A HAZARD ON OUR ROADS: While sunrises and sunsets may be spectacular, driving with the glare in your eyes can be dangerous. Image: iStock
Cape Town - As days get shorter and nights longer in South Africa, more and more drivers will be driving into the sun either on their way to work, or back home in the evening. While sunrises and sunsets may be spectacular, driving with the glare in your face creates a hazard that could be dangerous on the road.
The Automobile Association said: “Driving with a glare makes it much harder to see the road ahead, and to notice potential hazards. In these conditions we urge drivers to exercise extra caution, especially in areas with high foot traffic such as schools, bus stops, and road crossings.”
The AA said there are a few tips drivers can use to ensure that they are safer in these conditions.
The Association said: “Invest in a good pair of polarised sunglasses that can reduce the glare, and, obviously, use your sun visor to block out the sun. These two tips alone should ease the glare but you should still drive with caution.”
Other tips include:
1 Use polarised sunglasses or anti-glare prescription glasses.
2 Use not only your visor, but the extendable visor available on some vehicles.
3 Keep a safe following distance. When the sun is directly in your face, it’s difficult to see what is happening ahead. Drive with your headlights on to make yourself more visible to oncoming traffic, as well as from behind.
4 Ensure your windshield is clean. If you are struggling to see through it without the sun in your eyes, it will be even more difficult with the sun. Think before hitting the washer, as this may worsen your visibility. Check your wipers to ensure they are in perfect working condition.
5 Keep your dashboard free of clutter.
6 If you are struggling to see ahead, reduce your speed, and use the road markings as a guide to help you.
7 If possible, pull over and wait for the sun to move.
8 Don’t brake suddenly on the highway, slow down carefully.
9 Change your travel time the next day, if possible, to avoid the sun being directly in your face.
10 Consider using alternative routes to cut down on east/west travel, thereby cutting down on the sun being directly in your face.
The AA concludes: “It may seem obvious that you want to cut the glare when driving, but many people don’t adapt their driving habits during these times. It’s extremely important to drive with the conditions in mind to ensure you remain safe at all times.”