My sun and I…
I was watching a driver the other day driving toward the bright sun, which was setting. She had one hand shielding the sun from her eyes, and the other hand on the steering wheel. At first I thought maybe she was saluting pedestrians and drivers as she drove, but then realized she wasn’t prepared to drive toward the sun. Are you prepared? Driving is done with your eyes, with your hands and feet being tools for your eyes.
I was a little surprised she didn’t pull the visor down to block the sun. Maybe she didn’t have one in her vehicle. What happened to it? If you don’t have a visor, why not prepare yourself and wear sunglasses? Since I wear prescription glasses, I decided years ago to buy prescription sunglasses as well. This makes it a lot easier to see past the bright glare of the sunlight. The glare becomes worse in winter as it bounces off the snow. I was a boy scout in the 63rd, so being prepared was important to us!
Okay, here’s another problem about the bright sun. What if the sun is so low that it’s below the visor and directly in front of you? Wouldn’t it be difficult to see the oncoming drivers, or worse, the brake lights of the drivers in front of you who are slowing or stopping? Another solution if this happens is having a hat with you that has a brim on it, such as a baseball hat. The brim can be lowered so it blocks the glare from the sun.
We can all proactively deal with this glare by cleaning the inside of the windshield. Just the pollution in the air itself can leave a film on the inside of your windshield. The film gets worse if there are people who smoke inside the vehicle. That adds to the film rather quickly. A paper towel and glass cleaner once every week or two does the job to reduce that nasty glare from the sun.
Perhaps the best solution if the sun is below the visor and below the brim of your hat is to pull over for roughly 20 minutes until the sun has gone below the tree line or the buildings. Once, while I was traveling from Montreal on the freeway, heading west in the evening, when the sun made it too difficult to see the traffic ahead of my vehicle. Before it got worse, I pulled off the freeway to let it set behind the trees. This 20-minute break allowed my visibility to improve incredibly, and thus, allowed me to travel home safely. I took it as common sense, but sometimes we need to be reminded of common sense.
I hope I’ve been able to shed some light on this topic. It’s always a great feeling driving into the sunset, but let’s be prepared for it in the future!