How to drive safely in low sun
Finally, the weather has turned for the better. After a winter that seemingly was never going to end, the sun is shining, daffodils are blooming and smiles are returning to the faces of people up and down the country. And driving, as we all know, is so much more pleasurable in the sunshine, even for those of us without the luxury of a soft-top car.
Having said that, drivers need to take care. Yes, youíre right Ė winter brings with it slippy, icy roads and thick fog, but the warmer weather brings hazards of its own, the sun. In summer time, especially in the late afternoon, when the sun gets lower and lower the danger for motorist increase. As Peter Rodger, Chief Examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists says, ďwhen the sun is directly in your line of sight, there is little you can do about itĒ. What you can do to prepare yourself is to be aware, and take care Ė following these tips will help.
Itís an obvious, but important point. Sunglasses arenít just the icing on top of your fashion conscious cake, but they serve an important purpose too. Sunglasses can be difference between an accident or not Ė turning a corner, being surprised by the sun catching you, is a lot less dangerous when your eyes are protected from the rays.
Clean those windows
This is important all year round. For the sunny days weíre currently experiencing, itís important to keep that glass shiny clean to keep your visibility to a maximum. In the sun, blotches on your windscreen (front and rear) can be a big distraction at crucial times. Better safe than sorry Ė keep it clean. Also if you are cleaning the inside of the glass ensure you use the right cleaning agent, smears will increase the dangers of low sun.
Nearly all cars are fitted with sun visors as standard to help increase the safety of driving when the sun is low. Ensure that you are able to use your visor without packing it full of objects that might actually act as a distraction.
Donít look directly at the sun
This is an obvious one, but if you look directly at the sun your vision will be obscured and this makes driving very dangerous. If it can be avoided do not look directly at the sun when driving as it will make the process difficult.
Perhaps the most important tip of all. If your visibility isnít great, slow down. Speed is a constant danger and the faster that you travel the more serious an accident that you may be involved in.
Mind the gap
This is another all year round tip, but itís perhaps particularly important when you know full well youíre driving in low sun, or itís the time of day when the sun is setting and could catch you out at any moment. Increase the stopping distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you to ensure youíve got as much time as possible to react to any potential hazard.
published: 20/05/2013 10:02:55