Both dawn and dusk are some of the most dangerous times to drive. The sun is often low enough in the sky to cause glare in drivers’ eyes, while deep shadows can make it difficult to spot changing road conditions. In order to stay safe during these hazardous driving times, follow these tips:
Turn on your headlights.
Although you may not need them to see where you’re driving, your headlights should be switched on to make your vehicle easy to see. While many newer cars have daytime running lights and automatic headlight options, don’t take those for granted. Use the switch to ensure your headlights are on and stay on throughout the drive.
Dim your dashboard lights.
Looking between the bright dash lights and the darkening road can make it difficult for your eyes to adjust in time to spot any issues. Turning down your dash lights will help prevent the problem. Make sure you’re still able to read the gauges when dimming the dash. Be sure to do this only when you are parked or your car is not in motion, so that you are not distracted from driving.
Don’t drive drowsy.
Our brain is hard-wired to be sleepy when it’s dark outside. Because the sun rises late and sets early this time of year, it’s likely you’ll be out driving during these times. If you find yourself distracted or having issues focusing on the road, pull over. Be aware that other drivers may be drowsy as well – so watch for vehicles that have trouble maintaining their speed or are swerving between lanes.
Watch for walkers.
Pedestrians and bikers are difficult to spot during these hours. Since the sky is still light, pedestrians may believe you can see them. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive through residential areas for anyone on foot or on a bicycle and slow down if you spot someone.
Keep an eye out for animals.
If you have driven in rural areas, you’re probably used to watching roadsides for wildlife. Apply this same caution to driving in the city around dawn and dusk. Animals such as possums, raccoons, and squirrels may not seem threatening, however, swerving to avoid hitting something in the road could have disastrous consequences.