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View Poll Results: Twilight Driving - When do you exactly switch on your headlights?
As soon as light starts fading away, regardless of street lights are on or not. 103 40.87%
After it becomes sufficiently dark, till then I use parking lights only. 116 46.03%
After it becomes sufficiently dark and if there is no street lights. 9 3.57%
I use it on only when I cannot see and off, until it becomes complete dark. 7 2.78%
After Sunset, regardless of the light availability. 17 6.75%
Voters: 252. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16th February 2011, 18:19   #16
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

For one, you should know that your tail lights are switched on along with the headlights.

So even if you can see in dark, there are ppl behind you who may be blind as bats, and need to see your tail lights, unless you wish to be rear-ended.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzero View Post
I have different approaches for City and highway ( or in rural roads )

- once out of the cities, I usually switch on the lights early, as soon as the ambient light starts fading.

- in cities, as long as the street lights are good enough, i keep driving in parking light mode for a while longer.

I do switch on headlights when its raining heavily, and if its foggy ( I dont have separate fog lights )

I have found one strange behaviour while driving in the Mumbai Pune expressway. People switch the hazard lights on once they are in the tunnel! Quite confusing I must say.
Funny thing is that suppose there is a vehicle genuinely stranded in the tunnel - how do you make out?
Especially with at 80 kmph speed!

Its one of those foolish things that happen due to herd mentality of humans. One person does it, everyone starts following it.

Last edited by alpha1 : 16th February 2011 at 18:22.
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Old 16th February 2011, 18:26   #17
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
...


As far as I know, Hazards are meant to be used when the car is parked where its not expected to be parked. They are not meant for use in a moving car.
I tool feel the same. However during my recent drive from Bangalore in one early morning fog, I found almost every car moving along with hazard lights! It was more like contagious with some one switching it on and all others follow suite thinking that it is the norm!

I also see some folks here talking about using parking lights while driving in semi-dark conditions. I think they are meant to be used only while parking. I use low beam headlights when the light levels are low. And in most cases, parking lights at th front are pretty weak on most cars to be seen among other bright lights.
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Old 16th February 2011, 18:38   #18
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I switch on the parking lights as soon as light starts fading (irespective of the time of the day) and main lights when visibility drops by approx 25%.

This is primarily done to ensure my visibility to oncoming traffic rather than see the road.

Last edited by dashoin : 16th February 2011 at 18:39.
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Old 16th February 2011, 19:45   #19
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I want perfect visibility all the time, so I switch on my lights at the first sign of darkness approaching or even in the daytime for example when getting into a parking lot.

My point of view: lights are meant to be used. Sometimes pure vanity stops people from switching on when they should, which I think is really silly.

Sometimes in twilight I use my parking lights + foglamps. But most of the time it's headlights + fogs all the time. Headlights always on low-beam, of course.
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Old 16th February 2011, 21:34   #20
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
.. I think they are meant to be used only while parking ...
No. Parking lights are not only meant for that. They should be turned on in low-light driving conditions so that vehicles can see you and you do not get rear ended.

And functionally, parking lights are meant to be just bright enough to let know other vehicles, that 'you exist'. Not bright enough to be able to light up the road.

Most car's parking lights are successful in doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
I want perfect visibility all the time, so I switch on my lights at the first sign of darkness approaching or even in the daytime for example when getting into a parking lot....

.... Sometimes pure vanity stops people from switching on when they should, which I think is really silly.
Noopster, not always can you achieve perfect visibility with headlights ON. There are some instances, whist on rural highways, even if ambient light is low, you see better with headlights OFF. and headlights can get you better visibility only when its much darker.

In city, low speed conditions, I guess your theory is correct.

Last edited by dhanushs : 16th February 2011 at 21:39.
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Old 16th February 2011, 21:59   #21
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Default As soon as light starts fading away, regardless of street lights are on or not

I switch on my head lights (not just parking lights)as soon as light starts fading away, regardless of street lights are on or not

well i believe that even if my visibility of the road may not improve much , but my visibility to others definitely increases.....do observe this , in twilight you will tend to observe the approaching vehicle at least 1-2 seconds sooner if the approaching vehicle has its headlights on!! guys do observe next time

somehow i just dont like to drive i twilight conditions

not just that, i drive with headlights on till the next restaurant/dhaba on the road and take a short refreshing break till it gets night(when my headlights work better).


i follow the same rule even during sunrise time till it is completely day ( when visibility is definetly better)

Last edited by i_see : 16th February 2011 at 22:09. Reason: my previous post was a bit confusing, hope now i am able to express better
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Old 16th February 2011, 23:38   #22
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

On the highway, I always have the lights switched on. In city it is usually when the light starts fading.
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Old 16th February 2011, 23:45   #23
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I never drive during twilight, its my personal policy. I always park as soon as visibility goes bad and start after its completely dark. During those 15 min,its usually tea time and relaxing.
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Old 16th February 2011, 23:48   #24
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I was taught to switch on my running lights (but not the headlights) as soon as I can't read the meters properly. The headlamps only get switched on when I can't comfortably read the numberplate of a car around 50 feet ahead due to low light.

Foglamps stay off unless there's fog!
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Old 17th February 2011, 08:19   #25
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Smile Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I normally switch on the headlamps the moment I cannot read the rpm meter/speedometer. How I wish my car had light sensors which woudl then automatically put on the lights.

The fog lamps are on only when I am driving very early in the morning or I feel the head lamp intensity is not sufficient.
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:44   #26
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

General comments:
- Ability to read the meter depends on the extent of darkness of sun films that one has on his car. So, it can be mis-leading.
- Always with headlights on while on highways - American style.
- One of my cab driver friend says, he would switch off headlights only when he cannot see anything in front and he says he is saving on the headlamp's life(!).
- Another educated friend says "My eyesight is still strong to see, so I don't switch on headlights until it is complete dark and there are no streetlights.!"
Poll analysis so far says first two options are generally followed by Bhpians, which are obviously signs of safe driving.
Thanks folks for participation!

alpha1 brought out a very important point - during twilight driving it is necessary and safe to alert those coming from behind as much as your ability to see in front. The Tail lamps come up along with parking lights and does the job best. Hence, it is always safe to switch on at least parking lights when the visibility reduces even little.

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 17th February 2011 at 09:47.
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:50   #27
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
...he would switch off headlights only when he cannot see anything in front and he says he is saving on the headlamp's life(!).
Saving his life (and that of his passengers) ought to have a far bigger priority, than switching off headlamps when he cannot see!

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 17th February 2011 at 09:51.
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Old 17th February 2011, 09:56   #28
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I generally don't use the fog lamps unless it is foggy or I can't see the road properly with my headlamps. Otherwise, within city, it is headlights with low beam, depending on the light conditions after 6:00 PM. On the highway, it is headlights with low beam for most of the time when it is even a bit dark/rainy and headlights with high beam while overtaking (flashing) or before approaching a curve.
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:05   #29
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Saving his life (and that of his passengers) ought to have a far bigger priority, than switching off headlamps when he cannot see!
Habibi, You ask cab or Auto drivers who own their vehicles and 9 out of 10 would say the same. They even switch off the headlights while waiting at traffic lights! also to save on the bulb's life! That's the extent of ignorance.
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:25   #30
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

90% of the time I drive with the fog lamps on, even in day. So I use them as day time running lights.
inside the city limits - I drive with low beam always when I am not able to see the road clearly.
on highways - irrespective of the time of the day I drive on high beams. A couple of reasons for this -
a - I've got pretty strong high beams and it helps keep the offending drivers who otherwise will venture on to my lane, mind it that I've got halonix white H4s in 90/100.
b - I've read somewhere on the forum that if you keep your headlights on the spped guns won't be able to figure out how fast you were going.
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