Did you know that momentary loss of vision caused by strong sunlight or a reflection causes thousands of accidents every year? In 2018, more than 2500 vehicles in the United Kingdom were involved in accidents due to the sun's enchainment.
This phenomenon is most common at dawn and dusk, times of day when the sun is lower and closer to the horizon. Phenomena like this cause our eyes to suffer a momentary chain and we no longer see the obstacles in front of us. When this happens, we run a great risk of crashing.
When the sun shines very brightly in front of us, we have no chance of getting a glimpse of the path we are walking and it is impossible to get a clear view of what is ahead. But we can mitigate the danger through some simple practices.
Regular windscreen washing - If there is dirt on the inside and outside of the windscreen glass, sunlight will spread more easily on this surface, intensifying the brightness. If you have your front glass well maintained, it is easier to avoid any obstacles.
Using the flap - The flap of your car helps to avoid chaining. There are also 'mini-visors', available from specialist shops, which can fit onto your car visor and increase your eye protection.
Avoid using brightening products on your dashboard - Do not use cleaning products that add shine to your dashboard. Sunlight will already be reflected on your dashboard, if you increase the brightness of that surface even further, it proportionally increases the danger to which you are exposed. Also be careful with papers (or other objects) when you put them on your dashboard, as they can increase the brightness.
Check your windscreen for cracks or other damage - the cracks or "bites" that car windows can gain over time, distort your vision and increase the effect of glare due to light scattering. Of course, in addition to this preventive issue, there is also the need to ensure the integrity of the windscreen for safety reasons.
Keeping the safety distance - An essential rule of the highway code, is the distance to the car before us. This space is essential to react in the event of an unexpected problem. When driving, space is synonymous with time. Time to react and avoid accidents.
Control your speed - Drive slower if you are having trouble seeing the road because of the sun.
Avoid times when the sun is lower - Try to avoid times of day when the sunlight falls more directly on your eyes. It can be very helpful to anticipate or delay your journey by 30 minutes.
If you can't avoid these times of day, drive with your headlights on. This will increase your visibility to other drivers.
Use polarized glasses - A good pair of polarized glasses can make all the difference. They are an essential tool for any driver as they help reduce sunshine and reflections.
Follow all the advice that can increase your road safety and eye health. Sometimes a good pair of sunglasses can save your life.