Night Driving in Uganda: Important Things to Know

Driving in Uganda at night is more dangerous than driving during the day! For foreigh drivers as well as locals who are unfamiliar with the roads they are driving on, you are advised not to drive beyond 8.00PM.

We advise visitors against driving beyond 8.00PM because of the following reasosn;

  • Most of Uganda’s rural areas are not well lit (with some areas relying on natural light!).
  • There are also chances of finding unlicensed road users using the absence of traffic officers to also hit the road thus increasing accident risks! – You will easily find cars and trucks with no headlights,drunk drivers etc.
  • There are also other safety risks – highway robbery and theft cases

To improve your safety on the road at night, here are essential guidelines to follow:

  • Make sure your windscreen and lights are clean
  • Never wear dark glasses
  • Watch for pedestrians and cyclists – they are harder to see at night especially the boda boda riders who jump into the road from any corner.
  • Stop and rest if you are sleepy
  • Don’t blind other drivers with your vehicle’s headlights – dip them when vehicles are coming towards you or when you are following another vehicle
  • If you are blinded by the lights of oncoming vehicles, please slow down or stop

Try to keep your eyes on the left side of the road, so you’re not looking directly at the light

  • Drive at a speed that means you can see the road at least two seconds ahead.In an area without street lighting, use full beam as appropriate to increase your range of visibility

When to use headlights

You must turn on your vehicle’s headlights:

  • from 30 minutes after sunset on one day, until 30 minutes before sunrise on the next day
  • At any other time when you can’t clearly see a person or vehicle 100 metres away.

Never drive with just the park lights on and park lights are now referred to as position lights.

When to dip your vehicle’s headlights

You must dip your vehicle’s headlights:

  • when other vehicles are coming towards you, so that you don’t blind the oncoming driver
  • when you are following other vehicles
  • when you are approaching a police officer who is directing traffic
  • When parked. If there is plenty of street light, you should be able to drive with your headlights dipped the whole time.

At night, just as during the daytime, you must drive at a safe speed. This means that on a road with lanes, you must be able to stop in the length of clear road you can see in front of you and on a road with no lanes; you must be able to stop in half the length of clear road you can see in front of you.

At night, most road signs are highly reflective, your lights shining on them may make you think you can clearly see further than you really can. Make sure you drive more slowly and carefully at night, particularly on unfamiliar roads especially those driving to National parks.

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