Let’s be honest. We all love the way we look and feel behind the wheel when we’re wearing our favorite pair of shades. It’s pure Americana. Ever since there have been hot cars, there have been cool sunglasses. So good news. Especially at this time of year, wearing sweet “sunnies” is more important than ever. In fact, your sunglasses could save your life.
This happens every autumn as the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter. On September 23rd—the fall equinox—day and night will be exactly 12 hours each, challenging drivers twice daily to make out traffic signals, signs, pedestrians and other vehicles against a backdrop of dazzling sunlight. That’s when it becomes more important than ever to remember the best strategies for safe driving.
- Invest in a pair of quality sunglasses with polarized lenses and good coverage. Polarized lenses help reduce glare from the road, windshield, cars, and other reflective surfaces. For optimal safety, polarized sunglasses are essential for early morning and late afternoon driving.
- Slow down. If you can’t see well, decrease your speed, giving yourself added reaction time.
- Increase your protective zone of safety by maintaining a greater distance than usual between you and the car ahead of you. Cushion yourself by following at a safer distance.
- Keep your sun visor free of loose objects such as papers, CDs, small electronics, cosmetics, etc. They can cause a major distraction when quickly flipping down your visor, only to have a cascade of miscellaneous items fall into your lap and down around your feet.
- Keep your windshield clean, both inside and out. This will help eliminate glare caused by the buildup of dirt and chemical film on the glass. If you rub a clean finger across the inside of your windshield and see a smear, you’re past due for a good cleaning. And always make sure your windshield washer fluid is full.
- Don’t drive with a cracked or pitted windshield.
- Avoid driving east during the morning hours and west during the evening hours unless you absolutely have to.