If you’re struggling with “seasonal sun glare” during your winter commute, you’re far from alone. New data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that sun glare is behind around 9,000 wrecks every year.
That makes sun glare one of the most common environmental-related causes of motor vehicle accidents, second only to slippery roads due to rain, ice or snow.
Commuters struggle with sun the hardest in the fall and winter
The switch from daylight savings time back to standard time is the main cause of the problem for a lot of daily commuters. That puts them on the road right when the sun is closest to the horizon both when they’re going to and coming home again from work.
As a representative of the Virginia Department of Transportation said, “In some locations the sun appears to hover just above the roadway, creating blinding glare that is difficult to avoid and can leave drivers unable to see the road and other vehicles around them.”
So, how do you protect yourself from wrecks caused by sun glare? Here are a few suggestions:
- Adjust your commute time, when possible. If you have flex time at work, for example, take advantage of it so that you can avoid being on the road when the sun is most in your eyes.
- Keep your windshield clean. Dust and particulates on your windshield can cause the sunlight to refract across your windshield, making it even harder to see the road.
- Keep sunglasses in the car. If you wear glasses, invest in a pair of clip-ons that will help shield your eyes from the sun and make it easier to see.
- Change your route. If you can find an alternative route that won’t leave you driving directly into the sun, that could be best.
- Give yourself extra time. Every driver out there is experiencing the same issues, so build extra time into your commute so that you can give them (and yourself) extra space.
If you are in a wreck, don’t panic. Instead, get the appropriate medical care and find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.