With autumn almost here and summer sadly coming to an end, you may have noticed that the sun is starting to set earlier each evening. Over the coming weeks, you may see it’s getting increasingly darker during your commute home. Driving at dusk is complicated because it can go from fully light to completely dark in a matter of minutes and you’ll need to adjust to this change while you’re driving.
If you tend to drive at dusk, here are some tips to make it safer.
- When the sun is setting, it can seem like it is right on the horizon and, therefore, right in your line of sight. Be sure to keep sunglasses handy, especially if you’re driving toward the sun.
- Don’t be afraid to pull down the sun visor as well because the sun will likely change position quickly and your sunglasses may not offer enough protection.
- Remember that if you’re having trouble seeing, so is everyone around you. Those in front may stop short and those behind may not see you when you stop. Leave a safe following distance and slow down.
- Take off your sunglasses when you no longer need them. This may seem obvious, but if you’re eyes have adjusted, you may not realize you’re still wearing them. Check in with yourself every few minutes to be sure they are still necessary.
- Turn on your headlights. Once it starts getting dark, turn on your headlights so others can see you more easily. If you think you’re likely to forget, turn them on before you even start driving – there’s no harm in turning them on early.
- Be on the lookout for pedestrians. People may be walking home from work, school, or other activities, even though it’s dark out. Children and teenagers will be harder to see as they cross streets and always be ready for someone to cut between cars.
- Watch for animals. Many come out just as it’s getting dark. Look for the reflection of your lights in their eyes and stay alert.
Driving at dusk is tricky because “dusk” changes as the seasons change. It’s latest in the summer and earliest in the winter. You may notice it’s different every day in autumn and spring. You must be prepared for these changes each day to keep you and everyone else as safe as possible.
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