Safety tips for driving directly into the sun

15

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?
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Brian
3 months ago

A tip for city driving when the sun is in your eyes, most experienced drivers will already know this but when approaching an intersection with traffic signals and you can’t see what color the light is due to the sun just look for another light, most intersections will have multiple lights off to the sides but in a panic some drivers won’t think of it quick enough.
Another tip, when the sun is at your back make sure your headlights are on so you are more visible to the oncoming traffic that has the sun in their eyes.

Gordy B
3 months ago

When we are on the road in early morning and the sun comes up in our eyes, we stop for breakfast or nap (nap was when driving semi). At sundown we stop again for dinner. That in our opinion is the safest way to travel. Happy trails, keep your feet off the dash – it could spell disaster.

Geoffrey R Baker
3 months ago

HOWEVER, in many states, it is ILLEGAL to operate your emergency flashers (4 ways) while the vehicle is in motion. One of those states is Florida.

Nikki Harnish
3 months ago

Good ideas, thanks for the tips. I also carry a visor cap for when the sunscreens don’t quite do it.

Fred
3 months ago

The picture above shows someone with their feet on the dash. Just think of what would happen if the airbag should be deployed. Your legs and feet could end up in your face, not only possibly broken legs but broken face.

Jim O'Briant
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

Fred is absolutely right. Automotive safety experts warn strongly that serious injury or death can happen because of this. If the airbag deploys, the passenger’s calf bones can be driven directly into their skull.

Ron L.
3 months ago
Reply to  Fred

In other words, you could kiss your {bleeped} goodby.

Parker
3 months ago

“(Check out the Better Business Bureau.)”

Why? So you can see which ones paid for that advertising gimmick? The BBB is not a measure of quality. It’s not even part of their mission statement; they focus on “trust” primarily.

Maybe this article was written before there were internet reviews? Back when BBB was all anyone had…?

Rick Vollstedt
3 months ago

I concur with Glen. Many states do not allow driving with emergency flashers on. Haven’t seen where police have enforced this law. AZ does not allow it and I see many semi’s traveling up hill with flashers on. Just be aware.

Glen Cowgill
3 months ago

Many states, including Florida, it is illegal to drive with the Emergency Flashers on. I know, many people do when it rains. It is very annoying when you are following them and even more annoying when they are in the left lane.

Bob P
3 months ago
Reply to  Glen Cowgill

This and another fault with the author using a pic with the passengers feet on the dash. Not only is it dangerous to drive into the sun WITHOUT HAZARDS FLASHING, BUT INCASE OF A COLLISION THE PASSENGERS IS GOING TO EAT THOSE SHOES. I’m really surprised you would publish the story as it appears, VERY UNSAFE.

Crowman
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

I thought the same thing but eating their shoes is the least of their worries. At the angle that their sitting if there was a serious crash it would more than likely snap their spine.

WEB
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

It is just a picture. Why assume they are driving? Maybe they are waiting out the sun as the article suggests and then the sun is on the passenger side, NOT in the drivers eyes as the article is trying to teach you.
And one thing you didn’t notice… who is taking the picture?? And they are most likely smoking pot… and drinking, right? All this, from one picture. :-/

Jim O'Briant
3 months ago
Reply to  WEB

I assume they are driving because the article is ABOUT driving with sun glare, and because the background is blurry, likely because it’s being photographed from a moving car. Yes, it’s a “best guess.” But that does NOT negate the comments regarding the danger of sitting in this position when a car is moving.

Al H
3 months ago
Reply to  WEB

I thought the car pulled off the road to watch the sunset.