POLICE are warning drivers to be aware of low sun, after it contributed to five fatal road collisions in the last three years, including one in Basingstoke. 

Hampshire Constabulary said that at this time of year, low sun can prove a real threat to road users.

In the county during the last three years, "vision affected by dazzling sun" was recorded as a contributory factor in five fatal crashes.

This included one in Worting Road, Basingstoke in August 2014 when an 82-year-old pedestrian was hit by car and later died in hospital. 

During the same period between 2013 and 2015, there were 60 serious casualties and 360 slight casualties in collisions where sun glare proved to be a factor.

Research shows the majority of these happening during the morning rush hour, between 7am and 9am.

They are also more likely to happen in urban areas rather than rural.

In a bid to reduce these collisions, Sergeant Rob Heard, Hampshire Constabulary’s road safety sergeant, is reminding motorists to be extra careful and has explained how drivers can avoid the dangers of low sun.

He said: “The first thing to be aware of is the increased chance of dazzle when the sun is out.

“You may be aware of the sun coming from a certain direction and as such you may be able to predict it dazzling you as the road direction changes.

“If a certain section of road is always difficult with increased glare then consider taking an alternative route.

“If the sun is low in the sky then make sure you leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.

“Drive at a sensible speed for the conditions and visibility allows.

“Avoid sudden and heavy braking as the vehicles behind may also become dazzled as well.

“When approaching junctions be particularly careful as with reduced visibility you or other motorists may not be able to see oncoming vehicles so clearly.”

Other top tips include making sure your windscreen is clean and clear inside and out. The dazzle effect can be made worse when sunlight hits dirt, traffic film, insects or even road spray containing salt.

Consider using your sun visor, but be aware how this can reduce part of your view ahead. Remember that most cars allow you to swivel the sun visor to the right to counter glare coming in from the side window as well.

Sunglasses may also help.