Most people prefer not to drive after dark but have no problem with driving during the day. After all, daylight hours are the safest time to be on the road, right? While this is usually true, there may come a time when sunlight actually impairs your ability to drive safely.
Sun glare happens when the sun is aligned directly in your line of vision and leaves motorists with a severe glare. This type of glare makes it much more difficult for a driver to see the road ahead, including any other vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians, or hazards. Experiencing sun glare when behind the wheel can be quite terrifying, but there are ways to improve conditions and stay as safe as possible. To that end, we’d like to share with you a few ways you can make this happen.
1. Knowing When Sun Glare is Likely to Occur
The first step to driving safely in the sun is to educate yourself about the times of day when sun glare is most likely to occur. Typically, sun glare happens at sunrise and sunset. During these times, the sun is situated at a lower angle in the sky and there is a much stronger chance that it will shine directly into your eyes and create a glare. If possible, you can avoid driving right after sunrise or just before sunset. If you must drive during these times, you can take other steps to minimize the negative impacts of sun glare.
2. Use Your Visors
Your car’s visors can be very handy, often making it easier for you to see while driving. Unfortunately, when sun glare occurs, your visors may not be as effective. Even so, you should still make use of the sun visors both on the driver and passenger side of the vehicle. While they won’t improve road visibility, they will shield your eyes from the sun, thus protecting your vision and enhancing overall safety.
3. Keep Your Windshield Clean
Any type of haze, smudge, dust, or dirt buildup on your windshield will maximize the effects of sun glare. If you know that you will be driving during the early morning or late evening, it’s in your best interest to take a few extra minutes to thoroughly clean your windshield.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses with polarized lenses are specifically made to reduce the intensity of sun glare. Make sure that you’ve always got a pair of sunglasses handy when you’re behind the wheel.
5. Clear off Your Dashboard
Is your dashboard cluttered with debris? Old plastic wrappers, CDs, and other items can create even more of a glare, thereby making driving much more dangerous. Be sure to keep these areas clear in order to improve visibility.
6. Slow Down
If you’re having a difficult time seeing because of sun glare, chances are that the drivers around you are struggling as well. This increases the likelihood that the other drivers on the road may brake or veer suddenly or unexpectedly. Because this is such a dangerous situation, it’s smart to maintain a larger-than-usual following distance and to drive slowly until visibility is restored.
7. Turn On Your Lights
If you believe that the drivers around you may be experiencing sun glare, too, it’s a good idea to turn on your headlights and taillights. Doing so can make it easier for others to see you and can decrease the odds of a collision.
Practicing good safety when driving in the sun can help keep you safe when sun glare occurs, but accidents do still happen. If you or someone you love has been involved in an automobile accident, the experts at Mintz Law Firm can help. Reach out to our offices today to schedule a free case consultation.