DMV Questions about Night Driving

DMV Test: What you must know about night driving

Study the Night Driving Chapter in Your Manual

Get your state’s driver guide ready and look up a chapter about night driving. After studying it, see if you can answer the questions below:

Question 1: Compared to daytime driving, driving at night is:

  •   A. Easier for most drivers
  •   B. Less dangerous
  •   C. More difficult

Night driving is more difficult and dangerous than daytime driving. The risk of a fatal crash is three times greater at night.

Question 2: When you drive at night:

  •   A. You cannot see as far ahead as you can in daylight
  •   B. You should wear tinted glasses to avoid glare
  •   C. There is less traffic and you can drive faster than the posted speed limit

At night, you cannot see as far ahead as you can in daylight. Your headlights only let you see about 350 feet ahead and limit your view of the sides of the road.

Question 3: When driving on dark roads with your headlights on, you should make sure:

  •   A. To use high beam headlights when there are oncoming vehicles
  •   B. To keep interior lights on
  •   C. Not to overdrive your headlights

Do not overdrive your headlights. Be sure you are driving slow enough to be able stop or turn within the distance you can see ahead.

Question 4: When driving on a clear night with a steady stream of oncoming traffic, you should turn on:

  •   A. Headlights on high beam
  •   B. Headlights on low beam
  •   C. Parking lights

To avoid blinding others, you must use low beams when there are oncoming vehicles.

Question 5: When driving in heavy rain at night, high beams will often:

  •   A. Cause glare and limit your vision
  •   B. Help you to see more of the road ahead
  •   C. Help to reduce glare

In heavy rain, high beams will cause glare and make it more difficult to see ahead.

Learn more: How to Avoid Glare from Headlights.

Question 6: When it is dark, how far ahead can you normally see with your high beam headlights?

  •   A. 350 feet
  •   B. 800 feet
  •   C. 1,200 feet

High beams let you see about 350 – 400 feet ahead. Dirty lenses can cut that distance in half! So, keep your headlights clean.

Question 7: When you are driving at night and nearing another vehicle from behind, you must:

  •   A. Turn off headlights and use parking lights
  •   B. Flash your headlight as a warning
  •   C. Use your low beam headlights

Always dim your headlights when there is oncoming traffic or when you approach other vehicles from behind.

Question 8: When driving at night you may use your parking lights instead of headlights:

  •   A. On well-lit streets in the city
  •   B. If you are driving at low speed
  •   C. Under no circumstances

Parking lights should only be used when you have parked your vehicle.

Question 9: In which of the following situations should you use headlights on low beams?

  •   A. At night in the city
  •   B. In foggy or misty weather
  •   C. Both A and B
  •   D. Neither A nor B

Use low beams in cities and when there is oncoming traffic. You should also use low beams in fog, rain, or snowfall.

Question 10: You should never use your high-beam headlights if you are:

  •   A. Driving on a road with no median
  •   B. Going down a steep hill
  •   C. Following another car

Use low beams when nearing another vehicle from behind.

Question 11: To drive more safely at night:

  •   A. Don’t drive when you are tired
  •   B. Follow other vehicles more closely
  •   C. Drive with parking lights on when you approach pedestrians

Don’t drive when you are tired. Your reaction time is affected, and it takes longer for you to stop when needed.

DMV Test: How to Avoid Glare From Headlights

Question 12: When a car with bright headlights comes toward you at night you should:

  •   A. Look toward the right edge of your lane
  •   B. Move onto the shoulder
  •   C. Look below the lights

To avoid the glare, glance toward the right edge of your lane.

Question 13: If you are driving with your high beams on, you should dim your lights when you are within 500 feet of:

  •   A. A bridge or overpass
  •   B. An oncoming vehicle
  •   C. A sharp curve or hill

Even if state laws differ, a common rule is to dim your lights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle.

Which is More Dangerous – Driving at Daytime or Night?

The first thing you should know for your Driver License test is that night driving is much more difficult and hazardous than daytime driving. The reasons are many, but the most obvious one is that you can’t see as well when it is dark outside. When you drive on roadways with no streetlights, bicyclists, pedestrians, and obstacles can be much harder to see from a distance.

Whenever it is difficult to see objects ahead, due to darkness, dust, smoke, or bad weather, you must turn on your headlights. In cities and when traffic is heavy, use low beams. Outside cities and when there is no oncoming traffic, turn on your high beams.

High beams headlights let you see about 350 feet ahead, low beams about half that distance. So, it is important to reduce speed at night and not overdrive your headlights.

What Does Over-driving Your Headlights Mean?

To overdrive your headlights means that you are driving too fast to be able to stop within the area illuminated by your headlights.

Under ideal conditions, a driver’s reaction time is about 1.5 seconds. When going 60 mph on a dry road and with good brakes and tires, the same driver needs about 140-150 feet och braking distance. The total stopping distance at 60 mph is close to 300 feet.

Remember, this is under ideal conditions. When your eyes don’t adjust well to darkness and different types of glare, your reaction time can be much greater. Same thing, if you are tired, have been drinking alcohol, or take medications.

When roads are slippery or rough, your braking distance is affected. It can easily be doubled in bad weather.

Your ability to correctly adjust your speed comes with experience. But even experienced driver tends to overdrive their headlights in familiar areas. This why night driving is so hazardous.

When to Turn on Your Headlights

State laws require you to use headlights when it is dark outside. The typical state law defines the hours of darkness from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise. Pay attention to the from and after here. Most people get it wrong. They think it’s dark when the sun sets, so it should be one-half hour before sunset. But it isn’t dark when the sun sets.

To fully understand the facts behind the wording, read this article: Is it Before or After Sunset.

When Should You Use High Beam Headlights?

Since high beams let you see twice as far, you should turn on high beam headlights when it is appropriate and legal. High beams are your best choice when you drive outside cities and when there are other vehicles around. It is important in unfamiliar areas and in construction zones.

Read more: When to Use High Beams

When Should You Use Low Beam Headlights?

In areas with streetlights or heavy traffic, dim your lights to low beam.

You should also use low beams in heavy rain, snowfall, and in fog. High beams tend to reflect in bad weather and may let you see less of the road, not more. Remember to slow down even more in these conditions.

If you are driving with your high beams and there is an oncoming vehicle, you must dim your lights (switch to low beams) to avoid blinding the other driver. State laws define a distance at which you must dim your lights. Even if this distance varies between states, it is usually set to 500 feet.

The same thing applies when you approach another vehicle from behind. Dim your lights at a safe distance. State laws set this distance to somewhere between 200 and 350 feet. Look up the distance in your driver’s manual.

Read more: When to Use Low Beams

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