One of the most problematic driving situations drivers face is the bright light of a setting or rising sun.
When the sun is low in the horizon, the angle of the direct sunlight creates a strong glare across the windshield. The bright light can cause temporary blindness that distorts traffic control devices and makes it difficult to see the cars around you.
Bright sunlight is directly related to the number of automobile accidents that happen in the early morning and late afternoon.
Bright sunlight may create visual illusions, as a result, the risk of a life-threatening crash is 16% higher during bright sunlight than normal weather. – Study of life-threatening motor vehicle crashes in bright sunlight (Medicine (Baltimore))
Here are 6 driving tips to help you deal with sun glare:
- Slow Down – The first rule of driving through a sun glare is to slow down – way down. Lack of visibility inhibits your ability to react quickly, so going a bit slower can help you avoid an accident.
- Put More Room Between Yourself and Other Vehicles – When visibility is reduced it’s also important to stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. It’s going to be difficult to see what is going on around you and there’s a greater risk that other drivers will hit the brakes suddenly.
- Keep the Windshield Clean – Dirt on the windows can scatter light making it even more difficult to see when there’s a sun glare. Before you head out make sure the windows are clean inside and out.
- Wear Polarized Sunglasses While Driving – Keep a pair of polarized sunglasses in your car and you can instantly reduce inescapable sun glare. Polarized sunglasses are made with a special filter in the lens that can block intensely reflected light.
- Avoid Rushing – Try to avoid driving in times when sunlight is brightest. Because sunlight is often brightest during rush hour traffic times, most drivers are not able to avoid this difficult situation. Nevertheless, if you do not have to drive in bright sunlight, wait a few minutes until the sun has completely risen or set below the horizon before hitting the road.
- Try a Sun Glare-Free Route or Time – When sun glare becomes a regular occurrence on your daily commute, it may be time to find another route. Routes that run north or south will keep you from traveling directly into the sun and getting hit by its reflection in your mirrors.
Be prepared to maneuver safely through sun glare, but if motorists know this and make the proper adjustments, you can minimize any additional risks that come with less-than-optimal visual conditions.
The Advantage of Polarized Lenses
Glare typically happens when waves of light bounce off reflective surfaces, such as a lake, snowy hillside, or shiny car bumper. Because the surface is horizontal, the light is reflected horizontally. When you are wearing polarized sunglasses, the surface blocks the glare by filtering out the horizontal light waves that don’t fit through the chemical laminate pattern.
Images may appear darker while wearing polarized lenses. However, when glare is eliminated, the image details are easier to see. and can reduce eye strain. Plus, polarized lenses also provide protection from harmful UV rays.
Polarized lenses can also increase visual clarity, contrast, and acuity, making your environment more enjoyable. And when you’re able to see better, you may be able to mentally determine what you’re seeing quicker, which can help improve reaction time.
If you are dealing with a summer sun glare car accident, let us help! Call Jacobson, Schrinsky & Houck in Milwaukee today at (414) 223-4444 to have one of our caring lawyers come out to meet you.
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