Low, blinding sun causes crash on Derbyshire road

The low, blinding sun caused a driver to crash into a skip on a Derbyshire street this morning.

Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 12:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:22 pm
Stock picture.

Police were called to the incident in Milnhay Road, Langley Mill, at 8.15am. The driver was not injured.

According to data from the Department for Transport, around 3,900 people are injured in accidents caused by the blinding effects of the sun each year.

Insurance company AXA has issued the following advice on driving in bright or low sun...

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Keep your windscreen clean

Dirty windscreens can make glare significantly worse as dirt and debris scatter sunlight and lower visibility further. That's why it's a good idea to fully clean your windscreen before starting your journey. Check that both the inside and outside of the glass are clean and free of grease. If there is any dirt or debris, clean it off with a soft cloth.

If your windscreen needs a deeper clean, rinse it with cold water and a soft brush then follow this with a course of glass cleaner. Take extra caution in the morning following a frosty spell – scraping ice off your windows can sometimes leave smear marks behind.

Throughout the winter months, keep your windscreen wiper fluid topped up and check your wiper blades for wear and tear by looking for small cracks in the rubber. New wiper blades are fairly inexpensive and easy to fit (usually starting from £9.99 for a set) and it's recommended that you replace your wipers every 12 months.

Wear sunglasses

Although sun visors are extremely helpful in summer, sometimes the angle of the star during winter is simply too low for them to make any difference. If conditions are bright, try to take a spare pair of sunglasses with you when driving – or, even better, keep a spare pair in your glove compartment permanently so that you're never caught without them.

If possible, it's best to opt for sunglasses with polarised lenses as these are more effective than normal lenses at combating glare. They work by filtering out the blinding, horizontally-oriented light which causes glare, only allowing in 'vertical' light, and therefore improving visibility. Although typically used by fishermen to combat glare on water surfaces, they're an equally effective tool for drivers tackling wet roads.

Be extra aware of other road users

When driving in bright and low sun, remember that other drivers may also be suffering from the blinding effects of glare, even if you aren't. Try to maintain a constant speed, keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

It's also best to avoid any sudden stops as the reaction time of the driver behind may be impacted by low visibility. Be extra vigilant in the mornings and evenings when the sun is especially low in the sky.