With some wonderful sunshine at the moment in the UK, most of us will be enjoying the glorious sunny weather. However when the sun is lower in the sky it can be difficult to see the road and other vehicles, or even hazards. Here’s our top tips for driving in the sun and staying safe.
Keep a pair of sunglasses in your car
It may sound obvious but some people still forget to keep a pair of sunglasses in their car. Whether you’re quickly driving to the shops or making a long journey for a holiday, having a pair of sunglasses with you at any time of the year will help give you the best vision possible on the road. Try to buy polarised sunglasses which help reduce glare. Most cars even have compartments now on the drivers side to store their sunglasses. If you don’t have one of those, you can either store them in the glove compartment or in the armrest compartment in the middle of the car.
Use the sun visor to shield your eyes
Every car should have a sun visor available to help protect your eyes from strong sunlight limiting your view of the road. Simply pull it downwards and it should provide enough shade from the sunshine in your driver view. If you find the sun is coming from the right side of the vehicle as you drive and is distracting you, there is a clasp which you can unhook on the sun visor to turn the board towards the drivers window, giving it the flexibility to protect you from glaring sunlight at almost any angle. If you find your visor to be faulty or broken remember to get it fixed straight away so that you’re not vulnerable to the sunshine on your next journey.
Driving safely in the sun’s glare
If you experience the sun affecting your vision on the road, then it’s also advisable to change your driving to suit the conditions. Always try to give more room for the vehicle in front as your field of view is impaired by the sunshine. This will give you more time to react and keep your stopping distance at a safe length. Also try to drive with your headlights on when the sun is hampering your vision. Remember it’s not only you that can’t see very well in these conditions, so visibly warning others of your vehicle by keeping the lights on will help them and yourself avoid an accident.
Don’t forget that the sun will amplify any imperfections on your windscreen so keep it clean and repair any cracks or imperfections if you see them beforehand. Make sure you have enough windscreen washer fluid inside your vehicle too. Avoid storing any paper tickets or objects on your dashboard which could reflect on to the windscreen and further lessen your view of the road.
Remember, if you’re struggling seeing where you are on the road, remember to use lane markings and keep aware of your surroundings to judge the position of your car next to others on the road. Pedestrians can also be at risk so in built-up areas take extra caution and watch out for junctions, crossings and roundabouts.
When is the worst time to drive in the sun?
You’ll usually find that driving just after sunrise or just before the sunset is the worst time to experience sun glare. It can also be more noticeable in the autumn and spring months when the sun is lower in the sky through the day, however there’s less chances of sunnier days during these seasons.
Need your vehicle servicing or checking over for it’s MOT?
If you’ve found that your car has vision impairing features which not only could fail an MOT but put yourself and others at risk, don’t leave it until it’s too late. Here at MCM Garage in Radstock, Bath we repair and MOT vehicles so we’d be happy to book you in and check over any concerns you have with your vehicle. Please call us today on 01761 415 501 or email us via our online contact form to make an MOT booking.