Blinded by the Sun

Dangers of Driving Into Sun

Daylight Saving Driving Dangers

It will soon be time to turn your clocks and “spring forward” one hour as Daylight Saving Time takes effect on Sunday, March 9.

While reports and research differ on the benefits of this change, few realize the added dangers – especially when behind the wheel. The short-term dangers in the few days after the time change involve an increase in drowsy driving due to a change in your sleep pattern and losing one hour of sleep.

The long term dangers involve a change in driving conditions.  It is darker later into the morning and many drivers will now drive to the office before sunrise. Slow down and use extra caution especially while driving through school zones.

Just after sunrise and before sunset the sun will shine directly into drivers’ eyes, leaving many motorists driving with a glare. Driving into the sun can make it much harder to see ahead and is an added risk to drivers.

So how can you protect yourself? AAA offers these tips for motorists when driving into the sun:

  • Invest in polarized sunglasses – they can help reduce glare.
  • Utilize your sun visor – it can help to block out the sun.
  • Leave more following room – when the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. This is one more time when it pays to leave more room between you and the next vehicle.
  • Drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers

Additional tips:

  • Keep your windshield clean, inside and out
  • Check your windshield for pitting and cracks
  • Avoid storing papers or other items on the dashboard
  • If having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.

Rarely will visibility be absolutely perfect while driving, but if motorists know this and make the proper adjustments, you can minimize any additional risks that come with less-than-optimal visual conditions.