• Driving in low sun

    Although the problems of glare from the sun are present throughout the year, the biggest dangers are generally during the winter months as this is when the sun is at its lowest. The most dangerous times from glare is first thing in the morning and in the evening (generally around the times of the morning or evening commutes and school runs). One of the biggest risks with low sun is that the glare can make it more difficult to see, however, there are some precautions that you can take to reduce these risks.

    Ensure the windscreen, all other windows and mirrors are clean

    Keep the glass areas clean inside and out. The inside of the windscreen screen will over a period of time get a build up of grease and might not be as noticeable during the summer months as the sun is much higher. To clean the windscreen and other glass areas, use a glass cleaner and apply it with either a soft clean cloth or use paper kitchen towels. Before driving off it could be a good idea if possible to also clean the outside of the windows and at the same time clean the mirrors to remove all the dirt and other road grime.

    To keep the windscreen clear, it is vital to make sure that the screenwash tank is full with a strong mixture of a good quality screenwash additive to prevent the screenwash from freezing. Also, check the condition of the wiper rubbers because if they are damaged or worn this will prevent them from cleaning the screen effectively and you will end up with streaks on the windscreen.

    Wear sunglasses

    A lot of drivers wear sunglasses in the summer then during the winter they don’t wear them so will drive around squinting and closing their eyes because they are getting dazzled by the brightness of the low winter sun!

    Keep a good pair of quality polarised sunglasses in the vehicle. Polarised lenses are recommended for driving as they are more efficient at reducing glare than non-polarised. If you don’t already own a good pair of sunglasses being winter, you might be able to pick up a bargain!

    If you wear prescription glasses speak to your optician as it is possible to get prescription polarised sunglasses and often opticians will do these as part of a special deal.

    Use the sun visor

    Sun visors are also great for reducing the glare from the sun and on most cars, the visor can swivel to the right to reduce the glare coming in from the side.

    Reduce speed

    Remember that the speed limit is the maximum legal speed and not a target so drive at a slower speed and make sure that you can stop safely within your zone of vision. If you are temporarily blinded from the sun avoid sudden braking because the driver behind you might not be able to react in time.

    Keep space

    keep a big gap between your vehicle and the one in front in case they brake heavily. Avoid braking heavily.

    Observation and awareness

    when the sun is low pay even more attention to cyclists and pedestrians because they’ll be even harder to see, and be aware that other road users may not see you as they may be suffering from sun glare as well.

    Approach junctions with care and before emerging take a bit longer to look to ensure each direction is clear of vehicles.

    If the sun is behind you then be aware that it will be in the eyes of the drivers heading towards you, so they might not be able to see you.

    Use dipped beam headlights

    Driving on dipped beam headlights is also a great way to ensure that you are visible to other road users.

Office: 07585 335 817

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