Navigating the winter months as a driver often feels like a series of escalating challenges – from black ice and snowstorms to excessive rain and deteriorating roads, not to mention the blinding effects of low sun. Seasoned drivers understand the difficulty of driving when sunlight becomes a dazzling hindrance.
So, what exactly is low sun, and how can you address it effectively?
Understanding Low Sun:
During winter in the northern hemisphere, the sun’s angle becomes remarkably low due to the Earth’s rotation on its axis. This phenomenon, exacerbated in certain regions where the sun may not rise again for up to 52 days, leads to uncomfortable and potentially hazardous situations for drivers. The low sun angle, coupled with reflective surfaces like snow and ice, creates a recipe for quick and intense glare.
Strategies for Dealing with Low Sun:
1. Utilize Your Car’s Visor:
When the sun is at a higher angle, using the visor can be effective. However, the challenge arises when the sun is so low that the visor becomes ineffective. In such situations:
2. Invest in Quality Sunglasses:
Contrary to the perception that sunglasses darken visibility, investing in high-quality polarized sunglasses can significantly reduce glare while maintaining overall road visibility. Unlike cheap tinted glasses, polarized sunglasses block sunlight at specific angles, providing a safer driving experience.
Note: Remember to remove sunglasses when the overall light diminishes, as forgetting to do so is not a valid excuse in case of an accident.
3. Maintain Safe Distances:
In low sun conditions, adopt a cautious approach by slowing down and keeping a safe distance from other vehicles. This allows for ample response time to potential hazards and ensures a safer driving experience.
4. Keep Your Windscreen Clean:
Surprisingly, maintaining a clean windscreen can significantly reduce glare. Both the inside and outside of the windscreen should be kept free of dirt and particles that can refract sunlight and cause glare.
In the complex landscape of winter driving, tackling low sun requires a multifaceted approach. By employing these strategies, drivers can enhance visibility, reduce the risk of accidents, and navigate the challenges posed by low sun with confidence.