That sunlight is actually a bigger hazard than a lot of drivers are willing to admit. So to help avoid accidents, here are some safety tips for driving into the sun:
1. Keep your windshield clean on both the inside and outside.
Those smears that may seem like nothing at noon become giant, visibility-impairing streaks when the sun gets low. It’s a major distraction, and one that is easy to prevent. If you need to, keep a bottle of cleaner and some paper towels in a convenient storage place in the front. Give the inside of your windshield a wipe-down before leaving work in the evening.
2. Make sure your wipers are in good condition.
Windshield wipers can get worn down over time, and at a certain point they stop being effective. They don’t remove water spots and dirt from your windshield at that point, they just smear it all around, making visibility even worse. New windshield wipers are quick and easy to install, and can make all the difference between being able to see and not being able to see while you’re driving. It’s a serious matter that people tend to ignore – especially in the Thousand Oaks area, perhaps because it rarely rains, even though wipers get used quite frequently to clean the windshield off.
3. Keep your dashboard clear.
Speaking of clean – the dashboard is an area that needs to stay clean if you want to reduce glare from the sunlight. If you place paper (especially bright white paper), the light can reflect from above into your eyes. It’s subtler than a direct beam of light, but anything white reflects more light than anything dark, and dashboards are typically dark. Best to leave them dark if you commute home westward at the golden hour.
4. Use that sun visor.
Make sure your sun visor works. It’s that flap that folds down to block the light. Plenty of drivers don’t want to bother with the time or cost of getting their repaired, since at first glance it may seem like an inconsequential detail. But when you’re driving toward the sun, the sun visor can save lives. Make sure its hinges are secure, make sure it isn’t falling off, and make sure you use it!
5. Invest in some polarized sunglasses.
This is generally good advice anyway, especially in Southern California, but particularly so when driving west at sundown. Polarized lenses mean you can block more of the painful light without blocking all light, so you don’t have to wear glasses that are so dark that you can’t see anything anyway. Polarized sunglasses will help you keep your eyes open, and will help ensure you’re able to see other cars on the road and the moves that they’re making.
And, of course, we always recommend window tinting in Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, or wherever in Southern California you may live. Reducing glare is one of many advantages car window tinting can provide. Read more about its advantages here (link), or call us today at (805) 495-3967.