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Driving in sun glare in Autumn and Winter

Driving in sun glare in Autumn and Winter

Sun glare happens when the sun’s low in the sky and it is more likely to be a problem at this time of year during September, October and November. Here are our tips so you can drive safely in the Autumn and Winter sun.

It can cause serious accidents where oncoming drivers cannot see you approaching if they are driving into sun glare. If the sun is in your eyes, you may not see pedestrians, cyclists or fast braking traffic.

To improve vision and reduce the risk of accidents when there is sun glare:

  • Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car, preferably polarising ones
  • Use the sun visors to provide better contrast for your eyes
  • Clean your windscreen thoroughly, both inside and out, removing the dead insects and leaves off the outside and the hazy film that builds up inside. The inside of the windscreen can look opaque when the sun catches it which means you literally can see nothing in front of you for a second or two.
  • Sort out glass scratches and chips as they can make the sun glare appear dangerously distracting.
  • Top up your windscreen fluid so you can keep the glass clean as you drive, reducing the risk of sun glare. Use a winter screen wash additive that helps keep the windscreen clean – check your car’s handbook if you’re not sure where to top it up.
  • Check and replace your windscreen wiper blades if they’re worn, damaged, or more than a couple of years old.

Sun glare driving tips for Autumn and Winter

If you have checked the things above to make your car safer for driving in sun glare, you should also:

  • Slow down if you’re dazzled.
  • Use headlights to help others see you.
  • If the sun’s behind you, the sun glare is in the eyes of the drivers coming towards you.
  • If the sun’s in your eyes it’s likely to be blinding drivers behind you too, which means you need bigger gaps to allow for delayed braking reactions.

Want us to check your car is ready for Winter sun?

If you would like Martin Adams Vehicle Servicing in Bourne End (near Wooburn Green), please give us a call today to book your winter car service check.

You can also read our article on other things you can do to Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

Get your car ready for winter weather in 10 easy steps

As summer ends and the winter weather approaches, here are 10 tips for winter car checks you can do.

1. When should I get my car serviced?

It’s a good idea to book in a car service before the wet weather, snow is on the roads or you break down on a cold dark road. If you call Martin Adams today, your car is likely to be services within two weeks. Then you will have the peace of mind to know your car has had the oil, brake pads, brake discs, fluids, fan belts, lights etc checked and are all working.

2. Why does my battery fail to start the car in cold wintery (or even autumnal) weather?

Batteries produce less power in cold weather and you drain it quicker with your windscreen wipers on in the rain and heaters blasting nice warm air at you. Many modern cars also have heated seats and mirrors too. This all puts a drain on your battery when you drive short distances. If it’s a few years old you may want to get your battery checked so it starts your car every day.

3. Top up your windscreen wash fluid with a winter mix

Windscreens freeze in cold weather and you can defrost it quicker in the mornings by putting in a windscreen fluid for winter temperatures. This stops the washer fluid from freezing so you squirt your windscreen clear. Martin’s team will top up fluids as part of your service.

If you’ve had a service from Martin Adams Vehicle Servicing recently, you can buy something like this Bluecol one at around £14 on Amazon Prime. It includes winter screenwash, winter de-icer and winter rain repellent.

4. Top up your engine coolant with one containing antifreeze

Similar to 3, your engine coolant you use in the summer can freeze in winter if you topped it up with water. If it freezes it can’t keep your engine from overheating. Top it up with a coolant that has antifreeze in it. Martin tops up your engine coolant during a service too.

If you’ve had your service recently, or need to top up, this one from Comma is in a concentrated form and protects your engine down to -36 degrees celcius and is suitable for all petrol and diesel engines. It’s £6 to £7 on Amazon.

5. Check your tyres aren’t worn too badly and tyre tread is deep enough

Your tyres are the part of your car that makes the difference between gripping and slipping on the road. If you’ve ever skidded on the road you know how scary it can feel. It’s easy to forget to check your tyres but it only takes a few minutes to do and ideally you want 3mm depth of tread.

In addition, you can even buy chains to put on your tyres when the roads are covered in snow or switch to winter tyres, which have more grip.

6. Check your bulbs in your headlights and fog lights are working

When it’s dark and the weather is bad, whether it is winter or not, you want your lights to work when you need them. It’s a good idea to run through switching on all your lights in sequence with someone stood outside the car to check they come on fully. This includes checking your indicator lights, your dipped headlights, main beam headlights and full beam, brake lights and fog lights.

These are checked and replaced as needed as part of a service and Martin Adams.

7. Check your windscreen wipers and check the windscreen for cracks

Windscreen wiper blades eventually wear out with the swooshing back and forth, leaves and twigs getting stuck betwen the blade and windscreen. Check the blades are nice and clean so they can move easily and if there are splits, ask Martin Adams to change them for you when you book in your sevice.

When roads are resurfaced and occassionally when motorbikes kick up road gravel, your windscreen can get chipped or cracked. Windscreen chips and cracks can spread, making it dangerous to drive in any weather. Most insurance companies can repair chips and cracks in your windscreen for free and without affecting your excess.

8. Check the weather forecast and road traffic

traffic jam in bad weather snowBefore you head off anywhere in bad conditions, whether it is heavy rain, gale force winds or snow falling, please check the weather forecast. If the weather is bad along the route you would normally drive, check google maps, AA route planner or your preferred sat nav for traffic updates. Chances are the motorway routes have accidents on them and then you could get stuck in standstill traffic for hours. Either don’t travel if you avoid it, or drive a different route that avoids the accident areas.

 

9. Check you have these winter items in your car boot

It’s always a good idea to carry more windscreen wash as you get through a lot of it when the road salt keeps making your windscreen dirty. If you’ve had your winter car service done by Martin, you’ll already have had your windscreen wash and coolant topped up. Also put these items in your boot: a demister, an ice scraper, high vis jacket for everyone in the car, a torch, blanket, water, shovel (for the snow) and even a few snacks. Then if you get stuck somehwere in your car, you can make the wait for a breakdown service more pleasant.

things to carry in your car boot in winter: Winter survival kit for car boot includes a fully-charged prepaid mobile phone, a multi-tool, blanket, snacks, water, deicer, ice scraper

10. Car breakdown cover

As a fail safe backup, if you have bad luck and breakdown somewhere you’ll feel calmer with membership from the AA, Green Flag or the RAC.

We hope this helps you feel ready and safe from any bad weather coming your way!