Drivers have lots of hazards to deal with when they're out on the road. But there's one weather condition that can become a big problem this time of year: low-lying sun.
Glare from the sun can affect our visibility so much it causes temporary blindness – which, when driving, can be extremely dangerous. Here's some advice to help you prevent and deal with sun glare.
There's no way to prevent sun glare altogether, but there are two main ways to minimise it as much as possible:
As dust and dirt intensifies glare, clean your windscreens and windows inside and out. Use a quality car wash soap on the outside, hosing the glass down with water before and after, then dry with a clean cloth and finish off with a decent window cleaner. Apply the window cleaner to the inside of the windows after dusting them, drying with scrunched newspaper to prevent smearing.
Ideally, wipers should be replaced once a year, or as soon as they start to leave a smear or squeak. If your wipers are relatively new, clean them by lifting the blades from the screen and wiping them over with a damp cloth. If the dirt isn't budging, use some vinegar (but don't get any on the paintwork). Now's the time to check your screen washer fluid's topped up too.
If you find yourself regularly dealing with sun glare, investing in a pair of polarised sunglasses will help to limit its impact and protect your eyes. You should, of course, also use your sun visor – though that won't always reach your line of sight if the sun is low. If you're dazzled, you should:
Slow your speed as soon as possible, but don't slam on your brakes as drivers behind you many also be dazzled by the sun.
Leave a wider gap between you and the car in front, as this will give you more time to react if other drivers suddenly brake.
In reduced visibility, cyclists and pedestrians may be more difficult to spot, so be extra aware of your surroundings.
If visibility is particularly poor, switching on your headlights will make your presence known to other road users.
Road markings are a useful guide, glare or no glare, but can be particularly helpful when your vision is temporarily impaired.
If sun glare is a real problem on your commuting route, consider finding an another route that doesn't see you driving directly into, or away from, the sun as much. For the sake of a few extra minutes, it could make your daily journey that little bit safer.
These tips will help you to stay safe behind the wheel the next time you find yourself dealing with sun glare. So, too, will taking out quality car insurance – get a competitive quote with Hastings Direct today.