Driving at Dawn or Dusk is Dangerous

December 21st, 2016 by Attorney Julie Butcher

As winter approaches, we lose more daylight. Less of that light means more danger on the roads, especially around dusk when it’s more difficult to see. As the light changes, drivers and pedestrians in Kentucky have a tougher time seeing, making it easier to make mistakes that can lead to vehicle accidents, serious injuries and even deaths.

Dusk and dawn are the most difficult times to drive, as your eyes are constantly adjusting to the changing light conditions. Depending on the time you’re driving and your direction, if the sun is on the horizon or close to it you could be temporarily blinded while driving your vehicle. In the evening not long after your eyes may be dealing with direct, blinding light, it will become dark.

Things to look out for and steps you can take to be safe:

  • The rising or setting sun can cause deep shadows. In those shadows can be hazards, including other vehicles and hard-to-spot pedestrians stepping out into the road.
  • Keep your windshield clean. Dirt and grime aren’t such an issue during the day, but a rising or setting sun can cause glare and make it very difficult to see. Make sure your car has enough wiper fluid to keep your windshield clean.
  • Get a good pair of sunglasses. They will come in handy when the sun is on the horizon and during the day if the sun is reflecting off snow. If sunglasses aren’t enough, use your car’s sun visor to block the light while allowing you to look at the road. Don’t forget to take sunglasses off after the sun sets.
  • If you find yourself with limited visibility during dawn or dusk, keep in mind that your fellow drivers are in the same boat. Be especially aware of other vehicles around you and pedestrians who may cross the road without being able to fully see what’s going on around them.
  • If it’s dawn or dusk, turn on your headlights. Making your vehicle easier to see by others will make everyone safer.
  • Compounding the problem at dawn or dusk is that you may be surrounded by increased traffic because of those commuting to or from work. Drivers may be speeding and cutting in and out of lanes at a time when visibility could be bad.
  • Deer are common in Kentucky. Dusk and dawn are popular times for travel for deer in addition to humans. Be wary of deer on the side of the road, as they may try to cross the road. They rarely travel alone, so if you see one crossing the street expect others to follow.

If despite your efforts to safely get from one place to another during dawn, dusk or darkness you become involved in a vehicle accident as a driver, passenger or pedestrian because of the negligence of another party in Kentucky, call us at 859-233-3641 or fill out our contact form. We can discuss the situation, how the accident happened, how the law may apply and your best options to seek compensation for your injuries.