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Sun glare is a very common cause of car accidents in Texas—but rarely is the sun the sole cause. Here’s what you need to know about what to expect if you or a loved one were involved in a sun glare car accident.

How Does Sun Glare Cause Accidents?

Sun glare causes temporary blindness concerning any obstacle that may be in a driver’s way. This condition can occur as the result of the low position of the sun during dawn and dusk, but it can also cause accidents when the sun reflects off wet or snow-covered roads.

Even though no driver has control over the position or intensity of the sun, they are bound by law to take necessary precautions to avoid blindness from sun glare.

How Many Car Accidents Are Caused by Sun Glare?

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) released a report in 2015 that summarized the critical reasons for investigated crashes. In Table 4 of this summary, glare was listed as the cause of 9,000 crashes, second only to slick roads. 1

As you read above, the sun’s glare alone is not a viable defense in these cases. These accidents have a much higher chance of prevention if the following precautions are applied.

What Drivers Can Do to Prevent Sun Glare Accidents

There are many ways to prevent an accident due to the sun, and the more of these precautions a driver takes, the lower the risk of an accident.

  • Using sun visors can help to reduce blindness caused by glare, but this should be accompanied by a slower speed. Just as one may drive more slowly in the fog when visibility is low, so should they drive during times of intense sun glare. Keeping a safe distance behind other vehicles is also recommended.
  • Wearing polarized sunglasses can also go a long way toward reducing glare, and the cleaner the windshield, the better the visibility a driver has. They can also turn on their headlights so that pedestrians and other drivers are aware of their presence.
  • If it’s possible to avoid routes that travel into the path of the sun, or wait until the sun has risen or set fully, a driver should do so. Otherwise, simply pulling over during times of intense glare can be the best way to avoid it.
Lawyer standing with crossed arms, Scales of Justice on the background

Liability in Sun Glare Accidents

All too often, the convenient option for a driver who caused a rising sun car accident is to blame the sun. However, this is not a viable excuse to get out of being responsible for your injuries. This is just one of many reasons why it’s so important to contact a Houston car accident lawyer as soon as possible if you were the victim of this kind of accident.

At Schechter, Shaffer & Harris—SMS Legal—you’ll find attorneys with a combined 100 years of trial experience in personal injury cases, including sun glare accidents. Visit us online to claim your free consultation, or call 713-364-0723.

Source:

  1. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812115

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Jonathan S. Harris and Matthew D. Shaffer are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  Other attorneys are not board certified.  Principal office is located in Houston, Texas.