Further to a request from reader and follower Rebecca Black (who survived work experience at the Spectator to go on to her own journalistic career) for some driving advice we have put together this guide to autumn driving.
According to recently published data concerning road traffic accidents in the UK, there has been a 12% increase in accidents resulting from dazzling sun affecting motorists’ vision.
The risk of dazzling sun is particularly high during October and October, as sunset occurs earlier and increasingly coincides with rush-hour traffic.
Driving over Craigantlet is typically problematic in the evenings.
The sun’s low position in the sky, combined with damper road surface conditions, poses a considerable problem for commuters. Prestone highlights that dirty, greasy or scratched windscreens reduce visibility and compound the problem, particularly during the autumn.
Road safety charity the IAM is alert to the problem and Britain’s top advanced driver Peter Rodger offer this advice to stay safe:
- Always keep a good pair of sunglasses in the car – they really will make a big difference.
- If you can’t see, do the obvious thing and slow down, keeping an eye on the vehicle behind in case the following traffic can’t see you against the sun.
- If the sun is behind you, it’s in the eyes of drivers coming towards you – be aware that they might not see you or the road markings between you and them.
- Low sun behind can dazzle you via your mirrors, so be ready to dip the mirror and remember to check over your shoulder for vehicles in your blind spot.
- Low sun highlights scratches and grime which can hinder your view, so keep your washer bottles topped up with a good quality screen wash and change your windscreen wipers every year.
- Turn on your headlights before sunset and keep them on for an hour after sunrise so that it’s easier for other drivers to see you in twilight.
Peter said: “Dirty windscreens make it even more difficult for drivers to see in the low sun we get every morning and late afternoon as winter draws closer. Your heater is often on the de-mist setting, blowing traffic fumes, suspended oil and smoke onto the inside of the screen which quickly builds up a film of grime which is a major cause of glare. Clean your screen inside and out with glass cleaner at least once a week.”