Driving directly into the sun can be just as bad, if not worse, than driving through rain or snow. The brightness of the sun’s light can temporarily blind you making it very difficult to see what lies ahead.
Did you know that the risk of getting into a car accident increases by 16% during moments of bright sunlight?
However, there are preventive measures that you can take in order to drive safely while the sun is shining brightly. Commit to memory the following five tips to help you reach your destination.
Tip #1: Wear Quality Shades
Doing a little research on high-quality sunglasses is listed as number one for a reason. Sunglasses will dramatically decrease the effect that the bright sun has on your visibility while driving.
A good pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays as well as reduce the sunrays impact on your vision.
Tip #2: Look Into Getting Your Windows Tinted
Although the more expensive route, window tinting will function as another pair of “sunglasses.” Getting your windows tinted won’t necessarily protect your eyes from UV rays but it will prohibit extra sunlight from entering your vehicle.
Inquire about your state’s specific tinting regulations. Due to safety concerns, many states have a percentage limit on how dark (“tinted”) your windows can be. Adhere to the law when making adjustments to your vehicle to avoid receiving a ticket.
Tip #3: Increase Driving Distance
As with all weather conditions while driving, keep a safe distance from other vehicles you are following. It can’t hurt to increase this distance even more during traffic. The sun’s effect on a driver’s visibility will require a longer reaction time to avoid an accident or injury.
It’s always much harder to see the brake lights of the car in front of you as the sun’s light reflects off of nearby surfaces. While on the highway, avoid traveling behind other vehicles altogether if at all possible.
Tip #4: Use Your Visors
Most, if not all, vehicles come equipped with visors. They are designed to block the sunlight coming through your front windshield as well as the passenger and driver-side windows. Some vehicles even have extensions that lengthen your visors reach. You can even wear a baseball hat that can function as a natural sunlight blocker.
Tip #5: Avoid Driving During Bright Sunlight
If at all possible, try to plan your routes according to where the sun is positioned. If the sun is at it’s worst during your morning or afternoon commute, try to leave a little earlier or later in order to avoid the bright light altogether.
If your visibility ever gets extremely bad and none of the above tips have been very successful, pull over and wait 15-20 minutes to see if conditions improve. Arriving at your destination slightly late is worth the safety of all those on the road.