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An icy glare

The clocks have gone back, the cold nights are drawing in, and winter driving advice has started with a vengeance this week.

Doling out necessary guidance to stay safe and be sensible in winter is a yearly tradition, but a necessary one, even for the most level-headed of drivers.

For example, we were surprised by figures from the Institute of Advanced Motorists that revealed the sun’s glare was the cause of 2,684 injury crashes in 2009. The IAM even went so far as to say that dazzle from winter sun causes more problems for drivers than travelling at night or in bad weather.

How ironic then that we motorists complain so much about the rain and snow, when it is the sun that poses the biggest risk during wintry months!

All drivers, including fleets, were warned to be vigilant and take care on the roads. This includes keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front when glare makes it difficult to see, and keeping windscreens clean as dirt can exacerbate visibility problems when the sun is low.

The unfortunate thing with this winter danger is that it is not always avoidable. Other things like making sure tyres are fit for winter driving and avoiding festive alcohol are easy things to do, but when the sun is shining during rush hour, it’s not like you can just avoid travelling altogether, especially if you’re driving for work or the school run.

We’re all for nice sunny weather, but this has made  us think twice  about what we prefer to drive in.

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