Driving in winter sun is perhaps the most underestimated danger of winter driving. The sun hangs lower in the sky during these months; it has a much more dazzling effect than the higher sun of warmer seasons. Its effect is at its greatest after rain or when there’s ice or snow on the ground. In these conditions the wet surface reflects its blinding rays from the road directly into your eyes.
To combat this, a good pair of sunglasses is a vital aid to safe observation. If you have glasses with lenses which darken in sunlight, do bear in mind that the glass can filter out ultra-violet rays. This may mean that your lenses won’t darken as they normally would outside of the car.
Windscreen visors will also help shield your eyes from the sun, and not everyone realises that these can usually be unclipped at one side so you can swivel them to offer protection through the side window. If you need to use these, remember to put the visor back when you don’t need it otherwise it may needlessly block part of your view.
Observation at Junctions
Whenever bright sunlight restricts your vision, you must reduce speed and exercise extra caution. When emerging from junctions you must be particularly vigilant and spare a moment or two more with observations to be certain that you miss nothing; especially those harder to spot cyclists near to the kerb.
In bright sunlight, it’s essential that you keep all windows clean and clear. When your windows get misted up don’t make the mistake of using your hand to wipe them. The natural oils in your skin will coat the glass, and when the sun hits these streaky areas it can be like trying to see through frosted glass. Keep a proper cloth or wash leather always on hand so that you can clean your windows properly.