As Night Falls: Teens and Driving at Night

With football season upon us, your teen driver may be out late cheering his or her favorite team to victory and then driving home. With that, comes an increased chance of being involved in a crash. It is harder to see and be seen and things look differently at night.

According to the National Safety Council, 19% of fatal crashes involving a teen driver between the ages of 15 and 17 occur between 6 and 9 p.m., and 18% of crashes involving a teen driver between the ages of 15 and 19 occur between 9 p.m. and midnight. This six-hour time period is a dangerous time for young drivers.

You can equip your teen driver with some skills to help them drive successfully at night:

  • Give your teen plenty of opportunities to learn how to drive at night
  • Gradually extend the hours they are allowed to keep the car out as they gain experience over the course of their first year of driving
  • Headlights should be on before the sun sets
  • Windows and mirrors should be clean and streak free so to reduce glare from oncoming headlights
  • Make sure your teen driver understands the use of high beams
  • Drowsy driving is impaired driving; do not drive if you’re too tired

Knowing how to drive alert and at a safe distance is important to keeping your teen safe on the road.

— Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council