How to drive in sun glare

Man in car with sun being shone on him
The roads can be a real nightmare – is there such a thing as a ‘daymare’? – at this time of year, not least because the glare from the low-lying autumn sun can reduce visibility to almost zero.


It’s no laughing matter. The problem that has contributed to an average of 28 deaths on UK roads every year since 2010. A further 3,900 road users are injured each year in accidents caused by sun glare, according to figures from the AA. The problem is at its worst at this time of year as sunrise and sunset coincide with the morning and evening rush hours until the clocks change at 2am on Sunday, October 25. And although you can never eliminate the glare completely, there are a few steps you can take to minimise it.

How to minimise glare

Wash your windows

The first thing to do is make sure your windows are clean both inside and out as dust and grime really intensifies dazzle. To clean the outside of the windows you should first hose them with water to dislodge the dirt, before lifting up the windscreen wipers and cleaning the screen with a soapy cloth. Make sure you clean in straight line from top to bottom to make sure you don’t miss any areas. Then hose off the soapy mix and remove any excess water with a rubber blade before drying the windscreen with a cloth, wiping in straight lines from top to bottom. Once it’s dry, give the window a final once over with a good quality window cleaner – using a cleaner with a higher alcohol volume and wiping it off with bunched-up newspaper will help to reduce smearing. Next up, dust of the inside of the windows with a cloth, before cleaning with window cleaner and newspaper. If there are any scratches or chips on the windscreen, it’s worth getting them repaired or the windscreen replaced.

And you may as well clean your wiper blades while you’re at it…

Clean your wiper blades

There’s no point cleaning your windows and not cleaning your wiper blades – if they’re still dirty they’ll just smear more dirt across your windscreen and you’re back to square one. To clean them, simply wipe them up and down with a damp cloth, adding a bit of white vinegar if the dirt is dried in – make sure you don’t get any vinegar on the paintwork though. Then make sure the screen-wash reservoir is topped up, and if your windscreen gets misted up, try to avoid wiping it clear and use the air conditioning system to demist it instead. Keeping your windscreen clean will help to minimise the effect of glare to an extent, but you could still find yourself blinded by the sun.

How to drive in sun glare

If you find you’re dazzled by the sun, pull the windscreen visor down and put on a pair of good quality sunglasses to reduce the glare. If visibility is still poor, slow down, be aware of the vehicles around you and keep a safe distance but try not to slam on the brakes and the drivers behind you will be just as dazzled and may slam into the back of you. The key is to not panic, slow down and take care.

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