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Sunglasses Are More Than Just A Fashion Accessory When It Comes To Winter Motoring

There are plenty of winter motoring dangers but one of them - the dazzling sun at certain times of the day - is easy to deal with.

In winter, the sun rises and sets at peak travel periods, generally at around 8am and 5pm. The effect of this is that, during rush hour, drivers can find themselves dazzled as they are driving directly into the glare of the sun that is too low to be shielded by the sun visor.

Early morning frost and snow can exacerbate the situation. Countless accidents are caused by motorists who struggle on despite being blinded by the sun.

Useful tips:

* Drivers should always carry a pair of sunglasses in the car. Sunglasses with polarised lenses are a very good idea as they reduce the amount of reflection from wet and shiny roads.

* For drivers who wear glasses, photochromic lenses are particularly recommended as they block the amount of light that passes through to the eye, absorb UV rays and automatically darken in the sun.

* You should slow down or stop if you find that the sun is hindering your vision, even if you are familiar with the road.

* Keeping your windscreen clear and smear-free can also help reduce the effects of winter glare.

Melanie Denny of the recovery organisation Green Flag agrees. "Rather than just trying to look cool, drivers seen wearing shades in winter are likely to be protecting themselves from the dazzling rays of the winter sun as it rises and sets around peak rush-hour travel times. At these times the sun is too low to be shielded by the sun visor, and its rays may momentarily blind drivers driving directly towards it.

"Early morning frost and snow can make matters even worse as the sun's rays are reflected off the road surface. Countless accidents are caused by motorists who struggle on despite being unable to see the road ahead properly."

Green Flag offers this advice as part of its winter driving campaign, which encourages drivers to adapt their driving skills and prepare their vehicles to cope with the cold winter ahead. Melanie adds: "Our campaign aims to create a different mind-set for motorists, making them more aware of less obvious winter risks. As well as the usual winter accessories like anti-freeze, carrying sunglasses can also reduce accidents."