Eight Tips for Driving with the Sun in Your Eyes

Eight Tips for Driving with the Sun in Your Eyes and Achieving Hazard Reduction--Call to Action!Sunlight can cause major problems seeing when you drive at any time of year, not just in summer. The period just after the sun rises and just before it sets are dangerous times for drivers, whether the days are long or short.

When the sun is shining into your eyes as you drive, you don’t have a good view of the road due to glare. It can be impossible to get a true view of the road ahead. But you can take steps to improve your vision when the sun is out. These eight tips will help you make your trip safely, achieving hazard reduction whatever your destination.

Tip #1: Wear polarized sunglasses

Don’t think that sunglasses in winter are silly. A good pair of polarized sunglasses are an essential safety tool for any driver year round. They won’t give you perfect vision in the glare of the sun, but they are your best first step.

Tip #2: Wash your windshield regularly 50 things you must know about safety leadership

Grime on the inside and outside of your windshield makes the sunlight refract and scatter, which intensifies the glare. Clean glass is easier to see out of whatever the weather conditions, but especially when you are facing sunlight. It is best to clean your windshield before your trip. Using your car’s windshield cleaning device during the drive leaves drops of washer fluid on it, which reflect the sun, making it harder to drive until they dry up.

Tip #3: Add secondary visors to your sun visor

Your car’s sun visor can help reduce glare. In addition you can significantly increase its effectiveness with mini-visors available at stores that carry auto supplies. Buy an adjustable one that allows you to fill the gap not covered by your main visor. Some are see-through, which helps to filter out glare while still allowing the driver to see through them. Since some drivers have trouble getting a good view when using them, it is wise to test them out on short trips to see if they work for you.

fctc-online-bannerAll visors have shortcomings, providing only limited help in achieving hazard reduction. When you pull the visor down, whether the main one that comes with the car or a mini-visor, you can obscure the road ahead, making it hard to see traffic lights and to get a full view of what is ahead. Don’t pull visors so low that you only have a constricted view of what is immediately ahead.

Tip #4: Avoid clutter on your dashboard

Sunlight reflects off items on your dashboard. Anything with a shiny surface, including paper, can add to your trouble seeing well. Store items in the glove compartment or buy a caddy to hold them.

Tip #5: Replace a cracked or pitted windshield

Cracks and dents can distort your view and cause sunlight to scatter, making it hard to see.

Tip #6: Leave ample space between you and the driver ahead

Give yourself plenty of room out in traffic. If there is a problem, this extra room can save you from running into the car ahead.

Tip #7: Drive slower if you are having trouble seeing

Just like you reduce speed in driving rain or snow, go slower when driving into the sun.

Tip #8: Try to avoid times when glare is at its worst

It can be helpful to leave even 30 minutes earlier or later for your commute to avoid the problems with glare. If you can’t, then add extra time to your trip. Rushing when driving with the sun glaring in your eyes is asking for trouble.

Achieving hazard reduction while driving

Visibility is seldom the best you’d like it to be at any time of year and in all types of weather. But taking steps for achieving hazard reduction from sun glare can make your trip much safer year round.

~Mary Hannick

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About the Author

safetyBUILT-IN is the safety-leadership learning and development division of SCInc. We believe sustainable safety performance is best achieved through a core-values based safety culture, and that culture must be driven by leadership. Our safety-leadership programs are competency-based, and focused on performance outcomes. We believe in building capability and ownership into our client organizations—as well as sustainability into our programs—so that our clients can continue running those programs long after we’re out of the picture. Our emphasis is on building better leadership presence, better leadership communication and better leadership coaching by first building relationships of trust with people and learning how to engage them on the level of their core values and beliefs.