Have you ever been behind the wheel of a vehicle and suddenly the sun becomes perfectly aligned to punch you right into the windows of your soul – so much so, it becomes difficult to navigate?
This moment is often referred to as “the Ray Charles” and can be very dangerous, especially on the busy roadways in the metroplex.
Just after sunrise and before sunset the sun can shine directly into drivers’ eyes, leaving many motorists driving with a glare. This glare can make it much harder to see the road ahead and potential hazards creating an added risk to drivers. When sun glare is an issue slow down and use extra caution especially while driving through school zones.
The bright sun glare moments may be inevitable, but here are a few safety measures to try to prevent accidents and injuries as a result of them:
- Make use of your car’s visors. Most vehicles have at least one visor on the driver and passenger sides, which can be adjusted as needed. Many times you can switch them from front to side visors as well. While this doesn’t increase road visibility, it does block the sun from your eyes.
- Clean your windshield. Haze, smudges and dirt buildup on your windshield can make sun glare even worse. Glass cleaner is meant to keep windows clear not only for looks, but for these types of safety reasons as well.
- Wear sunglasses. Especially sunglasses with polarized lenses, which are made to diminish the sun glare’s intensity. Make sure they are easily accessible as well because you don’t want to become distracted while searching for them while behind the wheel.
- Slow down and back off. When sun glare is affecting your vision, it’s likely affecting the vision of drivers around you as well. That means they may brake suddenly and unexpectedly. Anytime the sun is an issue with visibility, you should reduce your vehicle’s speed and follow the vehicles in front of you much less closely than typically necessary.
- Clean your dashboard. Papers and other cluttering items can cause a glare on your windshield, making it even more difficult to see.
- Use your headlights and taillights. This sometimes makes your vehicle easier for other drivers to see.
Rarely will visibility be absolutely perfect while driving, but if motorists know this and make the proper adjustments, you can minimize any additional risks that come with less-than-optimal visual conditions.