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let's get polarised

A fresh warning for motorists... This time over intense sunshine (really)

New crash data shows ‘sun glare’ was a factor in a number of fatal road accidents last year.

CAREFUL OF THE intense sunshine if you’re behind the wheel this evening.

That warning from the Road Safety Authority and the Gardaí may seem a little off season — but it’s not one they’re making lightly.

“The appeal comes as provisional crash reports suggest that drivers being temporarily blinded by ‘sun glare’ may have been a contributory factor in some fatal collisions in 2014,” the RSA said in a statement.

Shutterstock / Kiselev Andrey Valerevich Shutterstock / Kiselev Andrey Valerevich / Kiselev Andrey Valerevich

According to the body’s CEO, Moyagh Murdock:

“Because, at this time of the year, the sun sits so low in the sky, late in the morning and early evening, corresponding with the main commuting times, the sun visor on the car isn’t really much help at all.

If a driver is driving straight into such a sun he or she can be completely dazzled by the sheer intensity and brightness of its rays.

“The situation is made worse if the windscreen is dirty or greasy or if it’s been raining, or the ground is covered with snow. In this situation the glare reflects off the wet or snow covered road to further dazzle the driver.”

The Gardaí provide some advice for motorists on the issue. Essentially…

  • Reduce speed — slowing down on the approach to junctions, corners and bends is critical.
  • Ensure your windscreen is clean inside and out. Add windshield washer fluid, and check that the wipers aren’t worn away or damaged. 
  • Buying polarised sun glasses, and keep them in the car.

“If you are heading East in the morning, the direction the sun rises or heading West in the late afternoon, where it sets, please be conscious of sun glare,” Murdock added.

By simply being aware of this problem, which we all need to take more seriously, we will be able to read the environment and conditions and make better decisions when we are driving.

“Importantly we won’t get caught out or blinded by the sun when turning the next corner.”

Read: Jake Brennan’s mother to sleep outside the Dáil for three nights

Read: Grab those mittens, it’s about to get snowy

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