Drivers in New York know that the sun is at its brightest in the early morning and late afternoon, but they may not know that the brightness is liable to create visual illusions. For this and other reasons, bright sunlight increases the risk for a fatal car accident by 16 percent. With the following safety tips, drivers can avoid crashes in these conditions and protect their eyes at the same time.
First, drivers should always keep a pair of sunglasses handy in their vehicle. These guard against harmful UV rays and lessen the brightness of the sun. Next, they should use their sun visors when the sun's rays hit their front windshield or side windows. Almost every vehicle has these, and they are all designed not to hinder the driver's vision.
Drivers could even have a specialty auto repair shop install tinting on their windows for a few hundred dollars. They should note, however, that police will issue citations for windows that are darker than what state regulations allow.
On the road, drivers should keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front to account for the fact that bright sunlight can slow down reaction times. Another good piece of advice is to not drive in the bright sunlight or, if that's not possible, to wait until the sun completely rises or sets.
In the event that a driver does cause an auto accident because he or she was unprepared to go out in bright sunlight, the victim may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Auto insurance companies are often aggressive in denying claims, so a lawyer might hire third parties to investigate the crash, prove the defendant's negligence and show that the plaintiff's reported injuries are accident-related. The lawyer may then begin negotiations.