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Sun glare accidents may be more common than reported

The glare from the sun can blind you behind the wheel, leading to an accident. For example, one driver was coming up over a hill, and the sun hit him in the eyes as he topped that hill. On the road in front of him, in a crosswalk, was a woman who was crossing the street with her dog. Tragically, he struck the woman, saying after the fact that he'd not been able to see her at all.

If you've driven to work as the sun rises or driven home as it sets, you know how problematic this can be for at least a few minutes every day. Still, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agree that these accidents aren't that common. They claimed in one report that only 195 out of 56,793 crashes were attributed to the sun.

However, police officials say that these accidents may be under-reported just because they get listed as other things on accident reports. For instance, one official said that a glare-related accident may get filed as an accident where a driver was going too fast for conditions.

That category can be used for many things, like driving in snow, fog or on ice. Certainly, a driver who is going too fast and cannot see could be said to be driving faster than is realistically safe, so the category makes sense, but it hides the true reason for the accident.

Even though glare is hard to avoid, drivers are obligated to drive safely at all times. If you've been hit by a driver who couldn't see and drove on recklessly anyway, you may be entitled to compensation.

Source: Smart Motorist, "Sun Glare - Bright Sun While Driving," accessed March 01, 2017

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