Night Driving Tips for Earlier Sunsets
Fall and winter driving means the sun sets earlier and glare from the sun can be an issue for San Francisco area drivers. Novato Chevrolet compiled these tips from wheels.ca website about staying safe while driving.
1. Look farther up the road and stay focused on your driving so you can know ahead of time when you may be turning to face directly into the sun. Think ahead and be ready.
2. Have good sunglasses at the ready. By this I mean within a seconds' reach and not stuffed away in the glove box, purse or sliding around the floor of the vehicle. Ideally, keep them on your head, ready to be swung down in a split second when needed.
3. Expect traffic to slow when you do head into the sun.
4. Be prepared to pull off the road in a safe place if you still can't see. Don't stop on the travelled portion of the road as the driver in the aforementioned SUV did. The sun will rise high enough or sink low enough in a few minutes to allow safer driving. Be patient.
5. Your car's sun visor should be lowered when needed so the sun is blocked.
6. Try not to look directly into the sun but towards the edge of the road. Looking directly into the sun can cause eye damage.
7. Reduce your speed to reflect the fact that visibility is compromised. You don't have to slow to a crawl but slow down enough to compensate for reduced visibility.
8. Leave a bigger gap between you and the vehicles in front of you and remember to keep an eye on your rear view mirrors for any vehicles rapidly closing in from behind.
9. Keep your windows clean, especially the inside of your windshield. Off-gases from the vinyl dashboard will start to coat the inside surface of your windshield with an opaque film that greatly reduces visibility when the sun shines directly on it. It is much worse for those who smoke in their vehicles. A good quality glass cleaner or a simple mixture of vinegar and water will clean this film off.
10. Put your headlights on, (not just your DRLs), not so much for the light ahead of you but for your tail lights, which only come on when your headlights are on full. Having your tail lights on will enable motorists behind you to see you better.