Night Driving & Lighting

Placeholder Alaska Other Regulations

On the basis of miles driven, the fatal crash rate for night driving is greater than for daytime driving. This is due to the inability of the driver to see as far, as soon, and as much.


The glare from the headlights of oncoming vehicles causes the pupil of the eye to con- tract. After the vehicle has passed it takes an interval of time for the pupil to readjust to the less intense light. This is called glare recovery time. During this recovery period you are virtually driving blind. Glare recovery time is not based on visual acuity and varies from person to person. The problem is generally more acute in older drivers and those in poor physical condition.


  • Be sure headlights are in working order and lenses clean. (Check high and low beam on garage wall.)
  • Keep windshield clean.
  • Don’t look at the “hot spot” in the headlight pattern of approaching cars.
  • Wear sunglasses in bright sunlight to protect night seeing ability. Do not wear sun- glasses at night.
  • Tinted windshields affect night vision.
  • Remember that even moderate drinking may reduce one’s vision as well as reaction
  • Both prescription medicines and nonprescription medicines may affect driving, read labels carefully.
  • Carry a flashlight and flares.


  1. Headlights must be turned on from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.
  2. Headlights must be turned on in daytime when visibility is reduced to 1000 feet or less by fog, rain, snow, smoke, or dust.
  3. Change headlights to low beam (dim) 500 feet or more from oncoming vehicle.
  4. Change headlights to low beam (dim) 300 feet or more from vehicle going in the same direction.
  5. Parking lights denote a parked vehicle. Do not use only parking lights, day or night, when vehicle is in motion.


  1. Turn on headlights at dusk and in daytime when visibility is poor to make sure that the other driver sees you.
  2. Use low beam (dim) when driving in rain, fog, snow, or dust.
  3. When meeting vehicles at night do not stare at headlights.

Use quick glances to:

  1. Check oncoming vehicle for lane position.
  2. Check your own vehicle’s position.
  3. Check right edge of road.
  4. Look ahead for objects in your driving path.