BC recently experienced an uncharacteristic run of sunny days, with our skies looking more like Arizona than the traditionally wet Pacific Northwest. While it can make driving more enjoyable, it also challenges your ability to see the road. The phenomenon is known as sun glare. It can cause you to be so blinded by sunlight that you are not able to perceive objects ahead or on the periphery, depending upon which way the sun is shining or reflecting. The sun’s light primarily reflects off of cars that are on the road with you, but also does so off of asphalt and other road surfaces. The adverse affect on the perception of road conditions also leads to fatigue and reduction of your overall driving performance. Below are some helpful tips to keep this from happening.
Practical Tips to Reducing the Risk of an Automobile Accident Caused by Sun Glare
Prepare Your Vehicle Ahead of Time
You can actually prepare your vehicle to mitigate the impact the sun will have on road vision. Before going out on a sunny day drive, take note of the following:
- Clean your windshield (inside and out) and mirrors so that you don’t contribute to distorted vision.
- Inspect your windshield and mirrors for cracks that can cause sunlight to quickly divert into your line of vision. If any, get them repaired immediately.
- Remove unnecessary objects from your dashboard, especially those with reflective surfaces.
Reducing Sun Glare While Driving
Even with the preparations above, sun glare will still occur. To minimize the impact while behind the wheel please consider the following:
- Wear appropriate sunglasses. Choose a high-quality pair with polarized lenses. However, if you are driving a new vehicle with a head up display (HUD) polarized lenses may not allow you to see the HUD. In this case. You will need to test your HUD vision with polarized lenses in a safe environment (i.e. empty parking lot) to ensure that they work together. If not, then at least choose quality sunglasses with green, amber, or deep copper tinted lenses which will help reduce glare.
- Use your sun visor. If the adjustment isn’t working for you, pull over in a safe area with the vehicle pointed in the same driving direction, and adjust it so that it protects your eyes from the sun. You may need to repeat this on long drives as the sun’s position will change.
Other Precautions to Take While Driving
To help you avoid the risk of an automobile accident caused by sun glare that impacts you or other drivers, please consider the following:
- Drive with your headlights on. This may seem counterintuitive on a sunny day, but it actually helps approaching drivers see you. It will reduce the risk of sun glare that may cause them to hit your vehicle.
- Increase your following distance from the standard “good weather” 2 seconds to at least 4 or 5 seconds.
- Know the speed limit and stay within it.
- Remove all distractions. This expands far beyond putting your smartphone in the backseat. View our complete catalogue of guides to avoiding distracted driving.
By following the above you can enjoy sunny day drives while leaving sun glare concerns in your proverbial rearview. For all other inquires about automobile insurance in BC feel free to contact Park Insurance anytime.