Why are sunrises and sunsets so dangerous when we drive?
There is nothing more beautiful than watching the sun rise or fall, but did you know it can be one of the most dangerous times for driving?
With many of us commuting to and from work at these times, it is important to make sure you are taking all the precautions to keep safe on the road.
The key issues with driving at dawn or dusk is the effect it has on our vision. Here are the threats it can pose:
- The sun at these times is low, and can shine directly into your eye whilst you are in your vehicle, creating a glare. As a result, your vision becomes impaired and your ability to drive can suffer. Identifying potential hazards and leaving enough space between you and other vehicles are just a couple of examples of the risks.
- Natural light is reduced and it often doesn’t seem dark enough to turn on your headlights, so visibility can be particularly weak at this point
- Around the time of the sunrise and sunset, those on the roads are likely to have just woken up or are returning home after a long day at work. Tiredness has a severe effect on focus and reaction time, which is made worse by the position of the sun
So, what can we do to protect our vision when driving?
Here are some top tips about how to keep safe from the sun whilst you’re on the road!
Whilst sunglasses may not prevent the glare of the sun in your eyes entirely, they will help reduce it. Make sure you keep a pair in your car where you can access them easily and safely!
Whilst we probably use them to check ourselves out in the mirror, the sun visor can be a total saviour if the sun is getting in the way of your vision on the roads. Unlike sunglasses, it can help you block the deadly sun from your sight completely!
Be extra cautious
When driving in less than ideal conditions, make sure you are extra cautious behind the wheel, leaving extra space between you and other vehicles. Safelite emphasise that sunlight can even impact depth perception, so it is important you give yourself and those around you plenty of room!
Turn on your headlights
Although it may seem strange turning your headlights on as the sun is rising, it is in fact a precaution to make sure you are seen more clearly by other vehicles, who may also be struggling to see because of the sun!
Pull over in a safe place
If the sun glare is particularly damaging your ability to see, the best action to take is to pull over in a safe place, for example a car park and allow your vision to adjust again. Running ten minutes late is worth it if your sight is protected!
We may not be able to avoid the sun entirely but with these tips we can protect not only our sight but ourselves and others on the roads! On that note, it’s probably best we leave the driving off into the sunset to the movies.
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