As the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, driving in these conditions can be something that people find a bit tricky. The low sun during the day can cause problems with seeing well when driving, particularly when it’s at an angle that your visa doesn’t block and the dark days and black nights are challenges even for the most confident of drivers.
Here’s some tips to help cope with the changing weather conditions when driving:
Low Winter Sunshine
- Invest in some decent sunglasses
Low winter sunshine can cause problems for many drivers, particularly when it’s visible through your windscreen. By investing in some decent sunglasses, you effectively put a barrier up between your eyesight and the oncoming sun.
- Use your visor
Your visor could become your best friend when driving in low winter sun conditions. By positioning it strategically either to the side or straight ahead, it can help you block the sun from view.
- Keep your windscreen clean
It really goes without saying that you should always keep your windscreen squeaky clean, but especially when the sun is low. The low sun will only heighten the reflection of dirt and smears on your windscreen and make it even more difficult to see.
- Consider investing in tinted windows
There are many products on the market these days to quickly and easily block out the sun’s rays by up to 90%. They can be precisely cut to your car windows exact measurements and you don’t need any tools to fit them. If driving in low winter sun is really a problem for you, then check these tinted window products out! They could make all the difference to yours and others safety.
- Slow down and increase your distance
As challenging as driving in low winter sun is, there is no excuse for driving too fast or too close to other cars in any weather condition. However, it would be prudent to take a little bit more time when driving in low winter sun – you’re probably not the only one that’s finding it difficult to drive in these conditions and you don’t want to end up being involved in someone else’s accident! Take your time, slow down and keep your distance!
Driving in the dark:
- Use your lights appropriately
The general rule of thumb to using your car lights in the dark are these:
- Use your headlights when visibility is drastically reduced (ie, in the dark!)
- Use your fog lights when visibility is reduced to less than 100m or if there’s spray on the road
- Dip your headlight beam when there’s either oncoming traffic or traffic ahead of you
- Only use your full beam when the road is completely clear.
There’s nothing worse than being dazzled by the headlights of some irresponsible driver behind you or from an oncoming vehicle. Don’t be that person and use your lights accordingly!
- Don’t stare at oncoming traffic
Try not to stare at oncoming traffic. It can be difficult but by doing this, you’re putting yourself at risk of being dazzled by their headlights, particularly if they’re on full beam.
- Keep your windscreen clean
Again, pretty obvious and you’re asking for trouble if your windscreen is dirty and smeared.
- Watch for children, cyclists and animals
The dark days of winter and the even darker nights can make it difficult to spot pedestrians, cyclists and animals on the road. Be extra vigilant and you’ll be kind to yourself and those around you.
- Get your eyes tested regularly
Whether you’re driving in the dark or not, it’s always a good idea to get your eyes tested regularly. Small changes that aren’t picked up could have devastating effects when driving conditions change.
- Night driving glasses
Night driving glasses have yellow lenses that apparently help to reduce the glare from oncoming traffic. They’re inexpensive and can help some people. Yellow is the best colour to reduce the impact of white light on your eyes.
- Adjustments to your prescription glasses
Ask your Optician to add an anti-reflective coating to your prescription glasses. This could be really helpful if you drive a lot in poor weather conditions. Or you could try some blue light blocking glasses if you don’t drive too much in the winter.