Spring is Coming in Minnesota
Do you know how to drive safely in the bright spring sun?
With spring quickly approaching the days are getting longer – this means longer amounts of daylight each day. Fall and winter present drivers with the challenge of driving in lower sunlight conditions, however, spring and summer present the opposite problem – where drivers have to spend more hours driving in direct bright sunlight.
When thinking of driving hazards snow, hail, rain, mud, and wind are the typical suspects – but bright, blinding sunlight can cause reduced visibility and create a visual illusion for drivers that increase the risk of a crash.
As the days get longer this spring there are several things you can do to say safe driving in the bright sun. Here are our top 7 tips for staying safe on the road this spring.
Use Your Visors
Your sun visors are there for a reason – and nearly every car has them.
Most car’s sun visors can be positioned to block out the sunlight coming through your car’s windshield as well as turned to block out sun coming in from the left. Sun visors are specifically designed to block sunlight without hindering your ability to see the road.
Get a Pair of Sunglasses
Sometimes the angle of the sun simply can’t be blocked out with your cars visors alone.
When conditions get really bright it can help to have a pair of sunglasses on hand so that you are never caught off guard. If possible, opt for sunglasses with polarized lenses, these are going to be more effective than normal lenses than combatting glare.
Keep Your Windshield Clean
Dirt, dust, and pollen on your windshield can make the glare from the sun worse.
Debris on your windshield scatters the sunlight even further. It’s always a good idea to make sure your windshield is full clean inside an out. Make sure your windshield wiper blades are in good working order and your fluid is topped off.
Get Tinted Windows
Tinting your windows put a thin plastic film over them that help to block some of the sun’s rays.
It is pretty easy to find specialty shops anywhere that will do this service. It is important to note that most states, including Minnesota, have laws about how much you can have your car windows tinted, and you need to comply with the law or risk getting a ticket.
Give Yourself More Room
When the sun is in your eyes it is harder to see what the car ahead of you is doing.
Slow down – when your visibility is limited you are not able to react as quickly to the car in front of you making a sudden turn or stop. Make sure you are keeping a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you when stopping as you may not be able to judge the distance correctly when the sun is in your eyes.
Account for the Time of Day
If possible, avoid driving at the times when the sun is often the brightest,
typically the hour or two after rising and the hour or two right before setting. Since this may fall right at rush hour for many people – and therefore be unavoidable – consider taking alternative routes with more shaded areas (such as trees or tall buildings) or routes that run north and south rather than east and west).
Pull Over If You Can’t See
It’s a no-brainer –pull over if you can’t see the road.
If the bright spring sunlight begins to hurt your eyes in a way that begins to be detrimental to your ability to drive in any way you should find a safe place to pull over and wait for the conditions to change and it safe for you to drive again.
Spring Saftey with AAMCO Minnesota
Planning your next spring road trip? Let AAMCO Minnesota keep you safe on the road this season – check out our great money-saving offers. Bring your car to your nearest AAMCO Minnesota location for your FREE spring safety check. Call or book online today.