7 Tips for Driving at Dusk

A few tips to keep in mind while driving at dusk

Driving in Alberta can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. As dusk falls, however, you may notice some changes to visibility, temperature, and weather conditions. These driving conditions may put you at risk if not properly observed.

As a leading provider of auto insurance in Alberta, Bow Valley Insurance strives to maintain client safety. One way we do this is by keeping you informed, so you can prepare yourself for all situations.

If you enjoy driving at dusk or often find yourself on the road as night is falling, you should take note of these 7 tips for driving at dusk.

1. Be prepared for fog

Dusk means temperatures are cooling, even if you’ve had a mild evening. When darkness creeps in, the nights get colder. Cold air against your warm windshield causes fog to form. It’s important, therefore, to be prepared for this fog.

In the summer season, you might see this process in reverse. Dusk changes the air pressure in your vehicle, and the warm summer air causes fog to form on the glass. While you can wipe the fog away, it could come back. The best way to get rid of window fog is to determine which heat or cold setting you need to set in your vehicle.  

Knowing your ventilation system and how to defog windows is a crucial skill in Alberta, and one that your provider of auto insurance in Calgary will thank you for.

2. Watch for nocturnal animals

Dusk is when many nocturnal animals come out to play. This is problematic for Canadian drivers and, unfortunately, many of the claims through auto insurance in Alberta are caused by wildlife.

As you’re driving, keep a keen eye on the horizon and watch for the reflection of your headlights on two shiny eyes. Some of the animals you might see around this time in Alberta include:

  • Skunks
  • Porcupines
  • White-tailed jackrabbits
  • Badgers
  • Bobcats
  • Deer

Remember not to try and swerve around an animal in the road unless it’s safe to do so. Driving your car into oncoming traffic to avoid a badger is commendable, but extremely dangerous.

3. Keep sunglasses close at hand

It might sound silly, but driving at dusk requires a good pair of shades. As the sun begins to dip low in the sky, the angle of the sun hits you head-on. Not only does the low sunlight aim at your windshield, but the lower it gets, the brighter the glare.

Keep your sunglasses nearby when you begin a dusk-time journey to block the low-hanging sun from your eyes. Once the brightness dies down and you can see everything safely again, put your sunglasses away for the next trip.

4. Turn the lights down 

We don’t mean your headlights here, but rather your dash lights. Dashboard lights are great during the day when you need a reminder of gas levels and speed. At night, however, dash lights can be extremely distracting.

While you still need some light to read the speedometer and engine alerts, you should turn the dash lights down at night. Dimming these lights lets you see what you need to see, without blinding you from oncoming traffic.

5. Ensure your headlights are on

While many vehicles come equipped with automatic lights these days, don’t be lured into a false sense of security. When the sunlight dies down and you’re left in the dark, if your auto lights don’t work, you could be faced with treacherous roads.

Always check front and rear lights to ensure that everything is in working order before heading out onto the roads at dusk. While your journey may begin with the fading light of day, the night will have you driving blind in no time if your headlights are not in the proper setting.

At Bow Valley Insurance, we provide auto insurance across Calgary. One thing we see plenty of in accident reports is improper lighting during impact. It’s important to us that all our clients drive safely, so keep lighting in the back of your mind when you hit the open road.

6. Clean your windshield

It’s not enough to defog and turn the headlights on if you can’t see anything through your windshield. As you transition from day to night, you’ll notice every mark and fingerprint left on your windshield.

Windshield smudges become more noticeable at night when streetlights, headlights of oncoming traffic, and other lights reflect off the windshield. The light catches on the smudges and fingerprints, thus blurring the light into your eyes.

Before you drive at dusk, be sure to give your windshield and mirrors a thorough cleaning with window cleaner. You’ll be thankful for the extra step when you can clearly see traffic, pedestrians, and nocturnal animals on the road.

7. Drive with extra lights

Dusk means night is on the way. However, driving in the dark isn’t nearly as dangerous as a breakdown in the dark. Whether a flat tire or engine failure, if your car won’t take you where you need to go, lights are essential to staying safe while you wait for help.

There are a few different types of lights you can keep on hand in case of such an emergency, including:

  • Flashlights
  • Candles
  • Glow sticks
  • Flares

If you need to use emergency flares, be sure to use them properly. Never aim them at another person, or fire them into traffic. Point the flare up into the air and away from yourself and your vehicle to get the attention of drivers in the area.

Contact Bow Valley Insurance for Auto Insurance in Alberta

Auto insurance isn’t just a smart product to purchase for Albertans, it’s mandatory. To drive any motor vehicle, you must own basic auto insurance with liability coverage and accident benefits.

Auto insurance in Alberta protects you against a variety of risks, including:

  • Accident
  • Third party liability
  • Property damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects

Interested in learning more about auto insurance in Calgary and Bow Valley Insurance services? Our Insurance brokers are here to provide customized insurance solutions by helping our clients and protecting their assets.

We invite you to request a quote online, or give us a call at 1-800-332-1308.