your headlights if you plan on doing a lot of night driving.   You obviously need a functional pair so you can see where you're going and avoid a ticket. But you should also have different settings for your standard lights and high beams.

If someone is driving toward you and their headlights are facing you, don't look directly into them.  Instead, try to focus on the guidelines on the road. Keep your vehicle in a straight line and follow the side lines, not the other lane markers.

4. Don't look directly at oncoming headlights

5. Increase your visibility

Some drivers might not notice the full length and width of your vehicle. To help them out, you should make your RV as visible as possible. You might install reflective tape along the edges or use auxiliary lighting on the sides and back.

6. Regularly check your mirrors

Make it a habit to scan your surroundings and check your mirrors on a regular basis. That way, you won't be surprised when changes occur.  Even if you think you're alone on the road, that could change at any time. You should always expect more vehicles to appear.

7. Keep your windshield clean

Smears and smudges on the windshield can make it hard to identify oncoming vehicles. If the windshield is blurry or streaked, you'll have to concentrate extra hard to see anything. It will also make it harder to read signs and road markers.

8. Don't use interior lighting

Don't use overhead lights, and keep the control panel dimmed while you're driving. These lights can desensitize you to headlights on the road, and you don't want that! Switch smart devices to dark mode as well.

9. Watch out for wildlife

You will also want to keep your eyes peeled for deer and other wildlife that might wander onto the road.  This is a driving risk during any time of day, but the chances of hitting an animal are increased at night. 

10. Use an RV-safe GPS

For help mapping out your route, look no further than RV LIFE Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App. This online planning tool makes it easy to plan an RV-safe route based on your travel preferences. It can also locate rest stops and overnight parking along the way, as well as fuel stations, campgrounds, and other points of interest.