Driving with your mind wide open from BlueStormAuto




Dusk and Dawn. During these times itís important to run your headlights (low beam) to help other drivers see your vehicle. It may seem pointless to run your headlights in the bright morning sun or in the intense light of a setting sun. You may be able to see the road just fine, but your headlights help other drivers distinguish your vehicle when they are dazzled by sunlight low in the sky. This is especially true when the sun is behind you. Fighter pilots are trained to attack by putting themselves between the sun and the enemy. This form of stealth attack is not what we want driving down the road.


Snow, Fog, and Rain. Weather can make it hard to see and be seen. Follow these tips in inclement weather:


-††††††††† Run your headlights.


-††††††††† Dim high-beams whenever oncoming vehicles are visible. That means BEFORE they crest a rise or come directly into your view.


-††††††††† Try both low and high beams (when safe). The standard advice may be to always dim to low beams in fog, rain, and snow, but in all of these conditions high-beams are sometimes better. Try both and use whichever gives you a better view down the road without dazzling other drivers.



Night driving presents challenges that should be understood and appreciated.


Do not overdrive your headlights. This concept is a staple of every driving instruction, but what does it mean? The Brick Wall / Basket of Puppies Rule tells us that we should drive as if there is a brick wall or basket of puppies in the road just around every corner and just over the top of every hill.At night our vision is limited by the sight distance of our headlights. It follows that we need to travel slowly enough at night that our headlights give us time to:


1.†††††† Identify something just as it comes into our view,


2.†††††† React by applying brakes, steering, etc. as appropriate, and


3.†††††† Reach a complete stop or avoid the obstacle before hitting it


This basic consideration should run through your mind repeatedly as you drive. Adjust your speed to conditions.


Do not look into the headlights of oncoming cars. Sometimes we are mesmerized by the headlights of oncoming cars. Avoid the natural tendency to look directly at them. It takes your eye longer to return to normal after even brief exposure to extremely bright lights. Instead look down the road or (briefly) at the edge of the road until the oncoming cars pass.



Wear mildly tinted sunglasses or driving glasses during the day. Avoiding harsh sunlight during the day will help your eyes adjust to night driving later in the day.


Driving at night also brings advantages over daytime driving. For example, the lights of oncoming cars make us aware of their presence before we can see the vehicle


o†† Before they crest a hill.


o†† Before they appear around a corner. This is especially useful information on narrow roads.


o†† Before they reach an intersection or crossing road.


Reflection can be useful. Itís possible to get advanced warning of a car approaching by noticing the reflection of its lights in:


o†† Overhead Wires


o†† The side of cars ahead of you.


o†† Buildings especially those with lots of glass.


Take the time to note these things and it will become an automatic part of your driving. All this information gives you more helpful data for your decision-making.


Noticing the lights of faster traffic catching up to you from behind on a road gives a better sense of how much faster the car is traveling than in the daytime. If this happens on a two-lane road you may wish to slow slightly (or at least do not accelerate) in a passing lane to make it safer for the faster car to overtake. On a four-lane you may wish to let the faster car pass (even if it means taking off cruise control for 30 seconds) before making a pass yourself.


Copyright 2012 Blue Storm Auto, LLC.


Disclaimer:Content herein is opinion only. Publisher cannot be held responsible for predicting every driving situation. Prevailing laws always take precedence. Every driver is responsible for making their decisions based on a given situation.