More than 1,000 fatal auto and motorcycle accidents caused by windshield glare occur every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Whether it’s caused by the sun or from oncoming traffic, glare is one of the most common issues drivers face, but the good news is that it can be easily avoided. Here are 3 easy steps you can take to reduce the eye squinting or straining caused by windshield glare:
Keep Your Windows Clean
Keep the inside and outside of your windows clean. Any dirt or grime on your windows, inside or out, will result in refraction of light, which will cause glare. Keep a microfiber cloth in your car in case you need to pull over at any point and clean your windshield, recommended William Van Tassel, Ph.D., manager of driver training operations at AAA. Try to clean your windshield at least once a week to remove any build up.
Protect Your Eyes
Sunglasses are a tried and true solution to glare, but taking care of your eyes is equally important. Make sure you get your vision checked regularly. According to the American Optometric Association, everyone under age 60 should have an eye exam at least every 2 years, and annually after the age of 60. It is especially hard to see at night and the added hazard of glare from oncoming headlights can be especially dangerous.
Avoid Directly Looking Into Headlights
The glare from headlights can be especially harsh because your eyes may be used to the darkness, and the sudden flash from a headlight can be hard to adjust to. Look down and to the side to look at the lines on the road where the pavement meets the shoulder to keep your car on the road. You will still be able to see the car with your peripheral vision without being effected by the glare from the car. You can also flip your rearview mirror to its night setting so that the headlights from the cars following you don’t affect your driving.
You can also take steps with your own headlights to avoid causing glare.
- Make sure your headlights aren’t aimed too low or too high.
- Clean your headlights
- Use your headlights at the proper times: at least one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset, according to AAA
Wherever your travels may take you, your friends at Fleet Services wish you a safe and pleasant journey!