When discussing safe driving, we have often covered the dangers of speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and other common risky and very dangerous habits people may have behind the wheel. Much like these risks, the topic of this post is absolutely preventable but often overlooked. That risk is the sun.
Though you certainly have no control of when the sun rises and falls, its predictability is a major plus for those trying to drive safely. Unlike random, erratic drivers one may encounter on a trip to the grocery store or heading to work, the sun is a known quantity–it has a schedule and sticks to it. Knowing the times when the sun is glaring most brightly through your windshield can help you prepare (and avoid spending your commute squinting) in the following ways.
Tips on Avoiding a Glare-Related Accident While on the Road
Check Your Route: As we all know, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If your commute back home has you facing westward for the majority of the trip, consider another route (the same goes for eastward routes in the morning). A simple change of direction can work wonders.
Not Just Any Sunglasses: Though you may have a pair of dollar store shades in your glove compartment, they may not be quite as effective as you need to stay out of danger. Spring for polarized sunglasses, as they do a good job of filtering out glare and can keep you seeing more clearly than traditional lenses. Well worth the upcharge if it can keep you from a costly accident.
Keep it Clean: From dead bugs to dirt and dust, your windshield can be a magnet for smudges and smears. Be sure to regularly clean both the inside and outside of your windows to keep smears from making sun glare even worse. You may even want to keep a microfiber cloth handy in your glove compartment to wipe away smudges before you hit the road.
Advised Use of Visor: An often forgotten but greatly helpful tool to use is your visor. Utilizing a visor can block out the sun, acting almost like the bill of a baseball cap to shade your eyes. Just be sure that the visor is not obstructing your view of the road or traffic lights.
The sun is a powerful thing–capable of bringing life to plants, powering homes and giving poolside loungers a nice tan. However, that glowing orb in the sky can also cause serious visibility issues when on the road. By alternating your route, investing in polarized sunglasses, keeping your windshield clean and utilizing your car’s visor, you can potentially prevent a serious and preventable car accident.
Unfortunately, if you do cause a car accident due to sun glare, you are most likely going to be found liable for damages. Though an element of nature, the sun’s predictable nature keeps it from being ruled an “Act of God,” therefore, putting the onus on you to do what you have to in order to drive safely. Simply put, if you cannot see the road ahead, whether due to rainfall, snowfall or sun glare, you cannot operate your vehicle safely. Always drive with care and do whatever it takes to safeguard yourself, fellow drivers and pedestrians.
If you, a friend or loved one is injured due to the negligence of others, please do not hesitate to contact us to speak with an attorney at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always be informed about best practices in law.