There are a lot of hazards out there that could compromise a drivers’ safety during the commute. But perhaps one danger that not a lot of people think about is the risk posed by sunlight creating a glare that impede’s a driver’s ability to properly view the road. This threat is especially grave when you consider that the majority of employees are headed to and from work right during the hours when the sun is going to be coming up or setting. The Sacramento Police Department, in an effort to cut down on injuries and fatalities that result from glare-induced crashes, has provided safety tips to motorists.
One of the first and easiest things a person can do to minimize glare is to simply wear polarized sunglasses. When such an item isn’t on hand, be sure to tilt your visor down to block out a direct look at the sun. When you do utilize this vital vehicle component, make sure that it works properly and isn’t weighted down by items that would impede safe usage. You don’t want an unclipped garage door opener to pose a distraction.
Making sure to clean your windshield properly can also go a long way toward ensuring safety. First, when choosing a cleaner, be sure to go with a product that doesn’t leave streaks behind. Such streaks can actually heighten the risk by refracting sunlight. You should also use cleaner on both the inside and the outside, as dust and other particles can accumulate on both sides of the window.
Before you head out, it’s important that you verify that your windshield wipers function properly and actually clear debris out of the way without leaving a streak. In addition, you might also double check that the reservoir which holds windshield wiper fluid is sufficiently filled. You never know when some gunk is going to cloud your view, in which instances windshield wiper fluid becomes vital.
A few other tips would be just as necessary to note even at times when sun glare isn’t going to be an issue. Sacramento PD recommends giving the vehicle in front of you plenty of space so that you can make the appropriate evasive maneuvers if you need to. Motorists should also understand that pedestrians are likely unaware that your vision has been compromised by the sun, and thus extra caution should be taken when you spot someone on foot. Pedestrians can do their part by taking similar caution during times when the sun is going to be right in a driver’s eyes.
Finally, be prepared to tweak your driving habits. Glare should be addressed just like any other obstacle. When it happens to you, slow down and drive defensively so as to avoid disaster.