Especially during the colder months of the year, you may have to commute before the sun comes up or during the sunrise. You may get to enjoy a colorful display during your morning commute, but those golden early-morning rays may put you at a greater crash risk than you’d face during a later commute.
You may recognize the risk of morning grogginess and take the time to eat a meal, shower and enjoy a cup of coffee before heading to work to ensure you are alert at the wheel. There are also a few other ways that you can protect yourself from the unique risks of driving at daybreak.
Prepare yourself for glare
When the sun reaches certain points on the horizon, it can produce a very bright glare that can distract or temporarily blind a driver. You may also suddenly turn into the glare or experience a sudden burst of light when clouds break.
Your best chance of avoiding temporary blindness and visual distraction will come from consistently using polarized sunglasses while driving during daybreak. Even if it seems unnecessarily dark at first, those glasses will make a big difference once the sun comes up and starts hitting your eyes. Additionally, you will want to make use of the visors in your vehicle to block out as much light incursion as possible, especially if it is coming at you from the side or directly from the front of your vehicle.
Make your vehicle visible
It’s easy to feel a false sense of security during transitional times of the day. While you may be able to see your surroundings well enough, other drivers may not notice you as easily, especially if they struggle to maintain adequate night vision.
If your vehicle does not have daytime running lamps that are on all the time, you should make a point of turning on your headlights while driving during daybreak. Even if there is some visibility, having your headlights on will make your vehicle more obvious to other drivers. Headlights can be a crucial means of alerting other drivers to your presence during transitional times of day or overcast weather.
Taking simple steps to maximize your own safety can diminish the possibility of you causing or being involved in a major motor vehicle collision.