Driving in winter often means having to contend with the sun starting to rise or set at peak commuting times, which threatens to blind drivers as they navigate already hazardous road conditions.
Being distracted or blinded by the sun is a serious problem for road users; research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in the US revealed that bright sunlight can create visual illusions and increase the risk of a life-threatening crash by 16%.
With this in mind, here are our top driving tips to get you ready for the low winter sun and brighter conditions on the road.
Invest in some sunglasses
It may seem ‘glaringly’ obvious, but sunglasses do a pretty good job of helping your eyes to adjust to brighter lights.
Don’t be tempted to pick up that cheap pair you bought on holiday last year however, as there’s no guarantee that they’ll guard against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Grab a pair that carries the ‘CE’ mark, as this means they’ve been tested to European safety standards.
Whatever style you decide to buy, try and go for sunglasses that feature polarised lenses as this helps to defend against glare as well as direct sunlight.
Use your visor
Visors are designed to block out the sun without hindering your vision. They also reduce the amount of the light that enters your field of vision, which helps your eyes to adjust better when you drive into patches of shade, so consider using your visor even if the sun isn’t directly in your eyes.
With a bit of luck, you might be able to adjust your visor to block off sunlight from the front windscreen as well as the right and left side windows!
If you’ve got small passengers in the back (or any sized passengers really), then you may want to invest in some additional sunshades.
Our Halfords Blackout Side Sunshades are a quick and easy way of blocking out some of the sun’s glare, but for longer or more frequent journeys, we’d recommend a Halfords Rear Window Sunshade. These fit over the door themselves and will keep passengers shaded and happier.
Keep your windscreen squeaky clean
During the colder months, you may find that your windscreen picks up a lot more debris and dirt on your travels. Dirty windscreens can really amplify glares, as the dirt scatters sunlight. So before you set off on your journey, try to give your windscreen a bit of TLC.
Top up your car’s washer fluid at least once a week to help keep the windscreen a lot cleaner while driving. A fluid like the Halfords 5L Berry Screenwash will not only help to shift dirt, but leave a berry scent behind as you enjoy your drive in the sun!
Also, check your wiper blades for signs of wear and tear to make sure they aren’t missing patches of dirt or failing to remove grime altogether. If it looks like your wiper blades might need replacing, then we can help you there – just select the fitting option when you check out online.
Get tinted windows
You can also combat low winter sun and bright light by getting your vehicle’s windows tinted. Tinting helps to reduce excess heat and glare from the sun by reflecting the sun’s rays away from the interior of the car.
Our Simply Window Tint Light Smoke Film has been specifically created to reduce both heat and glare from the sun. It’s cheaper than getting a full window tint and can be fitted quickly and easily.
Slow down and increase your distances
The saying “better safe than sorry” always applies in low sun. In this case, leaving double the room between you and the vehicle in front of you can give you a split-second extra time to adjust to sudden stops or erratic driving from other road users in bright and low sunlight.
If you’re genuinely struggling to see anything at all, you should pull over in a safe spot until the sun moves out of your line of sight or dips beyond the horizon.
Motoring for less this winter
As the cost-of-living continues to rise, we’re here to help you save money across all your motoring needs, including bulbs and wiper blades. Our dedicated Motoring for Less hub brings together all the ways that you can keep costs down with Halfords including discounts, deals, hints and tips, free checks and more in one convenient location.
Never Beaten on Price
Our Never Beaten on Price promise covers thousands of motoring essentials including fitted tyres, wiper blades, batteries and bulbs. We’ve also reduced the prices of a wide range of products, providing great value for money and ensuring a little more change remains in your back pocket.
Halfords Motoring Club
One of the best ways to keep on motoring for less and prepare for foggy days is to join the Halfords Motoring Club. You’ll get access to a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.
It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.
Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.
With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!
With these handy tips, you should now be ready for safer driving when it’s sunny. If you’re experiencing the opposite of sunny days as you read this, then make sure to check out our wet weather driving tips article too.