Sunlight and Sun Glare

What is Sunlight and Sun Glare?

Sunlight and sun glare can make the road dangerous, but you can’t use this as an excuse if you get into an accident. This can be very frustrating for drivers.

Drivers may feel like they couldn’t avoid the danger, and accident victims may think that the person who caused the accident is using the sun as an excuse.

Sunlight and glare can make your case more complicated, but an experienced lawyer can help you figure out how to handle it.

How Does Sunlight or Sun Glare Cause Accidents?

Every year, accidents happen in Georgia because drivers can’t see due to sunlight or sun glare. There are three main ways that the sun can make it impossible to see:

  • When the sun is at an angle, water, dust, or streaks on your windshield suddenly glow and make it hard to see.
  • When the sun is right in front of you as you drive, the bright light can blind you.
  • When the sun hits another surface, like the dashboard or the road itself, it creates a glare that makes it hard for you to see. (This happens more often in colder climates, where snow creates a reflective surface on the ground.)

Sun glare usually only lasts a few seconds, like when your car comes around a bend. However, even being blinded for a few seconds is enough to cause an accident.

What Kinds of Accidents Does Sunlight Cause?

Sunlight and sun glare can cause:

  • Accidents involving pedestrians and bikes where the driver was blinded and could not see the street.
  • Rear-end car accidents where sunlight or sun glare blinded one or both drivers.
  • Single-car accidents that happen when a blinded driver drifts and hits something (like a utility pole).

What Time of Day is Sunlight Most Dangerous?

Most accidents caused by sunlight happen in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is close to the horizon and shines directly on drivers. Unfortunately, rush hour is the most common time for accidents because so many cars are on the road at once, and the sun is either rising or setting.

Who is Considered at Fault in a Sunlight Accident?

The sun is not a valid reason for an accident, and it doesn’t change who is at fault. If the sun was so bright that the driver couldn’t see, that driver would usually be held responsible, but not always.

There could be exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • The driver can show that they took the right amount of care.
  • The other driver broke a traffic rule and would have been partly or wholly to blame even if the sun hadn’t been out.

These are rare exceptions, which might mean that both sides are at fault.

Why Can't Sunlight and Sun Glare Be Used as Excuses in an Accident?

Sun glare is not an excuse because the law says that all drivers should take basic safety measures when driving in any type of bad weather. 

Just as it would be careless to drive 65 mph in a thick fog, it would also be careless to get in a car on a sunny day and not do anything to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. Drivers have to be careful when there are dangerous driving conditions, like sunlight and sun glare.

How Can I Prevent Sunlight Glare?

There are many ways to cut down on or get rid of blinding glare, such as:

  • Keeping your windshield clean and free of dust and streaks
  • Not taking a direct route toward the sun
  • Wearing sunglasses, especially polarized ones, to eliminate glare

Sun glare often happens when you least expect it. If it does happen, remember that it might also affect other drivers around you.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm

If you have been injured in an auto accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!

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