Monday-Friday: 8:30am to 5:30pm

Driving safely during the late afternoon: Approaching sunset

Most people are happy when they get off work in the evening. They start to head home, but one thing may catch their attention: the sun. In the fall and winter months, it’s much more likely for the sun to be at eye level or just a bit higher when driving in the evening between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., so it’s possible that it could make it hard to see where you’re going.

Driving toward the sun makes it even more likely that you’ll get into a crash due to reflections and glare. So, what can you do to make your drive safer? Here are several tips to help.

Stay safer when driving towards the sun

To stay safe when the sun is setting in the evening, some things you may want to do include:

  • Wearing polarized sunglasses. Even though it’s starting to get dark, polarized glasses will help keep glare and reflections from blinding you while you drive. Take off your glasses when your vision seems dim or once the sun is no longer in your line of vision.
  • Clean off your windshield. Your windshield needs to be clean inside and out. That way, streaks won’t catch the light and make it hard for you to see.
  • Watch the road, not the sky. Look at the lane markings if you’re having a hard time seeing where you’re going.
  • Leave more room between yourself and other drivers. This will give you more time to stop if your vision is poorer due to the sun.

These four tips can help you stay safer when the sun is heading down for the night. If you find that you’re having a hard time seeing when you’re already behind the wheel, remember that it’s okay to turn on your hazard lights to let others around you know that there is something wrong. As soon as you can, pull over to the side of the road and wait a little bit for the sun to drop in the sky.

If the sun is already on the horizon, it should only take a few minutes to complete the sunset. You may also consider taking a different route, so the sun isn’t directly in front of your vehicle on your drive home.