From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Road Safety
Beware Low Sun and Dirty Windscreens
By Noel Gibbons
11, Nov 2010 - 08:19

Winter sun is an underestimated hazard for drivers. Throughout the day the sun sits low, close to the horizon and can dazzle drivers driving into the sun. Driving east into the early morning or west into the late evening sun, at any time of the year, can also have the same effect.

Low winter sun and dirty windscreens mean there is more risk of dangerous dazzle at this time of year than any other.

‘'Dirty windscreens make it even more difficult for drivers to see in the low winter sun we get every morning and late afternoon at this time of year. Your heater is often on demist, blowing traffic fumes, suspended oil and smoke onto the inside of the screen which quickly builds to a film of grime which is a major cause of glare'' said Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer.

The wet roads mean more dirt on the other side of the screen, too, and a low sun highlights scratches and grime making it even more of a problem.

The best solution is to clean your screen inside and out, with water or glass cleaner at least once a week, drying with paper or leather.

More low sun advice:

· Always keep a good pair of sunglasses in the car - they really help.
· If you can't see, do the obvious thing and slow down accordingly, keeping an eye on the vehicle behind, in case the following traffic doesn't see you against the sun.
· If the sun is behind you, it's in the eyes of drivers coming towards you - be aware they might not see you.
· Low sun behind can dazzle you through your mirrors so be ready to dip the mirror and check over your shoulder for vehicles in your blind spot.
· Keep your washer bottles topped up with a good quality screenwash.
· Change your windscreen wipers every year.


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