According to Masterdrive, USA statistics indicate glare from the sun, while driving, as the second biggest cause of accidents.
Nine thousand crashes are attributed to glare. “Do not breathe a sigh of relief just yet,” said Masterdrive’s Eugene Herbert, as slick roads are the most common cause of crashes related to the environment.”
Masterdrive provides the following tips when it comes to driving during season change and in winter:
• On misty mornings, do not switch your bright lights on as the beams will reflect off the mist. Rather use low beams or fog lights.
• Leave greater following distances.
• On very cold mornings be prepared for frost. This will make the roads more slippery and require larger following distances, gentler braking and more caution when going around corners or around other hazards.
• As dawn breaks later and dusk sets sooner, you can expect to drive more in changing light or even darkness. If you do not already automatically switch your headlights on as soon as you get in the car, take care to do so now.
• To avoid the glare shining into your eyes change your usual routine and routes. Leave earlier in the mornings or take alternative routes where the glare is not as bad. Polarised sunglasses can also help with glare.
• Keeping your windscreen clean can assist with glare encountered in the mornings and afternoons due to changed sunrise and sunset times.
• Additionally, avoid this glare by raising your seat position to be higher up.
• Lower your visor before you leave so you are not blinded suddenly as you round a corner.
• Do not use high-gloss vinyl cleaners on your dashboard.
• Areas in South Africa that experience very low temperatures might have ice on the roads. Drive carefully through areas likely to be affected by ice, like under bridges. Also, make a point to learn what to do if you start to lose control on ice.
• Ensure your anti-freeze is adequately topped up and as winter comes to a close check that car parts such as windscreen wipers have not deteriorated.
• Make an effort to park your vehicle undercover to avoid frozen windscreens in the morning.
• If you cannot do this, give yourself extra time in the mornings to wait for it to defrost (use cold water or the air conditioner to assist with this but avoid hot water and heating systems) or alternatively, cover your windscreen and rear window the night before.
If you have not yet changed your driving to suit winter, do not waste any more time doing so.