Now that spring is here, the sun is rising earlier, but being dazzled by the sun can be a major distraction and is often a factor in summer collisions.
Richard Gladman, the British based IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, provides some good tips on how to stay safe on the road with the glare of the sun. He notes that even though we have many tools that aid in protecting us from the glare, we often forget to use them.
Tips to deal with sun glare while driving
- Keep the windscreen clean both inside and out. A dirty screen will magnify the glare.
- On the outside check for chips or cracks, replace worn wiper blades, and make sure the washer bottle is kept well topped up with good quality screen wash to help remove summer bugs.
- Keep a cloth or chamois to wipe away the dirt that builds up on the inside
- Use the sun visor. It may sound pretty obvious, but a surprising number of people forget.
- Invest in polarised sunglasses and remember to take a rest. Eyes will strain quickly if squinting. See sunglasses tips below for more information.
- If dazzled by the sun, slow down and leave extra space between yourself and the driver ahead. This will provide more time to regain full control and assess the situation.
- Remember when the sun is low behind the car, drivers might be able to see just fine, but oncoming drivers might not see you.
Gladman says: “It’s easy to get distracted when the sun is out and the world seems a better place. By keeping the screen clean and your view shaded where possible, you will give yourself the best chance of staying safe.
"If you are wearing sunglasses, bear in mind that the protection they offer will be magnified by any tinted windows and remember to keep them clean – it’s amazing how distorting a sun cream fog can be. Be ready to take them off in tunnels or shaded areas but keep them close to hand.”