Safe Driving Tips: What to Do When the Sun Is in Your Eyes »

Safe Driving Tips: What to Do When the Sun Is in Your Eyes

We've all been in situations where the sun is in our eyes while driving. Sometimes it's right behind the traffic light we need to see. Sometimes it's centered in the middle of a dead-straight highway. Ugh, what a nuisance, that sun! But seriously, these situations can be dangerous, which is why it's a good idea to have some know-how. Let's take a look at some tips.

#1: Try to avoid driving at the wrong time.

There's always a chance you'll get stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time, when the sun is at just the wrong angle. The rest of the tips, below, are for those situations. This one's about preparation. When you know from experience that travelling a particular route at a particular time will result in sunlight directed into your pupils, avoid taking that route if you can.

#2: Keep a pair of polarized sunglasses in your car.

Sunglasses are a big help when the sun is in your path. The best kind to use are called "polarized" sunglasses. These reduce glare and help you see things more clearly. Although, they can't completely cancel the risk of retinal burns or other optical problems associated with sunlight. Other precautions will need to be taken.

#3: Give everyone more space.

In a normal situation, you should keep plenty of space between you and the driver ahead of you. The faster you go, the more space should be there. When there's a situation involving sun glare or sunlight of any kind, put even more space between your car and the others. The more the better, generally.

#4: Use your sun visors.

Sun visors are installed in every vehicle for a reason. They've been around since the beginning of the automobile. They must be used when the sun is directly ahead. Just pull yours down until the sun is behind it. Then watch the road underneath the visor. Some visors have extenders that pull outwards, towards the rearview mirror in order to block more sunlight. Other vehicles have tinting or paint in that area to block the sun. Whatever you can do to stay safe, do it. That means you should replace a sun visor that doesn't stay in place firmly.

#5: Wash your windshield regularly. (and keep your vehicle neat in general)

If your windshield isn't clean, direct sunlight can cause a glare that makes it almost impossible to see through to the road. Clean the inside and the outside surfaces of your windshield regularly. Clean your windshield more often if you notice dust, pollen or other contaminants getting stuck to it. You should also avoid keeping things on your dash, especially paper and other bright-colored or reflective things. These can reflect the sun and then be reflected off of your windshield, causing a distraction.

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