autos, cars, autos news, try these tricks to drive safely against a glaring sun

BERLIN: Driving off into the sunset may sound like the rosy end of a Hollywood film, but it’s actually a pain. It can be near impossible to see properly when driving towards a low sun, and folding down a blind can only do so much.

Even at 30kph, you cover about two car lengths in a second when the sun dazzles you. Road safety experts suggest doing these three things when the sun is low.

> Raise your seat: Of course, your first instinct will be to fold down the blind. But sitting higher can make all the difference, so it pays to bring a cushion along for such purposes.

> Keep the glass clean: Cleaning your car isn’t just a cosmetic matter. Streaks on your windscreen will only make things worse in such situations as they increase the sun’s glare effect.

The same goes for smudged and scratched sunglasses, and clear vision may prove critical in an emergency. Sunglasses with tint level 2 or 3 can help, according to the Auto Club Europa (ACE).

Dirty lenses tend to scatter light, which can further increase the glare effect. Don’t forget the wipe the insides and invest in a cloth for cleaning glasses and some cleaning fluid to keep in your car at all times.

> Keep your distance: Squinting your eyes might feel like it helps, but it’s only reducing your vision. That’s why you should always be ready to brake and try to keep a bit more distance to cars ahead of you.

Traffic accident reports show the risk of a crash when the sun is low is significantly higher when turning and merging. That means it’s better to check twice whether another car, cyclist or pedestrian is entering your path.

If you can no longer see well enough to continue driving, pull over and take a short break. This is also a good idea if the puddles on the road start to dazzle you if the sun comes out after a shower.

> Be prepared for nighttime glares: The sun isn’t the only thing that causes a glare, and oncoming vehicles at night can also dazzle drivers with their high beams. The above methods won’t work as well, so you should simply try to avoid staring directly at headlights.

If you’re often struggling with the glare of headlights at nighttime, you might want to check with your eye doctor if you have a visual impairment that is a causing a permanent sensitivity to bright lights in dark situations.

In many countries, such as Germany, a glare from the sun or bright headlights is not an excuse for causing an accident, and drivers are expected to prepare for such situations or risk covering for damages if they cause an accident.

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