By Gail Marsh
The hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise – that’s the time of day when glare from the sun is at its absolute worst for drivers. The probability of a crash happening during this time of day jumps almost 20 percent, according to AAA (American Automobile Association). So what can you do? Is there any safe way to drive into the sun?
Take note of the suggestions below. It will make driving a whole lot easier, and it may save someone’s life.
- Slow down. Stay in the far right lane if you are traveling on an interstate or divided highway. If necessary, activate your emergency blinkers to alert those traveling behind you.
- Keep your windshield and side windows clean – both inside and out. Dirty smudges and streaks can enhance the sun’s glare. A clean window will help you see better in all types of driving conditions.
- Use your vehicle’s sun visors. You may want to consider purchasing add on visors for extra protection. Try them out safely at home before hitting the road.
- If you have a traveling companion, enlist help from them. Ask him/her to watch the right edge of the road so you keep your rig centered correctly within the lane.
- Wear polarized sunglasses. These are specially designed to reduce the sun’s glare. They will also help cut down on driver fatigue caused by facing into the sun’s harsh rays.
- Adjust your driving to allow more space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If you’re temporarily blinded by the sun, this will give you additional (perhaps life-saving) stopping time.
- Consider tinting your windows to cut or eliminate sun glare. Be sure to check with your state regulations though, as some states do not allow tinted windows. And always use a highly rated professional company to do the tinting. (Check out the Better Business Bureau.)
- Keep up to date with your personal eye exams. A cataract can make it more difficult to safely drive into bright lights.
- Perhaps the only guaranteed way to safely drive into the sun is to avoid travel when the sun and its glare are at their worst. A brief break off the road for just 15 to 20 minutes should do the trick. Well worth the time if it prevents having an accident, right?