Countless collisions have occurred due to blind spots created by sun glare and the distance perception problems that are created. Driving directly against the sun can also block peripheral areas of vision and cause sudden moments of blindness as the sun peeks out from behind surrounding objects. Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, said: “We can't change the position of the sun, or the need to travel at certain times, but there are simple steps you can take to ensure you're prepared for these conditions. Keep your windscreen clean, both inside and out. On de-mist, your heater blows traffic fumes, suspended oil, and smoke on to the inside of the screen, and wet roads add dirt and scratches to the outside. Dirty windscreens add to the danger when the sun is low. If you can't see, slow down accordingly, keeping an eye on the traffic behind, in case the following vehicle doesn't see you against the sun. Also beware with these fine evenings there are more pedestrians and cyclists on the road.”
So how can you protect yourself? The road safety department of Mayo County Council offers these tips for motorists who find themselves driving into the sun:
Invest in polarised sunglasses, utilise your sun visor, leave more following room, drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers. Additional tips: keep your windshield clean, inside and out; check your windshield for pitting and cracks; avoid storing papers or other items on the dashboard; if you are having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.