It may be hard to believe, but the factors that make certain times of day especially beautiful can also lead to a serious car wreck if one is not prepared. As the sun rises or sets, its strong light can shine into a driver’s eyes. This glare can be momentarily blinding, making it difficult for drivers to see the road and possible hazards. Sun glare can also make traffic light colors more difficult to see.
The sun is low in the sky in the morning and early evening, which are the main commuting times for South Carolina highways. If the roads are wet or icy, the risk of danger increases even more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has studied this topic extensively, as it presents a clear threat to motor vehicle safety. They report that harsh light is not only uncomfortable; it creates a reduction in visibility. Furthermore, the eye does not recover immediately, since it takes time for it to readapt to lower light. Glare also has more impact on older drivers and glaucoma patients, who may take even longer to recover than younger and normally-sighted drivers.
Fighting Sun Glare
There are tools in every vehicle that can be used when sun glare is an issue. A sun visor is the best resource, since it can usually be well-positioned to block the sun. A windshield should always be clean on the inside and outside, as water marks and other stains can block vision while driving. Adjusting rear- and side-view mirrors to avoid the sun’s reflection also helps. It is also a good idea to keep the headlights on so drivers can see each other more easily.
Leaving additional space between vehicles and checking the lane markers are also excellent safety measures. Reduced driving speeds give drivers extra reaction time and can prevent rear-end accidents. Motorists must obey speed limits and be especially careful in school zones and around pedestrians and cyclists. Keeping items like paper or sunglasses on a dashboard is never a good idea, since they can block vision or fall down, creating additional distraction. One of the most useful resources is a pair of polarized sunglasses, which can eliminate a large percentage of sun glare.
Other preventative steps to take include cleaning the vehicle’s headlights, windows, and wiper blades, as spots and dirt can obstruct vision. Once driver and vehicle are prepared, it is important to keep in mind that the weather can change suddenly, and the sun’s strong rays can quickly appear from behind clouds.
Sun glare causes vision obstruction and has been blamed for many serious motor vehicle accidents and fatalities, and there is no technology that can eliminate this danger completely. It can make it possible for a driver to miss a pedestrian crossing a street, a car turning in front of another, and worse. All drivers will encounter sun glare occasionally, and it is critical to make safety a priority. If sun glare is affecting your ability to drive safely, pull your vehicle into a safe location until conditions change.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Pursue Compensation for Victims of Driver Negligence
If you have been involved in a car accident due to another driver’s failure to make safety a priority, contact a Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. today at 866-881-8623 to arrange a free consultation or contact us online. We have six conveniently located offices to serve clients throughout South Carolina, including the communities of Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.