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Southern California sunshine can be brutal for morning drivers

Go ahead and finish this sentence, one you must have heard someone say a thousand times: "You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to …"

Commuters in Manhattan Beach and throughout Los Angeles County probably would finish it this way:

"You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to beat the traffic on the 405."

Or the 10. Or the 110. Or the 5.

That's for sure.

Southern California traffic is legendary, and it isn't uncommon for commuters to hit the road at 4, 5 or 6 a.m. to make it to work on time – or get there early rather than drive in traffic. But driving early in the morning brings its own special set of worries.

It's tough driving in sunrise, toward the bright morning sun. There are several ways you can stay safe in direct sunlight.

  1. Invest in a top-notch pair of sunglasses. They aren't cheap, so safeguard them. Keep them in a case in the case in your car; leave them there so you won't take the off and lose them. The best sunglasses for driving have polarized lenses that reduce glare, curved lenses that provide better coverage and a thin frame that won't obstruct your view.
  2. Use the sun visors to block the glaring sunlight. They are effective if correctly positioned.
  3. Many California drivers choose to have their car windows tinted to block the rays of the sun. Make sure the shop that does it follows the state rules on tinting.
  4. Leave a greater distance than usual between your car and the one in front of you. Wen the sun is at its brightest, your visibility and reaction time will be greatly diminished.
  5. Get off the road for a few minutes if your ability to drive has been compromised.

Driving in harsh sunlight is tough. Not only must you be a more careful driver, but you must be a more defensive one, too. You must watch the cars in front of you and behind you more closely; those drivers are just as impacted by the sunlight as you are, and they might not take the same precautions that you do. It isn't hard to see how car accidents can occur.

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