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1 November, 2010

Driving tips for Low Winter Sun Conditions

If you’ve read our blog post from 11 October, you’re already up to speed with how to best prepare your car for the winter weather.

For the second instalment of our winter driving series, we’re covering the dangerous driving conditions created by the sun’s glare.

In a recent article in the Telegraph, the Institute of Advanced Motorists highlighted government figures that suggest that glare from the sun was a cause of in excess of 2,500 injury crashes in 2009, as many as headlamp dazzle and bad weather combined.

Sun glare on rear view mirror

Photo by stevec77

One of the main problems when driving in sunny conditions is glare. This can seriously reduce your ability to see and plan the road ahead.

Glare is increased when driving in low winter sun, particularly where the roads are wet from rain or snow. This is mainly due to the reflection off the road surface. The situation can be worsened by having a dirty windscreen.

With these points in mind, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure you are prepared to deal with these conditions:

  • Keep your windscreen clean and grease free, both inside and out
  • Where visibility is reduced, lower your speed to allow you more time to respond to hazards
  • Be particularly aware of pedestrians and cyclists as they are more difficult to see
  • Be more aware of following vehicles; they may also be affected by the sun’s glare
  • Wear sunglasses and/or use your visor to cut out as much glare as possible
  • Avoid looking directly into the sun.

Low winter sun poses a real danger to road users at this time of year with the clocks going back.  Remember to always drive within the speed limits, at an appropriate speed for the road conditions, and heed the advice we have given to help you stay safe on the roads this winter.