New York state experiences 224 sunny days a year, which is slightly higher than the average in the United States of 205 sunny days. This helps to offset the 119 days each year that New York state experiences some kind of precipitation, but creates some additional challenges for motorists who must contend with sun glare.
It is not uncommon for motorists in New York to end up facing the difficulties due to driving with sun glare, which can blind motor vehicle drivers. Unfortunately, glare from the sun is more than a simple annoyance. Glare from the sun can end up negatively impacting your vision and causing accidents with other vehicles, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and/or pedestrians.
One study that was recently published concluded that half of the motor vehicle accidents that occur during daylight hours are the result of sunlight. Other data shows that the presence of sunlight increases a motorist’s chances of ending up in a car crash by approximately 16%.
New York, as well as all other states, require motorists to have a clear and unobstructed view of the road. This means that any elements restricting the viewpoint of a driver including even sun glare can make a driver at least partially liable for an accident that results from these factors. It is a good idea for all motorists to take some important safety precautions to avoid sun glare. Doing this makes motorists less inclined to end up causing crashes and facing various consequences.
What You Can Do to Prevent Sun Glare
In situations in which the glare from the sun limits a motorist’s vision, even the most careful drivers can end up causing motor vehicle accidents. Taking important steps to reduce the glare on your windshield can help substantially reduce your chances of ending up in an accident. Some of the steps you should consider taking include:
- Make sure your windshield is kept clean. You should make sure to clean the exterior of your windshield each time you place gas in your vehicle’s tank. If you are at home, you should use soap and water to wash your windshield then wipe the area with a cloth and vinegar.
- Purchase a bug or tar windshield remover. If you routinely deal with dead insects or tar on your windshield, you should consider a commercial product to help remove these objects. Routine cleaning of your windshield makes scratches caused by your wipers less likely to result.
- Do not overlook the inside of your windshield. Each time you wash your vehicle, you should remember to also clean the interior section of your windshield. Cleaning this section makes sure that you have the highest degree of visibility when driving. The best option for cleaning the interior of your windshield is a combination of lint-free cloth with rubbing alcohol because this mixture will make your windshield’s interior more resistant to fogginess as well as increase your visibility.
- Stay away from wax and other products to shine your vehicle. People like to use wax and other materials to increase a vehicle’s shine. When you use these products on your vehicle’s exterior, however, light sometimes scatters off the vehicle’s hood and intensifies the degree of light that comes through your windshield. Instead of products that reflect light in such a way, you should give thought to utilizing protective coatings for your vehicle that do not result in glare issues.
- Maintain a Clutter-Free Dashboard. Light-colored or reflective objects placed on your dashboard can end up creating glare or reflections that interfere with the driver’s review. Sometimes, these reflections also can end up hiding what is occurring outside your vehicle. Drivers should also refrain from hanging items including air fresheners from their rearview mirror. These objects can end up interfering with your view. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle with an object hanging from a rearview mirror in some states.
- Keep both your wipers and windshield in good condition. Even the smallest scratches or blemishes on windshields and wipers can end up interfering with the way that sunlight comes through a vehicle’s windshield. The light that comes off these defects can end up bouncing around your vehicle and substantially restricting your view. To avoid these complications, some drivers even place tinted strips at the windshield’s top. Referred to sometimes as a Sun strip, these objects can tint your entire windshield. You should make sure that you follow local motor vehicle tinting laws. Making sure that your windshield wipers are kept in good working order and that your tank is full of wiper fluid can make sure that you can clean any road debris that ends up on your windshield.
- Wear sunglasses that are polarized. By wearing polarized sunglasses when driving a motor vehicle, you can cut down greatly on glare from the sun. The lenses found in polarized sunglasses include a filter that can block reflections created from the sunlight. Many vehicles include sunglass holders so you can make sure that you have a pair of polarized sunglasses close by whenever you might need them.
- Utilize defensive driving tactics. Glare created from the sun can make it challenging to see the road ahead. You should avoid abrupt changes in lanes. You should also keep a sufficient distance from other vehicles on the road and lower your speed so you have additional time to react when you interact with other vehicles, pedestrians, or objects. You should also pull over as soon as you can do so in a safe manner if the glare from the sun prevents you from spotting road signs or other important markings. Provided that you can do so safely, you should wait for the sun to move far enough that your vision is no longer blocked.
- Avoid driving the same route. If it is possible to do so, you should consider following an alternate route to stay away from the sun’s glare during the day. Additionally, traveling from north to south can also help you avoid coming into contact with glare from the sun. You should consider a path through an area with high objects like trees or buildings that can block sunlight from reaching you.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you or someone you know has been harmed by a driver whose vision was impaired as the result of sun glare, you should not hesitate to contact a New York accident attorney at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. Remember, if you were harmed and someone else is responsible, you have the right to pursue compensation. One of our accident lawyers can examine the details involved in your accident as well as work with reconstruction experts, assess a fair amount of compensation, and navigate a conversation with an insurance carrier. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case evaluation.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.