Sunlight can often illuminate the things around us as we drive and make them easier to see. However, the bright light of the sun can also bring risks to the roadway. What should you know about the risks caused by bright sunlight?
How much of a risk does bright sunlight create?
While drivers do not necessarily think of that bright sunlight as a risk factor for accidents, the truth is that bright sunlight and glare could contribute to crashes. This bright light can limit their ability to judge distance and even create optical illusions. One 2017 study found that bright sunlight increased the risk of serious injury in a crash by around 16 percent.
Weather conditions and the sun’s angle can increase the risks caused by the glare of the sun.
While a bright sun at midday can create glare, other factors can contribute to these conditions. Driving toward the sun when the sun’s angle is low — such as during sunrise or sunset — can direct the sun’s light into a driver’s eyes. Recent snowfall, ice or wet pavement can all reflect the bright sunlight and increase the risks of glare.
As the National Weather Service notes, drivers can take steps to minimize the risk of glare by driving defensively, wearing sunglasses and using their car’s visor. Unfortunately, not every driver takes the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others when sun glare impacts visibility. If the negligence of one of these drivers harmed you or a loved one, you may want to take action to hold them responsible.