In the accident figures year after year we see that a large percentage of fatalities are recorded during the night even though the traffic is less. There is also talk of around 5 % of all accidents during sunrise and sunset, which are just a few minutes a day. With these data, it is clear to us that extreme caution must be taken with glare while driving, as this can lead to situations of real danger.
After all, approximately 90% of the information we receive while driving reaches us through our sense of sight. We have already talked about the importance of regular eye examinations and some guidelines for improving visibility. Now we are going to focus on avoiding that temporary blindness caused by a strong light contrast and that makes us travel hundreds of meters without practically knowing what goes on ahead.
Because glare is just that, when the eye is adapted to brightness and suddenly receives a much higher level of light is not able to manage it properly. It happens more markedly at night, when the pupil is dilated to see better in the dark and receives a source of light directly that forces the pupil to contract losing a large percentage of vision momentarily.
That’s why we started talking about the night and the moments of dawn and dusk, because these are the situations where drivers are most likely to suffer from glare. When driving at night the main causes could be some like crossing a car with high beam or misaligned headlights. Although it can sometimes be difficult to avoid, it can be reduced with recommendations such as trying not to look directly at the light and focusing on the right side, focusing on the lane in which you are driving.
During the day the causes are different. As there is a greater amount of light, the problem usually occurs with large contrasts and in those hours when the sun is low. A very typical situation occurs at the exit of a tunnel, when the view is accustomed to artificial lights and partial darkness and receives a strong natural light at the exit in thousandths of a second. In this case it is key to wear good sunglasses that can mitigate that effect. Also maintain speed and direction to avoid impacts against other vehicles.
Another almost inevitable situation is when driving with the sun low in front, when also the use of sunglasses becomes almost mandatory and you can also resort to the sun visor of the car. Even if the sun is in another position, you should not neglect it, as it can affect the reflections of places such as buildings or other cars. With the sun behind us, the reflection can also reach us through the rear-view mirror, so it is advisable to place it in its night position if you do not have an anti-glare.