Windscreen glare. We’ve all experienced it at some point and it’s pretty scary when it happens.
Whether it’s a sudden blinding glare from the setting or rising sun or a dazzling brightness from oncoming headlights, it can catch you unawares and pose a real safety hazard. You may be momentarily distracted, unable to see properly and unable to focus on the road which can cause you to panic -and there may be tragic consequences.
The good news is that with a few simple steps, you can reduce the likelihood of windscreen glare.
First of all, let’s look at the things that cause windscreen glare.
Your vehicle’s windscreen is designed and constructed to give you the clearest possible vision and any light rays from the sun or lights should pass straight through the glass. However, if the glass is scratched or damaged, if the inside or outside is dirty, smudged or grimy or if there’s condensation on the inside of the windscreen, the light will be diffracted through these layers, creating glare.
Another little-known cause of windscreen glare is weak or faulty headlights. That’s because weak headlights tend to backscatter, especially when it’s raining, which can cause glare.
The problem may also be with your own eyesight. Some people who find the glare from oncoming headlights debilitating may have a condition called ‘astigmatism’ where the curvature of the eye causes light to distort. Prescription lenses that have anti-glare coatings will improve contrast, reduce glare sensitivity and improve depth perception, so a trip to the optician may be helpful.
But before you rush off to have your eyes tested, here are some practical steps you should take to reduce windscreen glare:
Clean the glass
Cleaning your windscreen should be a regular occurrence, not just a once-off. Dirt and grime can build up quickly and can be a real safety hazard if left for too long. You need to clean both the inside and outside of the glass and make sure that you’re using products and cloths that don’t leave any greasy streaks, films or smudges.
Clean your wiper blades
Use a paper towel and windscreen washer fluid (or use a mixture of 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts warm water) to wipe down the blades and remove any oxidised rubber from the edges.
Flip your rearview mirror
By flipping the little lever at the base of your rearview mirror, you’ll put it into ‘night setting’ which should remove some of the glare from headlights and make them appear dimmer.
Consider a shadeband
Most windscreens have a tinted strip along the top of the glass just below the roofline which is known as a shade band. This protects the driver and passengers from the sun’s glare without obscuring their vision. If you find that your built-in shade band isn’t doing its job or if you don’t have one, you should buy one from your local motor spares supplier.
Clean your headlights
It’s important to clean the inside and outside of the casing of your headlights, and if you still find that they’re a bit weak and are causing the light to scatter, you may need to replace them with stronger ones.
Beware of using unsuitable dashboard cleaning products
Some cleaning and polishing products which purport to make your dashboard ‘glossy’ and ‘like new’ can actually result in a greasy, gloomy film building up on the inside of your windscreen which can cause a glare. If you have any doubts about what cleaning solution is best for your vehicle, ask the experts at your local motor accessories supplier.
Fix any windscreen damage immediately
Glare on the windscreen can be extremely dangerous and it’s just not worth taking a chance. If there are any scratches, chips or cracks on your windscreen, they could cause the light rays to be diffracted, resulting in a glare and impaired visibility so you do need to have these sorted out by a professional immediately.
And especially with summer on the way in Perth, windscreen repairs should be a priority in order to reduce the likelihood of glare from the sun. By getting in touch with Autoscreens, you’ll be putting yourself in the hands of one of the leading experts in windscreen repairs in Perth and with their mobile unit and fast, convenient, friendly service, they’ll fix or replace your windscreen in no time. Find them on 0400 200 086 or visit www.windscreenreplacementperth.com.au to book your appointment online.