Driving Tips for Sunstrike

Driving Tips for Sunstrike

Driving Tips for Sunstrike

Have you ever experienced sun strike while driving? If you have, then you known how debilitating and potentially dangerous this can be, irrespective of whether you’re on the open road or in an urban environment.

New Zealand’s accident statistics highlight these dangers with New Zealanders experiencing hundreds of accidents a year causing injury and, in some cases, death.

Sun strike refers to the blinding glare from the sun. This is generally when the sun is low in the sky, for instance at sunrise and sunset, but can also be caused by the sun reflecting off a surface, like snow.

In winter, with the sun lower in the sky and shorter daylight hours, coupled with rush hour traffic, frosty and/or foggy windscreens can all combine to create a dangerous driving cocktail.


New Zealand’s Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi at time of writing), has some tips to help prevent and manage sunstrike while driving which are:

1 Wear sunglasses. This can reduce the brightness. Polarised lenses are better for glare reduction.
2 Use your sun visor. This blocks some of the sun's rays, helping you to see better. The visor can be adjusted as needed depending on the angle of the sun, even swinging the visor to the side window.
3 Be prepared for the possibility of sunstrike when driving at sunrise or sunset, especially when turning into, or driving towards, the sun.
4 Keep your windscreen clean, both inside and out. Dirt and dust can scatter the light, making it more difficult to see.
5 If you can't see well then slow down and increase your following distance. Driving more cautiously and leaving more space between you and the car in front will give you more time to react.
6 Be especially careful in winter, when sunstrike is more likely to occur because the sun is lower in the sky.
7 Avoid or minimise driving at sunrise or sunset. If this isn't practical then try and choose routes that avoid facing the sun directly.
8 Of course it goes without saying that if the sun strike is so bad that you can't see then pull over and wait until your eyes adjust.

Sun strike can be a serious hazard for drivers, but with these tips, you can reduce the risk and drive more safely.

The team at Fast Autoglass wish you happy and safe driving.