Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Is Sun Glare A Big Cause of Auto Accidents?
There are a multitude of reasons why car accidents happen, leaving people injured and seeking the services of lawyers who work with people injured in auto accidents.
Although a high number of the accidents that injury claim attorneys see result from distracted driving, visual impairment is yet another cause of these events.
Personal injury lawyers in particular find that sun glare can be very dangerous and result in numerous car accidents each year.
Sun Glare - A Cause of Many Car Accidents
Safe driving and preventing injury car accidents are directly related to clear vision and an unobstructed view.
Sun glare can temporarily blind a driver, making it impossible for him or her to see what is happening in front of them.
Consequently, as many as 9,000 glare-related accidents occur each year, making sun glare one of the most common accidents resulting from environmental conditions.1
Second only to slick or icy roads, auto accident lawyers can attest that even just a moment of glare that affects a driver’s vision can have devastating results.
Bright Sunlight Increases Accident Risk
Although good driving conditions will always be a clear and sunny day, research on the effects of sun glare suggests that the brighter the day, the higher the risk of a glare-related accident.
A study on bright sunlight and the incidence of life-threatening motor vehicle accidents indicates that while there is an average accident risk on a day with normal sunlight, that risk increases by 16% when it is exceedingly sunny and glare is increased.2
Injury claim attorneys see increasingly more of these accidents related to road glare as well as windshield glare that reflects off other objects.
Who is Liable in Sun Glare Accidents?
The problem that personal injury lawyers face when overseeing accident cases where sun glare was a factor is how to establish fault.
Since it is impossible to blame the sun itself, fault usually lies with the driver who was blinded by the glare and caused the collision, even though they did nothing to cause the sun glare that blinded them.
In most states, liability is rather clear and the courts assess fault with the sun-blinded driver who should have known to wear sunglasses or make other attempts to prevent being affected by sun glare.
Sun Glare - A Dangerous Good Weather Driving Hazard
Many people believe that as long as the roads are dry and the sun is shining, driving hazards are few and far between.
Unfortunately, many auto accident lawyers see that visibility issues due to sun glare can be more prominent on days when it is clear and sunny.
Lawyers who handle personal injury claims recommend keeping sunglasses in the car and using them on especially bright days to prevent a crash.
This little bit of pre-planning can significantly reduce the chance of being involved in a glare-related crash and needing the help of an injury claim attorney!
1U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Threats: Crash Stats, February 2015.
2National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed Central, Medicine (Baltimore), Life-threatening Motor Vehicle Crashes in Bright Sunlight, 1/10/17