Now that it’s mid-October, commuters have probably noticed that the sun is hanging lower in the sky while they drive to and from work. As the days grow shorter, this is going to continue for several weeks, until winter forces us to commute in the dark for a while.
For motorists, squinting into the sun is more than annoying and uncomfortable. It is also a potential car accident risk, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. Glare from the sun can blind us to pedestrians, bicycles, traffic signals, even other vehicles. Imagine a car or child on a bike suddenly appears out of the glare and it is too late to get out of the way.
AAA Mid-Atlantic and the National Weather Service offer tips on driving with the sun in your eyes:
- Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses or eyeglasses with the an-antireflective coating.
- Follow the speed limit, and slow down if necessary.
- Keep a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Allow at least three seconds’ worth of space.
- Turn on your headlights so oncoming traffic can see you.
- Keep your windshield clean, inside and out. And get cracks and pits fixed.
- Consider alternate routes, such as roads lined with tall trees or buildings.
- If the glare is strongly limiting your vision, use the lane markings to make sure you stay in your lane.
No matter how carefully you drive, you cannot predict if the person in the lane next to you or coming in the opposite direction is doing the same thing. A car accident can have lifelong consequences, and crashes caused by negligence should never happen, but they do.
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