4th Jun, 2020
Sun strike might sound like a cool name for an indie rock band, but for drivers it’s far from an enjoyable or relaxing experience. In the right (that is, wrong) conditions, sunlight can be just as dangerous as rain or snow, if drivers are blinded by the rays. So before the next time you get behind the wheel, it’s worth taking a second to consider how you can ensure everything’s as safe as it could be for you, your passengers and other road users – nobody wants to be in a collision that scraps your car!
Jump to: Use your sun visors | Clean your windscreen and mirrors | Fix cracks in your windscreen | Wear sunglasses | Slow down (and know when to stop)
For example, the police may decide to hit you with a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points if they think you’re driving without due care and attention. You might even end up dealing with a £5000 fine, up to 9 penalty points and a total ban on driving. It’s nobody’s idea of a good time.
Those are just the legal consequences, and what you could be facing in a best-case scenario. Putting aside all discussion of fines and legal consequences, the most important thing is that you could be putting yourself and others at risk, especially if you underestimate the effect that glare can have on your driving.
This is the most common sense one – after all, that’s literally what they’re there for. If the driver’s seat sun visor isn’t doing enough to block out the glare, don’t forget that you can rotate the passenger side visors to block out the rays coming in from the side as well.
This is a hugely important one, and it’s a measure that a lot of drivers tend to neglect. Your windscreen and mirrors should be completely clear from marks and smears before you set off. The sunlight can refract through these, dazzling you further, and bright sunlight can sometimes reduce your visibility as much as thick fog when it shines through a dirty windscreen. The solution is simple – give them a quick once-over (and possibly wipe down) before you set off.
The same applies for any cracks or physical marks in your windscreen. Once again, the sunlight can scatter as it passes through these, which can make a tiny crack pose a very big danger. It’s just one of the many reasons why you could risk being charged with an offence if you’re driving around with one.
A simple but effective measure which can really reduce the risk of collisions due to being dazzled by sunlight. Sunglasses don’t cost much to pick up either, and they’re available at most supermarkets. You may want a pair with polarised or reactive glass that can help reduce the glare even further, especially if you already wear glasses while driving.
When it comes right down to it, one of the the best ways to counteract bright sunlight is the same as it is for any other hazard – slow down to a safe speed, and give yourself the benefit of increased reaction times. Rear-on collisions aren’t unheard of where sun glare is concerned, and just a few seconds can make all the difference to crashing your car or not.
On that note, don’t be afraid to pull over either, if the sun’s at a very difficult angle. Early in the morning or late in the evening can both be tricky times, as the sunlight shines low over the horizon. It might sound overcautious, but better to be overcautious and safe than risk the safety of you or your passengers. If you’re driving the same routes regularly, it can sometimes help to bear in mind where bright sunlight makes particular stretches of roads especially difficult to drive (the brows of certain hills for examples, or long straight stretches with no tree cover), and avoid them if you can.
With all that in mind, you should be able to effectively guard yourself against the risk of being dazzled by sunlight, and avoid prematurely scrapping your car. When the time finally does come to get rid of it though, you can count on Scrap Car Network to be here to help. It takes as little as 10 seconds to get an instant online valuation of your car, which you can do just by filling in a few quick details on our homepage. Get your instant online quote today!