Rain, snow, ice, and fog are typically the first things to come to mind when we think dangerous weather conditions. But, the glare from the sun can be equally dangerous. In fact, the sun’s glare causes more than 3,000 auto accidents per year, most occurring during rush hour.
It was morning rush hour when a Ford Taurus rear-ended a pick-up truck. Both drivers blamed the accident on the sun. On that same morning, police were called to several other accidents; some in which drivers also blamed the glare of the morning sun.
We have all experienced being blinded by the blazing sun through the windshield while driving. There is also “veiled glare,” which is indirect sunlight that comes in at an angle, or reflects off objects, buildings, and other cars. Like a veil, you can see through it, but not very clearly. In either event, it only takes a second to cause an accident.
There are several things preventive measures motorists can take:
- Wear sunglasses with polarized lenses and UV protection.
- Keep the windshield clean.
- Turn on headlights.
- Drive slower and at a safe distance. A driver who cannot determine the color of a traffic light should not be driving through it – especially at the normal, posted speed.
- Take an alternate route.
- Most importantly, if you can’t see, don’t drive!
Drivers and pedestrians should be aware that vehicles heading into the sun may not see the traffic light or stop sign and, may not stop.
Glare should never come as a surprise because we all know – the sun goes up and the sun goes down every day. At the end of the day, everyone who shares the road assumes responsibility to exercise due care and caution, and sudden sun glare is not an excuse for causing an accident that injures another driver or a pedestrian.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.