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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Council warns of the dangers of driving off into the sunset

The council said that while “we can’t change the position of the sun”, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for driving against the autumn glare.

Image: Sean Houlihan via Flickr

MAYO COUNTY COUNCIL has issued a warning to motorists about the dangers of driving around the times of sunrise and sunset.

In its warning, the council said countless collisions have occurred due to blind spots created by sun glare and the distance perception problems that are created.

Driving directly against the sun can also block peripheral areas of vision and cause sudden moments of blindness as the sun peeks out from behind surrounding objects, the council said.

Driving into the sunset might sound romantic, there are many hazards that drivers face every single day on the roads of Ireland, but sometimes it’s the most beautiful things that can cause the most problems – and that’s particularly true when it comes to the stunning but low autumn sun.

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(Image: Mayo County Council)

Road safety officer Noel Gibbons said that while “we can’t change the position of the sun” or the need to travel at certain times, there are steps you can take “to ensure you’re prepared for these conditions”.

”Dirty windscreens add to the danger when the sun is low,” he advised. “If you can’t see, slow down accordingly, keeping an eye on the traffic behind, in case the following vehicle doesn’t see you against the sun. Also beware with these fine evenings there are more pedestrians and cyclists on the road.”

The council has these useful tips on hand for driving during these dangerous times:

  • Invest in polarised sunglasses – they can help reduce glare;
  • Utilise your sun visor – it can help to block out the sun;
  • Leave more following room – when the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing;
  • Drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers;
  • Keep your windshield clean, inside and out;
  • Check your windshield for pitting and cracks;
  • Avoid storing papers or other items on the dashboard;
  • If having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.

Read: Reverse In, Drive Out: Mayo County Council warns of car reversing dangers>

Read: A broken speedometer, a dying cow and a swarm of bees – how some people avoided penalty points>

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