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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 18th February 2011, 13:18   #61
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Park-lights and front fog-lamps as soon as it's dusk.

I'm extra careful since my car's black, and I myself find dark cars hard to spot sometimes in a dark area at dusk/dawn.
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Old 18th February 2011, 13:51   #62
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Isn't driving with headlamps on during daytime, when it is bright and sunny, supposed to mean you are under some kind of distress? If I remember right it was supposed to mean you are having problems with your brakes. This is from pre hazard lamp days, of course.
Well yes indeed. It means i am distressed.. with jaywalkers, stupid bikers, riickshawwallahs in fast lanes, stupid drivers etc etc.
I really hope they all think that my brakes arent working.. will surely make for a smooth and quick drive.

Lets not look at the rule book. The rules are totally stupid. Whether you bang into someone or viceversa, if someone gets hurt you are the accused even if its not your fault.

Without going OT, which RTO in this country puts the driver through a classroom course to educate them before giving them a license about night time driving or the proper use of headlights and what different headlight signals mean.
For most people, headlights have to be switched on when 'they' cannot see the road. Its as if they are saving electricity.
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Old 18th February 2011, 14:10   #63
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
I don't understand this. When you are parking or stopping behind somebody, you would be too close to him anyway, your headlight would maximum reach up to only half of his boot up until the number plate, (Unless you are driving a bus or a Hummer and he is in a Maruti 800 or in an Alto!). And he would not be seeing your headlights at all in his RVM or ORVM. Can you please explain this a little more?
@RajaTaurus: Using a Zen, I definitely feel it is required for the car behind me to do this (as at times I struggle to keep the headlights off of my face). Even a Two wheeler behind can drive me crazy. Many times I had folded the ORVM till I pass the intersection or signal.

Also try this, have your friend drive behind you (have the friend drive a smaller car than yours) ask him to come as close as possible to avoid headlights to be blocked by your car body. Ask him to remain for a minute and then turn off the lights for some time. The Ambient light will drop and you (your eyes) will feel much relaxed.

By this practice of Switching off headlights when behind another vehicle at a signal, certainly takes out the possibility of troubling a driver ahead of us. Why not be helpful. By introducing this as a habit, even if I drive a taller vehicle like Scorpio/Sumo, a Zen or Alto Driver ahead of me will not suffer (you know the habits are what comes automatically, irrespective of the height of your vehicle)

Also lesser load on alternator, is something that we can get, so why not? your battery might get recharged too (even if it is a little bit).

Finally, it is only a habit which we think could create some kind of relief for people ahead of us, we thought of adopting, if it helps (did not ask why switch off when behind a lorry, assuming someone might benefit)
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Old 18th February 2011, 15:51   #64
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by NFS View Post
@RajaTaurus: Using a Zen, I definitely feel it is required for the car behind me to do this (as at times I struggle to keep the headlights off of my face). Even a Two wheeler behind can drive me crazy. Many times I had folded the ORVM till I pass the intersection or signal.

Also lesser load on alternator, is something that we can get, so why not? your battery might get recharged too (even if it is a little bit).
I too caught this habit when I was using a Zen for a short period of time and found it a pain when a biker behind me is having his headlights on high beam and stopeed at a signal. I thought that if this is causing so much pain to me, my headlights MIGHT be a hindrance to others as well when stationery.

In addition to everything that NFS has said, I feel that my own eyes will feel better if i switch off the headlight & keep only the parking light on when at a signal or in bumper to bumper traffic as the light gets reflected off the car in front and tends to be very sharp as the distance is not too much from the vehicle in front. May be my eyes are sensitive!!
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Old 18th February 2011, 16:42   #65
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

Usually parking lights are switched on after 5 PM. While driving my bullet, i tend to switch on the lights all the time just to alert the on-coming traffic. Its a habit i picked up from the states where the motorbikes have their head lights always switched on.
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Old 21st February 2011, 10:18   #66
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

@NFS and abhinav, If the headlights from behind is irritating you through your inside RVM, tap it to the other position. Nowadays all RVMs are prismatic and have 2 positions, Day and Night driving. After your rear becomes clear, you may tap it to the normal position. That is what I do.
Fore more details, read day/night mirrors section of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rear-view_mirror

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 21st February 2011 at 10:24.
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Old 21st February 2011, 14:09   #67
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by Punzabi View Post
But then again in India many drivers have their own interpretation to this signal (I remember reading in one of the threads that some drivers in south India (Bangalor??) use hazard light signal to say they're going straight at a traffic junction)
If neither of your indicators are on, doesnt that mean you are going straight? Unless you are an auto rickshaw driver, as the two fingers? hand indicator they provide can be barely seen outside the rick frame
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Old 21st February 2011, 15:31   #68
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

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Originally Posted by RajaTaurus View Post
If the headlights from behind is irritating you through your inside RVM, tap it to the other position. Nowadays all RVMs are prismatic and have 2 positions, Day and Night driving.
Oh yes! Without the Day n Night IRVM, i would have had a tough time and I always use it during traffic or if the guy behind has very powerful headlights. Its a blessing these days to have Day n Night IRVM.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 14:26   #69
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

In the cities where most roads are lit, it is much easier driving in the twlight hour. I find it a problem on the highway as turning on the light does not help the visiblity. I run for as long as I can confidently with parking lights on.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 15:31   #70
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I too don't understand the reluctance in switching on headlights. I personally keep my headlights switched on even when there is a small drop in available light, be it due to overcast conditions, early mornings, evenings, or even when entering a tunnel or a covered parking lot/basement. Funnily enough, I find that people go out of their way to tell me that my lights are switched on even in fairly gloomy conditions!

A few studies have also been done to determine if driving with headlights during the day has an effect on overall accident rates.

Please refer to this study, for example. This study was a result of an experiment done in Singapore in 1995 where they made it compulsory for motorcycles to keep their headlights switched on even in daytime.

The conclusion: Minor and severe injuries did not reduce, or at least the results were inconclusive. However, motorcycle accident fatalities decreased significantly.

To quote,
"One possible reason why headlights have successfully reduced fatal accidents can be due to the early signal that they give time to the other parties to slow down. It may be reasonable to assume that if the other parties can be alerted earlier, one can start applying the break earlier and will have a longer distance to travel before hitting the motorcyclist deadly, seriously or slightly. However, the time required in avoiding a slight/serious injury accident is longer than the time required to avoid a fatal accident, given the same speed of traveling. In short, the headlight can only give the drivers a lead time long enough to avoid a fatal accident but not long enough to avoid slight/serious injuries."

Here's another link that gives a summary of all the studies done for using DRLs or Daytime Running Lights.

In most of the countries where this was adopted, there was a good reduction in accident rates.

An interesting points from the link.

"DRL costs are low, so even very modest crash reduction capabilities would be cost effective. For example, according to General Motors, there is a minimal wiring cost in converting to DRLs, and a fraction of a mile fuel penalty (about $ 3 per year for the average driver)."
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Old 23rd February 2011, 19:51   #71
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

The way I judge it, when it becomes hard to see the interiors of the car since they are less bright than the outside. I turn my parking and fog lamps on and headlight usually 20 -30 mins after. I drive a swift by the way.
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Old 23rd February 2011, 23:14   #72
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I generally switch on the parking lights and my fog lamps when it is twilight. Even when I am in a subway I do the same thing. The headlamps come on post dusk when I really need them. NO HIGH BEAM when I am below 45-50 and driving in the city. (Exceptions - driving on an unlit road when there is little or NO oncoming traffic, where I shift to low beam when I see someone coming towards me).
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Old 23rd February 2011, 23:34   #73
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I drive with the parking lights on as soon as it gets "darkish". A little while later, my fogs are turned on. I hardly come across roads in Bombay without proper streetlights, so i barely need my headlamps even on low. Find the fog lights on my i20 to be quite appropriate 80% of the time.
I avoid the high beam altogether in the city because i know just how irritating it is to drive towards blinding white lights in your face ! It seems to me that a lot of drivers in bombay have forgotten the common courtesy of switching off your headlamps when the opposite driver does the same.

I'd also like to mention that switching your hazard lights on in heavy rain is very confusing for the fellow who's next to you. He/she thinks you're turning towards them. Same on the other side. For me, its parking lights plus both front & rear fogs lights in torrential rain. Hazards for when my car stalls
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Old 24th February 2011, 01:56   #74
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I generally use my parking lights and fog lights on my Swift, when I am on brightly lit roads. I do, however, switch on my headlights if I'm driving late at night. I do not see a reason/need to use my high beams within city limits.
My pet peeves are the "insensitives", who think that they see better with high beams, and the two wheelers, with a low beam that hit you in the eye, and a high beam which lights up the trees over head!!
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Old 24th February 2011, 08:16   #75
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Default Re: Twilight driving - When exactly do you switch on your headlights

I make sure i switch on the fog lamps and parking lights at twilight and hope everyone around me would do the same as most of the cars will have sun-film. I personally find it difficult to spot dark colored cars in twilight with the windows raised especially if there is no light emitting from either the front or back of the cars. Fog lamps are meant to be more intense (bright) than low beam but will not have the the reach of the headlamps.
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