Glare from oncoming traffic or sunlight is a significant factor in many auto accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It takes up to 10 seconds for the average middle-aged driver’s eyes to adjust to glare, during which time the vehicle could travel more than 400 feet. If there is an obstruction ahead of the vehicle – from a pedestrian crossing the street to a stopped car – a crash is likely to happen. Next time you’re driving, count off 10 seconds and see how far your car has gone – then think about what you might have missed seeing if your eyes had been adjusting to glare.
Because driving is primarily a visual task – with vision contributing as much as 90 percent of the information needed to drive – the National Traffic Safety Institute is investigating headlight glare as a leading cause of nighttime crashes.
Here are some tips from the experts on dealing with glare when driving:
- Clean your windshield, inside and out.
- Avoid high-gloss products (e.g., glossy maps or shiny decals) on the dashboard.
- Wear quality sunglasses with polarized lenses and UV protection.
- Make use of the vehicle’s sun visors.
- When you’re driving with the sun to your back, turn on your headlights so drivers facing the sun can see your vehicle better.
- Drive slower when glare is a factor, even if it’s below the posted speed. When road conditions are bad, you can be ticketed even if you’re driving the speed limit. Use the same precautions and care as driving in other hazardous conditions, such as fog or rain. If you can’t see, don’t drive.
- Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you when glare is present.
- If possible, change your driving route. Use north-south streets until you find an east-west road with lots of trees or taller buildings that block glare.
Have you been involved in an auto accident because of glare? Contact the auto accident lawyers at Zanes Law to see how we can help.
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