During the fall and winter months, the days get shorter and commuters are forced to deal with that annoying sun glare during morning and evening rush hours. We all know what it is like to round a corner and get hit with a blast of bright sunlight. Suddenly, we can barely see anything in front of us and all we can do is hope that we don’t run into anything while we are trying to navigate our way forward.
Sun glare is a major hazard for drivers. Bright sunlight can come up without warning, and it can sometimes persist for long stretches, especially if you happen to be traveling east or west at certain times of the day. Although a sun visor can help reduce the glare, it does not always prevent it entirely, and drivers who find themselves in this situation need to be extra cautious to avoid sun glare accidents.
Liability for sun glare accidents
When someone is involved in a crash that was caused by bright sunlight obstructing their view, they might try to argue that they are not at fault because sun glare is an “act of God.” Unfortunately for them, this is not likely to be seen as a valid legal argument.
While bright sunlight is a naturally occurring event, it cannot be put into the same category as events such as earthquakes, mudslides, or animals dashing out in front of your vehicle. The latter events are not everyday occurrences, and it is impossible to predict when something like that will happen. This is not the case with sun glare.
It is common knowledge that the sun rises and sets each day, and it is not difficult to find out what time this will happen. Therefore, a reasonable person would be expected to be aware of the possibility of sun glare and be prepared to effectively deal with it.
Tips for preventing a sun glare accident in West Virginia
There are a number of things that can be done to avoid accidents caused by bright sunlight, here are some of the most important steps that can be taken:
- Use the right kind of sunglasses: You should always wear sunglasses when you know you are going to be dealing with sun glare, and polarized sunglasses are the best kind for mitigating the effects of bright sunlight.
- Clear off your windshield and dashboard before driving: Before you begin your drive, make sure your windshield is clean and free of dirt and streaks, and make sure your dashboard is clear and free from clutter.
- Have functional wiper blades and plenty of washer fluid: As winter approaches, this is a good time to check out your wiper blades and make sure they are in good working order. If they are not, it is best to get a good new pair on your vehicle before the icy and snowy weather starts to hit. Also be sure to top off your windshield washer fluid and have some extra fluid in your vehicle just in case.
- Slow down and drive carefully: When you run into bright sunlight, slow the vehicle down so you have more time to see everything in front of you. Allow plenty of space between you and other vehicles, and be very careful, especially when you are changing lanes or making a turn.
- Make good use of your sun visors: Use your sun visors to reduce the glare as much as possible. You might also want to consider purchasing sun visor extensions that give you additional protection.
- Stay free from distractions: You should always refrain from texting or other smartphone activity while driving, and when you are dealing with sun glare, do your best to eliminate other distractions as well. For example, driving in the face of bright sunlight is not the best time to be eating, drinking or grooming. Plan to do these things before or after your drive.
- Adjust your route and drive time: This may not always be possible, but for some people, just a minor change in the time they leave for work or leave to drive home could mean not having to deal with sun glare. You might also be able to change up your route so that you do a minimal amount of east/west driving.
Injured in a sun glare accident in West Virginia? Contact an experienced car accident attorney.
Even if you do everything possible to avoid a sun glare accident, you cannot control what other drivers do. If you or someone close to you suffered injury in a vehicle accident in West Virginia, contact The Masters Law Firm for a free consultation. We will meet with you to thoroughly assess your case and advise you of your legal rights and options.