Picture this: you’re driving down an unfamiliar road in the morning. You turn a corner and are instantly blinded by the sun’s sharp glare. The driver ahead of you slams on their 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 and narrowly averted 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.
How to Stay Safe Through Sun Glare
Most sun glare accidents occur in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is on the horizon. With the sun this low, your car’s sun visor does little to protect you. Unfortunately, these times coincide perfectly with rush hour, making accidents even more likely. During the fall and winter, the sun’s rays hit at an angle, making the glare even worse.
Here 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.
- Stay vigilant after daylight savings, as your commute may all of a sudden come right when the sun glare is harshest.
- 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.
- Turn your headlights on to help other drivers see you.
- Clean your windshield on both sides regularly. 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.
- 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.
Sun glare, though it can suddenly blind you, should never come as a surprise now that you know how to combat it.
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