During winter the number of traffic accidents can increase due to the associated weather conditions with this season. One of the main contributing factors to this is motorists being temporarily blinded by the sun, due to it being positioned lower in the sky. Unless adequate protective equipment is utilised this effect can cause problems for motorists and result in accidents.
These traffic accidents can be attributed to two main causes, the first and perhaps the most obvious is when motorists are driving directly into the sunlight and as a result are temporarily blinded. The second cause is from light reflected from another vehicle, the road itself or another reflective object causing a glare and temporarily blinding the driver.
This glare induced blindness is especially common during the winter months, due to the sun’s lower elevation within the sky and also due to the increase in reflective surfaces on the road, such as snow and ice, due to the weather associated with this season. The glare reflected from these surfaces is not only harmful due to the temporary blindness it causes, it can also result in long term damage to the motorists eyes. This is because of the reflective qualities of both snow and ice, which can result in up to 85% of the UV rays being directly reflected into the motorists eyes.
In order to help you protect yourself from the dangers caused by the sun being lower in the sky and the increased winter glare, with have provided the following tips:
- Get into the habit of lowering your visors within the vehicle, as this helps to block some of the light both from direct sunlight and also the reflected glare.
- During the winter months avoid making use of high gloss vinyl cleaners on the vehicle’s dashboard and interior.
- Turn on your headlights in order to counter the potentially reduce visibility of over motorists, making them aware of your vehicle.
- Drive cautiously and ensure that you maintain a safe distance between vehicles in front of you to ensure an appropriate reaction time.
- Ensure that your car’s windscreen is clean and that the windscreen’s washer reservoir is full.
- Finally, most importantly of all, ensure that sunglasses are worn at all times. More importantly, ensure that you are wearing suitable sunglasses, ones with polarised lenses to reduce the glare. Also ensure that the sunglasses have UV protection in order to shield your eyes from UV damage.
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