Bright sunny days are dangerous for drivers, although most drivers have a false sense of security due to beautifully clear weather conditions. Around roadways everyone is at risk for sun-influenced car accidents. This includes drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. This is due to sun blindness, also known as sun glare, and is a big danger for anyone getting behind the wheel. Many lawsuits have been filed in courts across the US because sun glare blocked view of traffic control devices such as signal lights, oncoming cars or pedestrians.
Other terms used to describe sun glare include disability glare, veiling glare and sun dazzle. Regardless of what you call it, sun glare results in driver view being washed out on the retina with blinding bright spots or patterns. When sun glare affects a driver, very quickly a gorgeous spring or fall day can become a deadly nightmare.
There have been several studies on the true affect that a sudden glare of light can have on a driver’s ability to stay focused. According to the ‘Statistical Assessment of the Glare Issue” from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, glare from headlights and sunlight is a significant contributing factor in car accidents.
Attorney David Cantor explains how sun glare spikes in spring and fall due to astronomical events occurring during these seasons.
“In Phoenix, spring and fall sun glares occur because of the sun’s position of rising directly in the east and setting in the west, coinciding with rush hour commuting times and even the grid pattern on which roadways are constructed in the city,” Cantor explains. “The roads here can become a dangerous place at sunrise and sunset, in particular.” He continued, “With the roadways running east to west and north to south, they are perfectly positioned for maximum exposure to sun glare.”
One study from the U.K. attributed 3,000 auto accidents each year to sun glare in even that typically overcast weather-laden region of the world. These numbers are much higher in America, where we have many more drivers on the road and a sunnier climate. Age can contribute to effect of sun glare on drivers. Older drivers tend to suffer greater consequences from sun glare, having more accidents due to spotty vision during these times of year. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed 38.5 percent of sun glare auto accidents to drivers over the age of 45.
Phoenix auto accident attorney David Cantor explains that there are ways to prevent sun glare problems while driving, or at least lessen the effect of sun glare on the field of vision through the windshield of a moving car. “Although sun glare can be hard to avoid on sunny days in Phoenix, there are preventive measures drivers can take to decrease potential for an auto accident,” Cantor said. “Sun glare is never an excuse for a crash and drivers can be held responsible for injuries suffered in a sun glare car accident.”
Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law suggest the following tips during sun glare seasons:
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