How to Drive Safely with Sun Glare and when the Sun is Directly Facing you ?

“Sun glare” by Indigo Skies Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

You may be the world’s safest, most responsible driver, yet there are two times of day that will always raise your chances of a serious driving catastrophe, regardless of your skills and driving experience. I’m referring to sunrise and sunset, the two times of day when the sun directly interferes with your vision. The sun is a constant threat to driver safety, whether you reside in sunny Miami or dreary, snowy Seattle. Even if it’s gloomy and raining, the sun is simply waiting to break through the clouds and ruin your visibility. To begin, let us declare the obvious: driving with the sun directly in your eyes is unsafe. However, even taking the necessary precautions to limit light beams might considerably impair your driving ability. Indeed, some of the most frequent remedies are not without risk. When the sun is low in the sky, the angle of direct sunlight causes a severe glare on the windshield. The strong light can cause momentary blindness, causing traffic control devices to distort and making it impossible to see automobiles around you. It’s difficult to say how many automobile accidents are caused by sun glare each year, but the Automobile Association (AA) estimates that sun glare causes around 2,900 incidents on British roads each year.

The first guideline of driving in direct sunlight is to slow down significantly. Because a lack of visibility impairs your ability to respond fast, driving a little slower can help you prevent an accident. Slow down to the speed at which you would drive in a thunderstorm or in dense fog. When visibility is limited, it is also critical to maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you. It will be harder to see what is going on around you, and other drivers may be more likely to press the brakes unexpectedly. Keep a pair of polarised sunglasses in your car to rapidly reduce glare from the sun. Polarized sunglasses include a specific filter in the lens that can block out highly reflected light. They’re especially useful while traveling through icy areas where sun glare is at its worst. When there is a glare from the sun, dirt on the windows can scatter light, making it even more difficult to see. Before you go, check sure the windows are clean on the inside and outside. Wipe down the windshield to eliminate any remaining debris before finishing with a coat of white vinegar to prevent residue buildup. 

When glare from the sun becomes a common occurrence on your daily commute, it may be time to take a different route. Routes that run north or south will keep you from driving directly into the sun and being hit by its image in your rearview mirror. Routes surrounded by towering buildings or trees can also aid to reduce sun glare. Another approach is to adjust your schedule to avoid times when the sun is at its brightest, which is normally an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. While utilizing the sun visor that came with your vehicle is definitely suggested in bright sunshine, its hardness can occasionally be detrimental. If you’re tired of having to choose between shards of light piercing your eyes and pulling your visor all the way down and not being able to see anything, it might be time to invest in a different sun visor. Many online and brick-and-mortar businesses sell visors made of translucent plastic, which serve to filter out harmful rays without completely obstructing your eyesight.