It's more of a problem in the winter when even if you work regular hours, you're likely to encounter the phenomenon. And during the long days of summer, you'll see the effects if you commute to work early or commute home late at night. We're talking about being in the road during sunrise and sunset.
You're likely to encounter two major problems. The first consists of the long shadows that the sun has objects throw when it is low to the horizon. Such dark shades obscure detail and may make items that have dark colors harder to see. You're more likely to miss potholes and obstacles on the road or not react as quickly to dark colored lights maneuvering in front of you if their lights are still off.
The second is having sunlight right in your eyes. Not only do you risk temporary or permanent blindness but the bright light makes it impossible to see anything like a person walking on a crosswalk or a car that stops suddenly in front of you.
Around sunrise and sunset, shadow and sun increases the chance of an accident unless you take precautions as outlined by the following tips.
- Put your sunglasses on your head but pushed above your eyes. You want to keep your vision unblocked, so you can notice things hidden in the shadow. But as soon as sunlight impinges on the view, a quick movement of your hands can bring your sunglasses over your eyes to protect you from the sun's glare.
- Avoid looking directly into the sun because of its blinding effects. Look either lower, higher, or further to the side of where the sun is currently positioned. Use your and your front passenger's sun visors to help with blocking the sun's rays.
- Think about where the sun is going to be along your route and where it's likely to affect your eyes. Try to vary the time you travel or your path to avoid problems. When you're on the road, look further up the road than usual to determine where the sun is going to hit you up ahead.
- Clean both the outside and inside of your windshield clean. Your vinyl dashboard can give off gasses that coat the inside area of windshield with a film that may make it harder to see through the glass, especially when the sun is shining on it. Smoking inside your car may also produce obscuring gasses. Use a top-quality glass cleaner or a mix of water and vinegar to clean this film away.
- Try to leave a gap between you and the car in front that's bigger than normal to give you time to react to drivers who behave unpredictably when facing sunlight. Check your rearview mirror frequently so you can increase the gap between the car's following you and you rear end.
- If the sun is obscuring your vision, don't just suddenly stop on the road. (However, be on the alert for the drivers in front of you who are slowing down or stopping.) Otherwise, drivers behind you whose vision is similarly obscured may rear-end you. Pull off the road and wait for the sun to travel a few minutes up or down its path to vary the rays it throws in your way.
- Switch on your headlights and not just your Daytime Running Lights. This will make you more visible to approaching drivers, especially when your car is in shadow, as well as to drivers behind you who will be able to see your taillights turn on constantly.
Even if you take sensible precautions, a car accident may still hit your ride. In such cases, give us a call so we can fight for your rights.