Driving in dazzling sunshine is more dangerous than rain, sleet, snow or fog!
On a warm, sunny day there’s often nothing better than jumping in the car for a spontaneous road trip but hitting the road in bright sunlight can pose serious difficulties for drivers – especially as summer turns to autumn.
The sun often seems to linger lower and for longer around the morning and evening rush hours throughout August, September and October and into winter, affecting drivers’ vision on clear days.
Sun glare has even caused problems for royal drivers, with Prince Philip claiming that he was “dazzled by the sun” after crashing his Land Rover near Sandringham in January.
Bright sunlight can be a major hazard for drivers
In fact, Official Department for Transport data shows that driving in dazzling sunshine is more dangerous than rain, sleet, snow or fog!
It causes 2,324 collisions per year, including 55% more serious road accidents per year than wintery weather conditions (449 compared to 289) and 25 fatal incidents.
But there are plenty of precautions motorists can take to help them steer clear of danger when travelling in potentially dazzling sun – the LeaseCar.uk team have revealed their top tips below.
Adapt your driving to suit conditions
Firstly, you should appropriately alter your driving style, just as you would in stormy or freezing weather.
If the sun is making visibility difficult, you should drive slower than normal and leave an increased following distance to the vehicle in front of you.
This should allow more time for you to interpret the road ahead, react to other drivers’ actions and reduce the risk of danger.
It’s also wise to make full use of your car’s flip-down sun visors to block out some dazzling light when necessary, including the one on the passenger side.
They’re designed to provide safer driving conditions, with most able to unclip and spin 90 degrees to shield side windows too, in case the brightness is coming from a different direction.
Well-maintained cars are safer
Other ways the LeaseCar.uk team came up with to aid your vision when driving in bright sun include taking care of your car, both inside and out.
Any cracks, scratches or pits on your windscreen, or even your bonnet, could cause sunlight to scatter and distort your view of the road.
So, you should check your vehicle is in top shape before driving in bright conditions and invest in a professional once over if you have any doubts.
Ensuring your windscreen and mirrors are completely clean and smear-free before setting off can also aid visibility, whilst screen wash should be kept topped up too.
Removing clutter from the dashboard is a must as well – materials such as paper, glass and food packaging can reflect sunlight and cause easily avoidable problems.
Prepare to avoid risks
Drivers should also consider keeping in the glovebox some polarised sun glasses, which block out intense reflected light without the darkening effect of traditional pairs.
But as with any extreme or potentially dangerous weather conditions on the roads, if you’re not confident of your safety, don’t travel.
If you’re already behind the wheel, stop somewhere safe and wait for conditions to improve – at LeaseCar.uk we think it’s always better to get to your destination later but safer, in one-piece.