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5 Tips for Driving at Dusk

The Challenges of Driving At Dusk

One time of day we don’t think about is dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is a very difficult time to drive. Here are five 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. 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 we look into the sun while. 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 vehicle’s shades and adjust the mirrors. Consider pulling over to the side of the road to wait for sun to set, 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 vehicle, especially if the headlights aren’t on and 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. Animals 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. Temperatures change at night and can have an impact on our ability to drive safely: If the temperature and humidity inside our vehicle is different than outside, our windows could fog up. You can correct this by opening the windows slightly or by running the defroster.