Poor Visibility Even When Driving in Bright Sunshine (No.1)

The photo below is intended to be the first of several images, over a period, to show that even in bright sunshine, visibility for drivers and other road users can actually be very poor, therefore the best safety can be achieved by driving with low beam headlights on at all times.  (Daytime Running Lights, or DRLs, are as safe as long as they illuminate not only the front lights but also the rear lights too.  See our previous article for details on this important subject.)

Photograph of vehicles obscured from sight even on a beautifulo, sunny day, in this case by salt dust, churned up by the wheels of vehicles.
Despite the beautiful sunshine on this very cold day, visibility was significantly reduced by what can only have been the dust from pulverised road salt that was being thrown up by vehicle wheels. Coming towards the camera, on the other side of this interstate highway, are *five* cars and a semi-tractor-trailer, but cars 3, 4 and 5 — only a couple of hundred yards away and travelling around 100 feet-per-second — would be harder if not impossible to see if not for the fact that all three of those drivers are very wisely using their headlights. Well done, them! Copyright image.

Bewilderingly, a lot of drivers are very reluctant to use headlights during daytime, even though it does add significantly to your own and other road users’ safety, through additional conspicuity, and people being able to see vehicles approaching sooner or more easily.

Other sunlight conditions which can create poor visibility include:

  • low-lying mist;
  • smoke blowing across the road;
  • deep shadows that can occur when the sun is very low in the sky or trees overhang the road;
  • the dazzle that’s caused by low sunshine (because it’s hard to look in the direction of the sun but a vehicle may be coming from that direction).

For your own improved safety put your low-beam headlights on every time you drive…. period!

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

4 thoughts on “Poor Visibility Even When Driving in Bright Sunshine (No.1)”

  1. And what do we do about drivers who think they should drive in any condition with all their lights including fog lights switched on

    1. What do you think can be done, Donald? Admittedly, drivers who use fog lights when there is no fog or falling snow, high beams when people are getting dazzled, or driving/spot lights at inopportune times, are a serious nuisance, but as for what can be done about it….!

    1. Fair comment, Andrew, although what you are seeing on this occasion was reflected sunlight on the headlight of that nearest, approaching car.

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