The Glare of The Sun can have a dangerous impact on your driving ability! Everything you need to know about driving into The Sun! ToolFreak’s top tips for Drivers & Truck Drivers!
Distraction, Distortion, Danger! Did you know that approximately 3,000 road accidents occur each year in the UK due to the intense glare of the sun?
Most of us will have experienced those few, fearful seconds of being blinded by the sun while driving, unfortunately for some, this fleeting moment can have momentous repercussions.
This hazardous glare has the power to cause accidents, which in some cases, can be fatal. In fact, the risk of a life threatening crash is 16% higher during bright and sunny conditions, as opposed to dull and low light conditions.
It is estimated that by 2030, Road Traffic Crashes will become the fifth leading cause of death and statistics show that today 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle cases include a large truck.
These haunting statistics paired with future predictions are both devastating and detrimental; and we must collectively do what we can to avoid this increase and promote safety wherever possible.
We have created this informative blog post to hopefully encourage drivers to think carefully about their safety while driving, especially during bright conditions!
Information about the glare of the sun!
When the sun is low on the horizon, the angle of direct light creates an overwhelming glare across your windshield. This can distract and distort your vision and therefore impact your control and ability to react to what is happening around you on the road.
The glare of the sun can be reflected towards your eyes from an array of different objects, whether it’s the flat surface of the road, the tarmac, puddles on the road, other cars, nearby lakes; as well as many more objects!
When the beaming and overwhelming light enters your eyesight, it can distract and distort your vision! Even if this occurs for just one short second; the impact can be colossal, because your focus is key!
Whether you’re driving on a congested motorway, or a long and winding country road, you must be aware, alert; and have impeccable attention to detail! This is because you have to focus not only on yourself, but also those around you; as well as the environment that you’re driving in.
Driving can often be unpredictable, whether it's a hidden bend, an oversized pot hole, or a speeding driver, you really can’t tell what's around the corner… The powerful and blinding sun being added to this unpredictable equation; really can create a huge hindrance on your ability to drive safely.
So, what can you do to prepare for bright, sunny conditions while driving?
- Wear Polarized Safety Glasses- These cool and reflective Safety Glasses have a chemical coating applied to their lenses and the molecules within this coating form a barrier. This then filters out horizontal light and only allows vertical light, with waves of low intensity. This means that you can wave goodbye to glare and focus on the task in hand (driving)!
- Slow down! When you can’t see properly when you’re driving, your impulse reaction is to panic; and often when you panic, you do so at speed. So, when you see that the sun is bright, soon to overpower your vision of the road, slow right down! When you’re driving slowly, you are at less risk of making hasty, impulse decisions to swerve at speed.
- Keep a good decent between you and the cars around you- When it’s chucking it down with rain; or fog fills the atmosphere around you, you ensure that there is plenty of room between yourself and the car in front right? Well, the same applies to driving in bright and sunny conditions! This space will mean you have more room to react if they were to say, harshly brake all of a sudden. Keep the space!
- Keep your windshield clean (both inside and out)- Although cleaning your car can often feel like a mundane chore, be sure to do it regularly! Your windscreen should be impeccably clean so you can have insane clarity of all that is around you. If the glare were to hit a dirty and blurred windscreen, your ability to see is going to be, well, nearly impossible! Be sure to keep it clean and look out for your future self!
- Check your windshield for cracks- Be alert and make sure that you fix any cracks as soon as they happen! Again, a crack can provide scope for greater distraction and distortion when the sun hits your windshield! Ensure that your windshield is in tip top shape prior to your journey!
- Avoid storing anything on your dashboard- If you have objects and clutter lying around on your dashboard, you’re providing more opportunity for that intense glare to bounce into your eyesight! So, keep your car clean and decluttered!
- Drive with your headlights on- Allow other cars to see you by turning on your headlights! The sun can often blur your vision, so the ability to see headlights will be really helpful for drivers around you to be able to locate your whereabouts! This can also help reduce the possible terrible visibility of oncoming drivers!
- Take an alternative route- If you can avoid directly driving into the sun, then please do so! Check your Sat Nav or your smartphone’s map for a route that avoids the bright and beaming sun facing directly towards you! Also, if you can find a rural route, whereby tall trees are surrounding and shading you, then do so!
- Plan your trip for a time when the sun is not at its brightest- The sun is at its brightest when it's at the highest point in the sky! Depending on the time zone you’re in this may vary, however, generally midday or around 1pm is when the sun is at its brightest. It is also worthwhile to consider that driving while the sun is rising or setting can also be rather overwhelming and overpowering. Be sure to consider the time of your trip in order to stay safe on the road!
- Make sure your sun visor works- Your sun visor is extremely useful, especially when the bright and beaming sun hinders your ability to drive. Make sure that it is operating well and doing its job!
We hope that you have found this blog interesting AND informative! If you have any questions, please feel free to get in contact with us!
We regularly update our blog, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh content coming VERY soon!
The ToolFreak Team