Top tips for driving at dusk
There are challenges to driving at all times of day or night:
• During the day, we might be blinded by the sun
• During the night, we might not see very well even if our vehicle's headlights are illuminating the path
But one time of day we don't think about is dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is a very difficult time to drive. Here are some top tips to drive at dusk:
1. Be aware of the quickly changing light conditions. One moment might be extremely sunny so we are forced to wear sunglasses, but within moments, the sun can darken and our sunglasses end up doing more harm than good. And, if we don't have sunglasses, be aware that the rapidly changing light conditions can be very difficult on our eyes (which have a hard time adjusting to those fast-changing conditions). There isn't a lot you can do about it but awareness helps.
2. Be aware of the setting sun. Have you ever had momentary blindness after a camera has flashed? The same thing can happen if look into the sun while we are driving. This can happen if we are driving west during sunset or if we are driving east (and see the sun reflected in our mirrors). If possible, use your car's shades and adjust the mirrors. Consider pulling over to the side of the road to wait for sun to set a little first, or take another route that doesn't drive directly toward the setting sun.
3. Turn on headlights. With rapidly changing light conditions, it can be easy for someone to miss our car, especially if the headlights aren't on and it becomes dark quickly. Turn on your headlights if you will be driving during dusk, even if it is still quite light out.
4. Be aware that this is a time for animals to come out. Although timid animals might not come out during the day, many of them come out at night when it feels safer. But they also come out because they are dazzled by the headlights of vehicles. Drive a little slower during dusk and pay special attention to the sides of the roads (especially in rural areas) to watch for movement among the grass that could indicate an approaching animal.
5. Be aware of changing temperatures. It's easy to point out the obvious changing light conditions. But temperatures also change at night and this can have an impact on our ability to drive safely: If the temperature and humidity inside our car is different than outside, our windows could fog up. You can correct this by opening the windows slightly or by running the defroster.
Every time of day offers different challenges when we drive. When you have to drive at dusk, use these 5 top tips to help you drive safer.
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