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Sun Glare Car Accident: Who's Liable?

By Lisa M. Schaffer, Esq. on July 18, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It happens to every driver. Driving home from work, the road meanders through gentle curves and then BAM!, you find yourself driving due west, directly into the blinding sun. You can't see a thing and your only strategy is hope -- that you don't hit a car, bicyclist, or pedestrian before you can safely see again. But what if hope fails you?

Let There Be Light

Sun glare is a common cause of accidents in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that sun glare causes a few hundred accidents per year, domestically. This figure could actually be quite low, since often it will not be listed as the sole cause of the accident. Given these figures, can drivers successfully escape liability by blaming the sun?

The answer is no. Though many believe God created the sun, according to the Book of Genesis, drivers cannot try to avert liability under an "Act of God" clause. Driver's are expected to use reasonable care in operating their vehicle at all times, and this includes sunrise and sunset, which, by nature, are reasonably predictable.

An Ounce of Prevention ...

Driver liability is the harsh reality in sun glare situations. A driver's best defense is to try to prevent auto accidents in the first place by minimizing sun glare. Some suggestion include:

  • Regularly clean your windshield and dashboard
  • Avoid driving into the sun by either altering your route or driving hours
  • Wear polarized sunglasses, which cut down glare significantly
  • Use the visor in your car
  • Leave more space between your car and other drivers, bikers, and pedestrians

If you have been injured in a car accident, and the other driver expects for you to dismiss his or her fault due to sun glare, contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss your situation, including possible monetary awards.

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