Driving into the sunset isn't always Romantic

5 June 2015 - By Eugene Herbert

Hi Folks…


While my personal challenge is driving into the sunrise each morning, the general consensus is that most other drivers are faced with this issue in the context of this newsletters’  theme.


Most people enjoy having the bright sunshine compared to an overcast day anytime. Feeling the warmth on ones face relaxes one and creates a general feeling of happiness…well, most of the time. Driving toward the bright sun isn’t always relaxing and driving into the sunset isn’t always romantic. Sometimes it can be blinding. Even though that’s the case there are a few things drivers can do to help make driving safer in those conditions.


The most common thing drivers do when they’re faced with bright sunshine is wear sunglasses. Wearing a pair of (quality) sunglasses will help to block the glare, not just the brightness. They help drivers focus on the things one needs to while driving, including the traffic lights, pedestrians, road signs and other road users. However, make sure the sunglasses don’t impede visibility to the sides. Sunglasses with wide arms can add to a blind spot which may stop you from noticing something approaching from the side soon enough to avoid it, such as cyclists or pedestrians.


Other than sunglasses, don’t forget about the sun visor to help block the sun. This is adjustable and can swivel toward the side if the sun is shining through the side window. Some drivers will shield the sun with their hand while driving, only to leave the sun visor up in the ceiling. The added problem with this is trying to safely steer with one hand on the steering wheel. When one does use the sun visor, push it toward the windshield to block the sun. This will still help one spot traffic lights and road signs.


Sometimes the sun can be high enough to not really bother us, but the added glare from the sun can make it difficult for a driver to see properly while driving. To help reduce this glare, ensure the inside of the windshield is cleaned regularly. Using a glass cleaner will help get rid of the grime that seems to gradually build up over a period of time? If one is, or allows smoking in the vehicle, cleaning the inside of each window every few weeks will make a huge difference.


Here’s the second worst case scenario. Heading toward the sun with sunglasses on, the sun visor lowered and the inside of the windshield clean, but the sun is below the visor and it prohibits ones view, what can be done?  Always keep a hat with a brim, such like a baseball hat it can help to shield the sun – just that extra little bit - while you drive.


Here comes the worst case scenario. Regardless of all the things you’ve done to help keep your visibility while driving toward the bright sun, it’s getting tougher to see clearly from that glare, what does one do? Pull over to a safe place and wait for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the sun has gone behind the buildings or trees. Once that happens, you know you’re good to go again.


Now file away these tips and save them for a rainy day. I mean a sunny day.


Till next time - Drive Safe and Drive carefully into the sun.


Eugene Herbert



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