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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 17th February 2011, 10:26   #31
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post

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.
Ummmm OK that's a new one. You can see better with your lights off?

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Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
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.
That's a great policy. Twilight is the worst time to drive, and someone told me it's when most accidents happen since visibility is severely curtailed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
General comments:
- 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.!"
I had a driver (a former BEST driver at that) who had the same theory. He would switch on the headlights only when it was (in my opinion) pitch dark. Some weird notion that it saved petrol/battery. I tell you it was scary- we used to BEG him to use the lights and he'd just laugh it off. Amazing thing was his eyesight was apparently good enough (or he was just lucky) that we never had any accidents while he was driving!
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:30   #32
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Parking lights are switched on once light begins to fade & H/L's are switched on once it gets a bit darker or when I cannot see easily in front of me.






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Old 17th February 2011, 10:31   #33
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

If you drive anytime between half an hour before sunset to half an hour after sunrise, headlights should be on. I was taught that when I learnt driving.
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:36   #34
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
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.
If you are in Europe, WRONG!
In EU, by law, it is an offence to drive with only the parking lights ON. They are meant to be turned ON only when the vehicle is parked. In low light conditions, you are required to turn on your low beam. I don't know about US, maybe somebody who has driven there can explain.
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Old 17th February 2011, 10:51   #35
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

^^That's correct. I have seen this in Germany, whenever low visibility, they turn on their low beams. In winter, most of them drive with low beams even during mid-day. Parking lights are only for parking, meaning when the car is stationery and parked lawfully.
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Old 17th February 2011, 11:18   #36
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I drive with parking lights on, even if it is just cloudy or raining. It is so much fun to see some dumb-heads frantically trying to tell me that my lights are on.
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Old 17th February 2011, 12:14   #37
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Here's what i do ~
Once twilight sets in i switch on the parking lights.
As it gets darker i switch on the fog lights(dont hit me)
i continue with this setup for in city driving in brightly lit areas of the city. Once i feel i need more light i switch on the low beams. My wife actually does not like my way of going about it. And feels that i should have my low beams on once it gets dark. You know what she is probably right. But who has the controls in the car? ME!

When visibility is low like in storm or fog situations you are suppose to have your low beams on even if its day. And ofcourse the fogs on when in fog situations.

Hazard lights are only to be used when you need to alert the drivers behind of a hazerdous situation up ahead. So that they can slow down. And definately should not be used when inside a tunnel while still cruising down at 80kmph.

Last edited by mdsaab : 17th February 2011 at 12:18.
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Old 17th February 2011, 12:33   #38
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I am not sure parking lights are to be turned on only when the vehicle is parked, at least in India. Come to think of it, all two wheelers have it too and I have seen them referred as "city lights" in some of the bike manuals, to be turned on during twilight hours or when the street lights are quite bright. In fact, it is wrong to use headlights when street lighting is bright enough for driving. The parking lights are to be used instead of headlights under such conditions. And in a two wheeler (except Bullet) they can be turned on only when the engine is running.

By habit, I turn them on when it is still not dark enough for headlights, or when the street lights are quite bright, to enable other road users to see me.

I am not sure what it is called in my car's manual, have to check it.

Last edited by Gansan : 17th February 2011 at 12:36.
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Old 17th February 2011, 12:57   #39
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I normally switch on whenever the visibility gets lower. Need not be early morning or evening but during foggy/ rainy days. Depends on the darkness - I use "city lights" or "full head lamps" or "Fog lamps".

Actually in Bangalore - i use it only with the City & Fog Lamps. Never put on the full head lamps. I also try to avoid using full beams. Normally use it only when there is pitch dark & no vehicle is in the front or whenever I need to overtake someone in the front.
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Old 17th February 2011, 13:41   #40
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I keep the parking lights on as soon as I feel that it would help the oncoming traffic in spotting me. Headlights are put on as soon as it is little more dark (will never wait for the streetlights), which means, if I feel that others can spot me better with headlights on.

Also on highways, I switch-on the headlights, as soon as possible (5PM to 5:30PM) as well keep the headlights till the sun is really bright. I feel our vehicles are spotted well from a distance, when headlights are on.

Also, in city or highways, I use dippers and keep the light low.

When stopped behind another car (say at a signal or toll booth), I will switch to parking lights, as headlights of the cars from the back fall directly on the rear view mirror and it focuses on the drivers eyes from all sides (remember two ORVMs and one IRVM all focused onto the drivers face). This also helps alternator take little load and have time to charge the battery a bit.

Another occasion when I switch off my headlights or go into parklights is when I need to take a turn. It helps the oncoming traffic to clearly see my turn indicators. As a small advice, please do NOT use high beams with indicators on, as the oncoming driver will never be able to see the indicators that is right next to your headlight (switching on high beam with indicators, is a common practice here in Chennai)

Above mentioned practices are my thoughts and feel free to correct me, if you think I am wrong.

Last edited by NFS : 17th February 2011 at 13:46. Reason: added content about headlights vs. turn indicators
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Old 17th February 2011, 13:54   #41
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
If you are in Europe, WRONG!
In EU, by law, it is an offence to drive with only the parking lights ON. They are meant to be turned ON only when the vehicle is parked. In low light conditions, you are required to turn on your low beam. I don't know about US, maybe somebody who has driven there can explain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
^^That's correct. I have seen this in Germany, whenever low visibility, they turn on their low beams. In winter, most of them drive with low beams even during mid-day. Parking lights are only for parking, meaning when the car is stationery and parked lawfully.
Absolutely. In countries where I have driven, including US and EU, we are not allowed to drive with parking lights on. It should be either low beam headlights or DRL (daylight running lamps) during day time. Not sure if there is a specific rule on this in India.

Here most people follow "sab chalta hai.." or "herd mentality". When there are no well defined rules, it is people like us who should propagate good practices than following the same attitude.

Last edited by vasoo : 17th February 2011 at 13:58.
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Old 17th February 2011, 13:54   #42
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

As a thumb rule, I switch on the lights when there is low visibility, even if its during day time. On most occasions the reason is not to see better, but TO BE SEEN. I feel that an approaching car with lights on would be easier to spot in your rear view mirror.

Also, if I am on the highway and am driving faster than average speed, I drive with lights on even on a sunny afternoon.

I do not drive on parking lights alone. Started following this after my stay in Germany.

Last edited by benzinblut : 17th February 2011 at 13:56.
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Old 17th February 2011, 14:30   #43
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by vasoo View Post
Absolutely. In countries where I have driven, including US and EU, we are not allowed to drive with parking lights on. It should be either low beam headlights or DRL (daylight running lamps) during day time. Not sure if there is a specific rule on this in India.

Here most people follow "sab chalta hai.." or "herd mentality". When there are no well defined rules, it is people like us who should propagate good practices than following the same attitude.
Actually, I was searching for rules in India. Could only find the following from the Delhi Traffic police site (Delhi Traffic Police, New Delhi (India) - FAQs related to Driving, Driving Tips, Precautions during Driving)
Quote:
6. How to drive during fog?
Ans : It is the best not to drive in fog. Otherwise, you ought to take the following precautions:

1. Slow down. If you see headlights or tail-lights, slow down even more. A driver may be driving in the center of the road or may be stopped or barely moving.
2. Drive with your headlights set on dim, or use fog lights.
3. Do not overdrive your headlights. Stay within the limits of your vision. You may have to stop suddenly. If the fog is too dense, pull off the road and stop. Do not drive at 5 or 10 Km per hour.
4. Use your turn signal long before you turn and brake early when you approach a stop to warn other drivers.

7. Precautions during rain
Ans : When rain begins to fall lightly, water, dust, oil and leaves cause the road to become slippery. When this happens, increase your following distance. Take special care on curves and turns and while braking. Your headlights must be ON when operating your wipers. Parking lights should not be used because it creates illusion.
In the above mentioned situations of low visibility, it is not advisable to switch ON only the parking lights. And in almost all other parts of the world, it is illegal to drive with only your parking lights ON. Wonder if the parking lights ON while driving is an India only rule.

OT: Actually, if India had a proper driving test done, like in EU, more than half of the people who attend would fail right away
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Old 17th February 2011, 14:40   #44
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
OT: Actually, if India had a proper driving test done, like in EU, more than half of the people who attend would fail right away
I think more than 80% of the regular drivers would fail as well
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Old 17th February 2011, 14:52   #45
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I think people are missing the point about the parking lights. The question is not parking lights versus headlights (which is a no-brainer) but parking lights versus no lights at all.
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