Driving with sun glare is not a new hazard. It is only one of the many challenges that drivers have to overcome, with the help of a car visor, wiper fluid, polarized sunglasses, or just plain squinting.
Spring is the peak season for sun glare since the sun stays in its lowest position during morning and evening rush hours. Driving on a clear, sunny day carries a risk of being temporarily blinded by the sun, creating an abrupt loss of visibility that makes a vehicle collision more likely.
How the Sun Can Make Driving Difficult
Although natural light typically aids a driver’s visibility, there are a number of ways bright sun can make driving more difficult, including:
- Interfering with a driver’s vision, even if it comes through a side window or is reflected off a mirrored building or another vehicle
- Causing a blinding effect when sunlight is refracted within the glass on a dirty, pitted, or cracked windshield
- Limiting the driver’s vision to only the roadway ahead when he uses the car’s visor to try and block out the sun
Sun glare often puts drivers at risk for rear-ending another vehicle, swerving into oncoming traffic, running off the road, hitting pedestrians, or failing to see traffic signs and lights.
Liability for Sun Glare Accidents
As a general rule, driving into the sun does not excuse a driver for colliding into another vehicle, or otherwise causing a crash. While glare may have contributed to the crash, every driver has a duty to exercise reasonable care and maintain control of the vehicle when they are behind the wheel, rain or shine.