Most people associate clear days with safe driving conditions, but sun glare can be just as dangerous as rain or snow. In the early and late hours of the day—when the sun is lowest in the sky—a glare can blind a driver long enough to cause a serious collision. Sun glare in Birmingham is especially hazardous in the spring when drivers are adjusting to new daylight hours.
If the worst happens and you suffer an injury due to another driver—even if sun glare contributed to the accident—then you may be entitled to compensation for healthcare bills, lost income, and other damages.
If the crash happens in Alabama, contact a Birmingham auto accident lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm. We can evaluate your accident, talk to witnesses, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. We can also help you avoid mistakes such as settling for an amount that will not cover your medical bills.
Four Tips That Can Help You Avoid Accidents Due to Sun Glare in Birmingham
1. Wear Polarized Sunglasses
This is the most effective way to combat sun glare, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). You should wear polarized sunglasses throughout the year—even in winter. If you wear prescription glasses, then consider customizing a pair of polarized sunglasses with your optometrist.
While all sunglasses will help, polarized lenses are specially designed to reduce glare and reflection in bright sun. They can also increase the wearer’s vision clarity when the sun is at its harshest. Regular sunglasses will not do this. This is why polarized lenses are preferred. They cost more, but the laminated filter inside the lenses makes a significant difference when reducing glare is the goal.
2. Wash Your Windshield
A dirty windshield will make the sunlight scatter and refract. This will intensify the glare. Clean your windshield and check your wiper fluid regularly, especially before a long journey. Wash and dry both sides of the glass for optimum visibility. You can purchase a squeegee at most auto part stores, and the blue alcohol-based glass cleaner is available almost anywhere, including at many gas stations.
If you are on the road and notice an issue with your windshield, most gas stations have squeegees available by the pumps. These should be a last option, though. The fluid is often dirty and there could be more debris in the basin than on your windshield. Still, they are an option in a pinch.
3. Watch out for Dips and Rises
Be cautious when going up or down hills, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon. If you are driving uphill, prepare to meet the sun at the top of the rise by pulling down your vehicle’s sun visor.
If the sunlight blinds you momentarily, look at the white lines on the side of the road to maintain your trajectory. This is good advice any time you cannot see the lane in front of you, including when you encounter a driver who has not dimmed their bright lights.
If you are traveling downhill and away from the sun, be cautious of oncoming traffic. Other drivers may be blinded by sun glare. Defensive driving may be necessary if the drivers coming from the other direction do not know how to manage the bright sunlight.
4. Increase Your Following Distance
SmartMotorist reminds drivers to increase their following distances in dangerous conditions. This includes the early morning and late afternoon hours when sun glare is particularly harsh. In good conditions, the rule of thumb is to maintain three seconds of following distance between you and the leading vehicle. However, you should maintain at least six seconds of distance in hazardous conditions.
5. Be Especially Aware of Pedestrians, Motorcyclists, and Bicyclists
While sun glare can present a dangerous condition to other motorists on the road, it can also cause issues when drivers can’t see pedestrians. People crossing the street are more at risk for serious injuries than motorists with vehicle protection. Our Birmingham pedestrian accident lawyers can help if you’ve been struck by a motorist blinded by the sun.
Motorcyclists and bicyclists are also more difficult to see than their larger counterparts. This can be especially dangerous when drivers encounter these vehicles at the top of a hill or another area where the driver may be looking toward the sun. Drivers should keep an eye out for these vehicles between hills or other areas where their field of vision is not disrupted by the bright sunlight.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
What Should I Do Following a Sun Glare Crash in Alabama?
If you were in an accident where the sun’s glare played a role, you should continue to gather evidence to support your claim. This includes filing a report with police, taking pictures at the scene, and collecting names of witnesses. You also need to get medical care for any potential witnesses as soon as possible. Then, it is time to contact an attorney.
A driver has an obligation to drive safely and follow all traffic laws regardless of the distractions, road conditions, and other concerns. This includes bright reflections and glares that can make it difficult to see. When a driver causes a collision, they are legally responsible for the injuries and damages that occur.
Connect With a Birmingham Accident Attorney Today
If you were injured by a negligent driver in Alabama, contact a Birmingham auto accident attorney from the Morris Bart law firm. We can handle the legal side of your claim so you can focus on recovery. We provide free, no-obligation case assessments for car accident victims, pedestrians hit by cars, and others injured in traffic accidents.
Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney from our Birmingham office.
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