When you think about an auto accident, what usually comes to mind is someone who runs a stoplight and crashes into another car, someone who causes a collision because they were on their phone, or someone who causes an accident because they were driving drunk. Very seldom do people think about the hazards created by sun glare, and the accidents that can result from it.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sun glare causes approximately 9,000 accidents per year, and is the second environmental-related reason drivers get into crashes, with the first being slick roads.
If drivers experience glare-induced “blindness,” they may not be able to see for a few seconds, and in just that amount of time they could crash into another car or an object on the road. Sun glare is especially hazardous during the winter months, when the sun is at a lower elevation in the sky and the snow and ice on the ground are very reflective.
If you are typically driving when it’s sunny outside, then there are certain things you can do to reduce your chances of getting into an accident and keeping yourself and others safe on the road.
How to Drive Safely When There’s Sun Glare
Here are some ways you can deal with blasts of bright sunlight windshield while you are driving:
- Keep your windshield clean and free of dust and grime, since they can scatter sunlight and other cars’ headlights, making it harder for you to see.
- Make sure you have enough windshield washer fluid, and replace your wipers when necessary.
- Leave more following room between you and the next vehicle just in case the driver doesn’t see you.
- Wear polarized sunglasses, which could reduce glare.
- Fix your pitted or cracked windshield because it could be making the glare worse.
- Turn on your headlights when the sun is low in the sky and behind you so that cars coming in the other direction can see you.
- Use sun visors and install additional ones if you need to.
- Avoid driving when glare is at its worst, which is one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset when the sun is low.
- Take a route where you’ll encounter tall buildings and trees in order to block the sun.
Of course, make sure you practice safe driving skills like putting away your phone, not going over the speed limit, and keeping your eyes on the road at all times.
What to Do If You’re in an Accident Because of Sun Glare
You may have been driving around sunrise or sunset when another car crashed into you. They blamed the fact that they didn’t see you because of the sun. While this is an unfortunate situation, this does not excuse them from fault for the accident, and there are some actions you should take to address any injuries you may have and protect your legal rights.
First, pull over to the side of the road where you aren’t in harm’s way. Then, collect the driver’s insurance information including their policy number, as well as their name, phone number, license plate number, and a picture of their driver’s license.
It’s important to call the police and create a police record of your accident, especially if anyone was hurt. Also, you should take photos of the scene of the accident, your injuries, and damage to your car and other belongings. If there are witnesses, ask them for statements.
You should seek medical treatment right away, even if you don’t feel any injuries. Let the doctor know about any pain you’re experiencing and make sure you get X-rays done as well just in case. If the doctor prescribes you medicine or refers you to a specialist, make sure you follow their orders in order to get better.
If the responsible party’s insurance company calls you and asks you for details about the crash, it is best not to give them any type of recorded statement until you first speak with an attorney. You can say that you were there and confirm the date and location, but if they ask you to go on the record, politely decline and let them know that you need to speak to your lawyer first.
Contact the Nowell Law Firm
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you need strong legal counsel in your corner advocating aggressively for your rights and interests. If the accident happened in South Carolina, the Nowell Law Firm is ready to go to work for you. For free consultation and case assessment, message us online or call our office today at (864) 707-1785.