Picture this: you’re driving down an unfamiliar road. You turn a sharp corner and are instantly blinded by the sun’s sharp glare. The driver ahead of you slams on his brakes when faced with the same sudden sun blindness. Fortunately, because you had been driving slightly below the speed limit, you slowed down in time, narrowly averting an early-morning accident. We all know of the importance of driving safely through a storm, but not everyone is aware of how incredibly dangerous sun glare can be.
Most sun glare accidents occur in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is on the horizon, with little protection from your sun’s visor. Unfortunately, these times coincide perfectly with rush hour, making accidents even more likely. During the fall and winter when the sun is lower in the sky, it reflects at a lower angle when its light hits the surface, making the glare even worse.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to help protect yourself from sun glare:
- Observe the speed limit and remember that the maximum posted speed is for driving in ideal conditions.
- If possible, change your route to include roads that are not facing the sun. Leaving for your trip even 30 minutes earlier or later can make a big difference.
- Allow extra space between you and the driver ahead of you. An additional following distance of at least a four to five seconds will provide more time to avoid a collision if the vehicle ahead stops suddenly.
- Clean your windshield on both sides regularly. Chances are you may not even realize it’s smudged and dirty until the sunlight hits it, worsening the effect of the glare.
- Always keep a pair of sunglasses in your car in an easy-to-reach spot. Glasses with polarized lenses work best in high-glare situations. If you wear prescription sunglasses, consider investing in anti-glare lenses.
- It may sound strange, but using your headlights will make you more visible to other drivers.
- If the glare is particularly bad due to a sunrise or sunset, pull over to a safer location and wait for the sun to rise or set.
Glare, though it can suddenly blind you, should never come as a surprise like it did for me. Plymouth Rock Assurance wants to know if you have any sun glare stories or tips to share.
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