During the summer in South Carolina, we are at the height of daylight savings time. Sunrise is before 6:00 AM, and sunset is after 8:00 PM. But when we get into the fall and winter, the days get shorter, and sunrise and sunsets tend to happen during the middle of our peak driving times. This presents a hazard that many of us do not consider – the potential for accidents caused by sun glare.
Sun glare contributes to numerous accidents with serious injuries and fatalities, and the risk is highest in the United States during this time of year. The exact number of accidents that are caused by sun glare is hard to pinpoint, however, because it is not always listed as a factor in police reports.
Most of us have experienced the sudden blinding effect of an overpowering glare penetrating our windshield. You are driving due east to work in the morning or due west returning from work in the evening, and the bright sunlight suddenly hits your eyes. When this happens, it can be just as dangerous as driving through fog or heavy rain, and all you can do is hope you don’t run into another car, bicyclist, pedestrian or object because you can’t see them.
It is important to note that South Carolina is not a “no-fault” state; and becoming blinded by sun glare is not a valid defense against being held liable for a car accident. Although many people may want to consider sun glare an “act of God”, legally, it does not fall into this category. Motorists have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to operate their vehicles safely, and this includes minimizing the chances of a sun glare accident.
Tips for Preventing Sun Glare Accidents
Here are some ways drivers can help prevent collisions due to blinding sun glare:
- Keep your Windshield Clean: Streaks and marks on your windshield can make the glare even worse and more blinding. And using washer fluid while you are driving does not always help, especially if your wiper blades leave streaks. Before driving, clean off your windshield. And if your wiper blades are old and worn, replace them so you are able to keep your windshield clean during your drive.
- Clear Off Your Dashboard: Reflective objects on your dashboard could cause the glare to get worse as well. Make sure your dashboard is cleared off before you start driving.
- Wear Polarized Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses may not give you perfect vision under these conditions, but they can help a lot in reducing or eliminating the glare on your eyes from the sun.
- Consider Additional Sun Visors: Use the sun visors you have to block the sun glare as much as possible. You may also want to consider adding extra sun visors to cover more area as you drive.
- Reduce your Speed: When there is sun glare, it becomes more difficult to judge the distance between you and other vehicles and objects. Reduce your speed and allow plenty of distance between you and other vehicles on the road.
- Eliminate Other Distractions: Sun glare is distracting enough, do not make matters worse by talking or texting on your cell phone, trying to read the GPS, fidgeting around with the radio, eating or drinking, or doing anything else that distracts you from focusing on the road.
- Alter your Driving Route and Drive Time: If possible, use a different driving route and/or alter the time when you leave for work or come home from work. There is not much you can do if you must travel east in the morning and west in the evening, but there may be some routes that include more north/south traveling, or that allow you to travel on the east/west roads after the sun glare has been reduced.
Injured in a Sun Glare Accident in South Carolina? Contact Peake & Fowler for Legal Help
You can take all the precautions in the world to prevent a sun glare collision, but unfortunately, you cannot control what other drivers do. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you need strong legal counsel by your side advocating forcefully for your rights and interests.
If the accident occurred in South Carolina, get in touch with the experienced attorneys at Peake & Fowler. Call us today at 803-788-4370 or message us through our online contact form. You may also stop by our Columbia, SC office in person at your convenience.