Buckle up, buttercups! Another driving challenge in Winter is SUNSTRIKE.
It can be a pain on rally stages, and that's on closed roads with detailed stage notes and a co-driver directing.
On busy streets and open roads it's a major hazard, for everyone out there - drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and riders.
Tips for reducing the risk:
As always, drive to the conditions and think ahead :-)
If you're already constantly scanning it will be much easier to anticipate when you might have to turn into low sun.
8-) Anticipate that pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers or riders might not see you if you're driving with low sun behind you - slow down and don't assume that they've seen you at intersections, driveways or crossings
8-) Turn on your headlights, so you can be more easily seen
8-) Keep your windscreen clean, inside and out
8-) Always keep sunglasses clean and handy in the car to put on before you need them
8-) Use your car's sun visor - anticipate and put it down BEFORE rounding a corner into the sun, if possible. If you're blinded you can keep both hands on the wheel and focus on staying safely in your lane
8-) If you can't see, don't make any sudden or erratic moves (unless there's an emergency you have to brake for of course!) Slow down gently, hold your line, and be aware that drivers in front of you may have slowed or even stopped due to the sun in their eyes
8-) Slow down and increase your following distance to give yourself more time to stop if you have to
8-) Be prepared to take more time at busy intersections in the morning or in the late afternoon when the sun is getting low. Be extra patient
8-) If possible, plan your trip or route to avoid times / intersections when you know sunstrike will be at its worst
8-) Take extra care to check for cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians
8-) Take extra care at railway crossings - with low sun the warning lights can be harder to see
Buckle up, buttercups! And be prepared for sunstrike :-)
PS - Please share my Buckle Up Buttercup tips! The more we talk about road safety and what we can do to keep ourselves and others safe – the safer our roads will be. Things that might be obvious to you might still be unknown to your friends or family.