How can drivers combat the dangerous & intense glare of the sun?
Did you know that approximately 3,000 road accidents occur in the UK every year due to the intense glare of the sun?! This bright and often overwhelming forecast has the power to cause distraction, distortion and above all...Danger!
In fact, the risk of a life threatening crash is actually 16% more likely on a bright and sunny day! In this post we discuss just how much of an impact the glare of the sun can have on your ability to drive, while recognising methods that can be put in place to help combat these unwanted conditions.
Now, the majority of us will have experienced those fleeting yet fearful seconds of being left blinded by the bright sun while driving; unfortunately for some, this short moment can actually have momentous repercussions. It has been estimated by 2030, road traffic crashes will be the fifth leading cause of death, thus highlighting the importance of taking precaution and considering ways in which we can stay safe while .
These fear-inducing predictions paired with the haunting statistics are shocking; and we must work together and do all that we can to avoid this incline and promote safety and education of the road wherever possible. We have compiled a number of tips in this informative post in hope that we can encourage drivers to think extensively about preparation and safety while driving, especially during bright conditions, when the glare of the sun is at its optimum level of brightness.
Why does the glare of the sun impact me while driving and when should I expect to be confronted by this unwanted condition?
So, when the sun is low on the horizon; the angle of direct light can create a glare across your car’s windshield, which can distract, distort and overwhelm your vision. When you’re driving it is essential that you have incredible focus and are very aware of the unpredictable actions of others! Both literally and metaphorically, you never know what is around the corner, whether it be a harsh bend, a speeding driver, a colossal pothole, or a moment of utter blindness due to the overpowering sun.
Glare can reflect into your eyes from a vast range of objects. One example of which could be when light from the sun shines directly into a puddle on the road, which then reflects and diverts into your field of vision. Other objects include, other cars on or perhaps a nearby lake. You could be on a congested motorway or a winding country road and you could still be greeted by these conditions, it is just important that you have your precautions ready in place.
Ok, I understand what the glare is and the impact it can have, but how can I prepare to drive in sunny conditions?
- Invest in a pair of Polarized Safety Glasses! This protective eyewear offers paramount protection; against impact, small particles AND the intense glare of the sun. A chemical coating is carefully applied to the lenses of these glasses; and the molecules within the coating work to form a barrier. This barrier will only allow for vertical light to pass through them and rejects any horizontal light with waves of high intensity. Overall, this means that you will no longer have to worry about the harsh glare impacting your field of vision and focus on the task in hand.
- Slow and steady wins the race! Seriously, when the sun is overwhelming your vision and impacting your ability to drive, slow down! When you cannot see, an impulse reaction is more often than not, is to panic! Panicking is often done at speed and haste, which causes even more danger, so please, slow down when the glare of the sun confronts you on the road.
- Keep a sensible distance between you and the vehicles around you! Whether it’s pouring with rain or fog fills the atmosphere, you keep a safe distance from other divers, right?! Well the same rule applies when the beaming sun overwhelms your windshield. Ensure that you are a sensible distance from both the car in front and behind and drive with great caution to protect yourself and other drivers on the road.
- Ensure that your windshield is clean (on the inside and the outside)! Indeed, washing your windshield often feels like a mundane chore; but we cannot stress this enough, please keep on top of it and make sure it is clean at all times. Having an impeccable windshield will allow for insane clarity of all that is around you! If glare confronts a dirty and blurred windshield, your ability to see will be an extremely taxing task. Be sure to look out for your future self and keep it clean.
- Look out for cracks in your windshield! It is vital that you make sure you fix any cracks as soon as possible. Having a crack in your windshield provides scope for distraction and distortion once the sun hits your windshield! Always check for marks and cracks and fix them sooner than later!
- Do not clutter your dashboard! If you have objects resting on your dashboard, you are giving the sun even more opportunity and landing space for the glare to divert right into your eyesight, so be sure to declutter it regularly.
- Turn your headlights on! Allow for other vehicles to locate you by turning on your headlights. The sun has the power to blue your vision, so having the headlights switched on can often be a helpful reminder that a car is nearby! It can also help you identify oncoming traffic.
- Plan an alternative route that avoids driving into the sun! Check your smartphone or satnav for an alternative route that avoids routes that lead you directly into the sunlight or onto wet roads where glare could be ever present, opt for rural routes with towering trees that can provide shade and protection from the intense glare.
- Plan ahead and ensure that your trip takes place when the sun is not at its optimum level of brightness! Usually, the sun is at its brightest when it is at its highest point in the sky! Now, depending on the time zone, this time may vary! Generally, we would suggest that midday is the general time when the sun can be relatively bright and distracting. Driving during the times in which the sun is rising and setting can also be dangerous in regards to glare of the sun being present and harsh.
- Ensure that your sun visor works properly! Your sun visor can be a helpful tool, especially on bright days when the sun impacts your field of vision and therefore your ability to drive. Make sure that it is operating and can do its job properly!
We hope that you have enjoyed reading this informative post and we welcome and feedback you may have, simply leave a comment below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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Thanks for reading!
The ToolFreak Team!