Dusk can be one of the most dangerous time for drivers. The lack of light or rays from the low sun can be hazardous. If your daily routine or a planned trip means driving at this time of day, follow these simple steps:
Particularly in summertime, dusk driving includes the risk of being dazzled by a sunset. When there is blinding sun you should always have a comfortable pair of sunglasses to wear. The lenses should be dark enough to protect you from strong rays but transparent enough so they don’t affect your ability to see. It’s worth having two pairs, one that you use every day while you’re out and about and one that lives in your glove box so you always know you have a pair ready when you’re driving. If you wear glasses, you might want to consider clip-on sunglasses lenses that you can fix on to your frames as and when you need them.
Plan your route
If driving at dusk is something that you do every day, you may want to change the time of your commute to avoid being out on the road at these times. If this isn’t possible, plan an optimum route that means less forward exposure to those low sun rays. Using different roads might allow you to keep the sun to your side or behind you for a much more enjoyable – and safe – journey.
Visibility is poor at dusk because of the ambient light and the fact that your headlights won’t be 100% effective. However, headlights will help other drivers to see your car so it’s worth having them on. Even if the sky is light, the road will be dark and the contrast in colours will be reduced. This means many of the ‘cues’ that your brain uses to alert you to a potential hazard could be hard to detect.
If you live in – or pass through – a rural area, be alert to wildlife crossing the road. Animals tend to be more active at dusk so there’s more chance of you encountering one on the road. Remember that your greatest safety asset is the ability to slow down. Travel at a slightly lower speed to maximise the time you have to react to a potential hazard.