Driving at night, you’re in a high contrast world: the brights are bright and the darks are dark, with almost nothing in between.
Pedestrians wearing black are virtually invisible unless they’re back-lit. Even mid-tones disappear in the darkness.
Then there are other cars’ headlights, the blessing and the curse. The good news is you can see cars coming down a side street at least twenty feet away, and you know when someone’s behind you. The bad news is the oncoming headlights are bright, and their glare can temporarily blind you.
DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE HEADLIGHTS. Look at the lane lines and watch the headlights from the corner of your eye.
Turn on your headlights as needed, at sunset, or when most of the other cars have theirs on.
Your high beams are WAY brighter, illuminating much further ahead, but should be reserved for the blackest darkness (like the hills or canyons), because they will also blind any oncoming drivers. If there are any oncoming drivers, make sure your high beams are OFF. When they’re on, you will also see a blue light on your dashboard.
Other drivers can’t see you wave them ahead at night, but you can flash your high beams, twice, and that’s usually understood to mean, “I see you, go ahead.’
If it’s full-on dark of night and everyone has their lights on, and one goofball doesn’t, you can turn your lights off, then on, twice, and that’s usually understood to mean, ‘Turn on your headlights, goofball.’