Winter Daylight Hours


September through January have the highest number of nationwide pedestrian fatalities, with typically fewer daylight hours and more inclement weather.

In general the tilt of the earth's axis causes the northern hemisphere (United States) to point at the sun. So if you imagine standing on the north-pole you would feel the suns rays hitting you because you are tilted toward the sun.

On the contrary in the winter the Northern Hemisphere is now in a location due to having orbited around the sun, that it is tilted away from the sun. So now the suns rays don't hit the northern part of the earth due to it being at such an extreme angle pointed away from the sun.

This is why it seems like it’s always dark when we drive to/from work in the winter.

How will this affect my driving?

  • Reduced visibility while driving in morning/evening.
  • Increased late morning glare and reduced visibility when driving east.
  • Increased early evening glare and reduced visibility when driving west.

What can I do to increase my driving safety?

  • Ensure lights, signals, flashers, reflectors and reflective sheeting are working.
  • Use a rag to wipe down all lighting and reflective surfaces during pre-trip inspection.
  • Slow down and increase my following distance.
  • Clean windshield and mirrors; carry extra wipers, towels and windshield washer solvent.
  • Anticipate glare by having sunglasses ready so I am not reaching for them at last minute.
  • Wear reflective clothing while operating on or around the vehicle.