Thursday, May 12, 2016

Sun Glare While Driving – April 2016

The following relate to the dangers of sun glare while driving, and traffic safety in general. They were derived from our twitter feed @SunPosition

Read our weekly news summary “Sun Glare and Driving” at:

Several children hurt in school bus crash in Orange County | News 13 NOW

Seven children were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a car struck a loaded Orange County school bus head-on Tuesday morning, troopers said. 

The crash happened at about 8 a.m…

The driver of the Altima, Javanie Bandoo, 21, of Orlando, said sun glare was in his eyes, and he didn't see the school bus…

Sun blindness' a major safety issue in Spokane | KHQ Local News

In the last 24 hours there have been two pedestrian vs. vehicle wrecks that have been blamed on the sun.

This time of year, spring and fall are the worst because near the spring and fall equinox the sun is most directly due east and west depending on the time of day.

Sun glare or sun blindness is a major safety issue.  It's the cause of 3,000 accidents a year according to a 2013 study.

Right now the sun rise is around 6:30 am and sunset is close to 7:30 pm.

Sunlight also doesn't blind us all equally.  A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that older drivers are more likely to get involved in crashes if glare obstructs their vision.

In fact 38.5 percent of drivers involved in crashes related to glare were 45 years of age or older.

There are some things you can do to try and fight the glare.

First wear sunglasses and use your visor when necessary.

Make sure your windshield is clean, because if it's dirty the light can be filtered and more distracting.

Alter drive times or routes if you can and most importantly GO SLOW if you can't see…

Sun glare risk to UK motorists: How to stay safe |

Dozens of road deaths and thousands of injuries occur each year due to sun glare on drivers' windscreens. Since 2010 there have been around 28 road deaths and 3,900 injuries annually due to sun glare, according to the Department for transport. 

Spring and autumn are the key sun dazzle danger periods, as the rising and setting sun coincides with heavy morning and evening traffic.

Most dazzle-related accidents take place on A-roads and minor roads. Sun glare represents a significant seasonal driving problem – and is a big road safety issue in a country with one of the lowest road traffic accident rates in the world.

Here is some information and tips on how to deal with sun glare…

Sudden appearance

Sun glare is especially dangerous when a car turns into the sun, causing a sudden loss of vision or 'blindness'. Dazzling sun can also appear suddenly from behind trees and buildings, or in a reflected surface.


Attempting to overtake into low sunlight is especially dangerous, since the road ahead can be obscured. Head-on lorry crashes increase four fold around sunset.

Long shadows

Vehicles which cast long shadows are harder to see for approaching drivers and those turning into a road facing them.

Avoiding the dangers of sun glare

Slow down

In low sun it is important to keep your speed down and leave a larger gap between you and the vehicle in front. This will give you additional reaction time – especially important if you are driving through school zones or pedestrianised areas.

Keep your windscreen clean

Dirt and grime on your windscreen can exacerbate the effects of sun glare, so keep yours clean. Chips or cracks can also make glare worse, so ensure your windscreen glass is in good condition.

Sun visor

This simple device can be very effective at blocking the sun


Keep you visibility as high as possible by wearing sunglasses. Polarised sunglasses are especially effective at countering glare.

Dip your headlights

Keeping your headlights dipped will make you more visible to other road users.

If all else fails...

If sun glare is persistently making it difficult to see the road ahead, stop somewhere safe and wait until conditions improve.

Windshield condensation + sun glare >

Grants Pass Teenager Unhurt after Crashing into Josephine County Road Truck | KAJO

No one was injured when a Grants Pass teenager drove her car into a Josephine County Road Maintenance truck early Monday morning.

According to the Oregon State Police, troopers responded to the two-vehicle collision in the 4500-block of Jerome Prairie Road around 7:45 a.m..

Troopers said the 17-year-old girl told them she was unable to see out of the windshield of the Hyundai she was driving due condensation and sun glare…

You might be surprised >

The world's safest and most dangerous countries to drive in | MSN Autos

An issue that costs the world billions, and claims millions of lives every year. We look at how your country or your next holiday destination fares when it comes to driving safety. Take a look at where to find the world’s safest and most dangerous roads based on World Health Organization statistics for the amount of road deaths per 100,000 people…

Sun glare can be as dangerous as icy roads | Democrat & Chronicle

Just when you thought it was safe to travel the speed limit during your morning commute you realize there is a driving condition beyond snow and ice to worry about: Sun glare. 

Several major roads in Monroe County were backed up during Tuesday morning's commute which otherwise was clear of weather issues. While the cause of several minor accidents was unknown, sheriff's officials said sometimes all it takes to cause major traffic slow downs is a minor accident and a bright sun.

"Days like this you get a lot of rubbernecking between the sun and some accidents," said Monroe County Sheriff's Corporal John Helfer. "Sometimes it's absolutely nothing other than the sun because it can get really bad, especially coming over a crest. Sometimes you can't see anything, especially if there is a little moisture on your windshield."

And just like driving in the snow for the first time in November or December, people forget what it's like to drive in the bright sunshine during a spring morning commute when the sun starts to rise and set in the commute hours.

"Driving on a beautiful sunny day can provide stunning scenery, but it can also create a hazard if the driver’s view is compromised by a glaring sun," reads a AAA report.

In the hours after sunrise and before sunset — times when many children and other pedestrians and bikers are on the road — a dangerous glare can shine into drivers' eyes.

"This glare can make it much harder to see the road ahead and potential hazards creating an added risk to drivers," according to AAA. "When sun glare is an issue slow down and use extra caution especially while driving through school zones."

Here are some tips from AAA when driving into the sun:

  • Invest in polarized sunglasses — they can help reduce glare.
  • Utilize your sun visor — it can help to block out the sun.
  • Leave more following room — when the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. This is one more time when it pays to leave more room between you and the next vehicle.
  • Drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers.
  • Keep your windshield clean, inside and out.
  • Check your windshield for pitting and cracks.
  • Avoid storing papers or other items on the dashboard.
  • If having a difficult time seeing the road, use lane markings to help guide you.

"Rarely will visibility be absolutely perfect while driving, but if motorists know this and make the proper adjustments, you can minimize any additional risks that come with less-than-optimal visual conditions," according to AAA.

Sun glare may be to blame for deadly Route 70 accident | @nj1015

Sun glare could be to blame for an accident on Route 70 in Manchester that killed a Browns Mills man on Friday morning. 

Manchester police said Hilaro Guillen, 21, of Browns Mills, was killed after rear-ending another car, swerving into oncoming traffic and getting broadsided by yet another car…

Police said Guillen struck 2013 Honda Civic driven by Joshua Meeks, 21, of Medford, who was stopped in the eastbound lane to make a left turn onto Sam Pitts Road around 7:10 a.m. 

Guillen may have been blinded by sun glare and didn’t stop in time…

Are softer compounds needed for motorcycle tires?

RT  Christopher Hoffmann @HoffmannLawFirm:

Sun Glare Cause an Accident | St. Louis Automobile Accident Lawyer

> @HoffmannLawFirm Interesting stats on crash causes.

When sight is impaired, a driver is at risk. A vast majority of sun glare accidents occur in intersections and result from blinded drivers who fail to see other drivers or traffic control devices.

Car Accidents Caused by Sun Glare
  • A driver is unable to see a traffic light or stop sign and collides with another motor vehicle in the intersection. At high speeds, these accidents can be fatal.
  • A driver is unable to see the lane position or the road itself and may drift from the lane. This could cause a side sweep accident or a head-on collision.
  • Sun glare can make it difficult for a driver to see other cars on the road, leading to blind spot accidents.
  • Sun glare affects a driver’s ability to see the tail lights of the vehicle in front, leading to a rear-end collision when the lead vehicle comes to a stop or slows down.
  • A driver fails to notice oncoming traffic and makes a left turn.
  • A driver fails to see pedestrians or bicyclists at an intersection.
Sun Glare Is Worst During Rush Hour

It is important to note that sun glare is worst during morning and evening rush hours. During these times, the sun is low and towards the horizon and its angle toward the earth is such that it becomes a hazard to drivers. Here are some tips that will help you avoid accidents caused by sun glare:

  • Avoid driving when the windshield is dirty as it can amplify the effect of sun glare. Clean the windows and windshield often and check the windshield fluid level to make sure you do not run out of it when you need it the most.
  • Wear sun glasses that have anti-glare properties. This will not just protect you from glare but also from harmful effects of UV rays.
  • Do not look directly into the sun or a reflective surface or object.
  • Remember, sun glare is a concern not only during the summer, but winter as well. Snow accumulation can also cause glare.
  • If glare seems to be obstructing your view, slow down so that you have time to react in case a pedestrian or another vehicle appears in front of you.

RT David Hollingsworth @Ottawa_lawyer:

Response to OC Transpo Via Rail Crash

> @OttawaCitizen @TSBCanada Was sun reflection from the right side mirror ever ruled out?

The chair of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada says she's concerned the federal transportation ministry's responses to safety recommendations made after the fatal Ottawa bus-train crash aren't happening quickly enough and don't do enough. 

"There are a few good initiatives proposed by the regulator to address some of the safety deficiencies we identified in our investigation. But I'm concerned these efforts don't go far enough, fast enough," TSB chair Kathy Fox is quoted saying in a media release issued Monday...

The TSB made five recommendations after reconstructing and analyzing the 2013 crash, four of which were directed at Transport Canada…

read more at link below…

Sun glare can be made worse by wet road >

Sun's glare may have contributed to crash on A5 at DIRFT | Daventry Express

A young man died after trying to turn his car around on the A5 near DIRFT and inquest has heard.

Mark Grayson, 31, died following a car crash on November 12 last year on the A5 just north of DIRFT…

He stopped his Vauxhall Astra in the layby on the northbound side of the A5 just after the Danes Way roundabout, parking at the northern end.

In a statement read out by coroner Anne Pember, Mariusz Kryczek said he had left work at DIRFT at 9am and was driving home to Rugby and planned to go north along the A5. He said: “As I was approaching the end of the layby a car pulled out into side of the carriageway. I thought the driver wanted to turn around to go back the other way. He pulled out just a few metres from my car. I collided with the driver’s side of the Astra.”…

Mr Holloway added it was a sunny morning, but that the sun was very low at that time and the road had some damp patches…

PC Wilkins told the inquest the police had restaged a similar vehicle pulling out from the layby to turn south, and the manoeuvre took two-and-a-half seconds.

He also said that by using computer models they had recreated the position of the sun that morning, and that it was very low in the sky and from Mr Grayon’s position would have been shining almost exactly from the southern direction of the A5. The strong low sun, coupled with any potential glare from the damp road could have caused Mr Grayson problems.

He concluded Mr Grayson may have carried out the manoeuvre without ‘sufficient observations’ which the sun and conditions may have made worse…

I'd rather be driving >

Sun blinds Aeronca pilot | via @genavnews

The pilot, who was landing to the west on a private, grass airstrip in Port Gibson, Miss., stated that as the Aeronca 7AC touched down, he became blinded by the setting sun that was low on the horizon.

The plane subsequently veered to the right into a tree line, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings and the right main landing gear...

The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll. Contributing to the accident was sun glare.

Police investigating pedestrian and property damage collisions | Lethbridge Police Services

On April 21 just before 8 a.m. police responded to a report of a pedestrian collision involving an elderly woman. Investigation determined a 2006 Cadillac SRX, operated by a 46-year-old male, was travelling eastbound on 3 Avenue North when it struck a northbound 76-year-old female who was crossing 3 Avenue from 12 Street North. EMS transported the victim to hospital and she was subsequently transferred to Calgary for treatment of serious injuries. She remains in hospital at this time. Police believe sun glare was a factor in the collision...

Police Charge City  Man in Relation Thursday Collision  - Victim in Another Collision Sent to Calgary | Lethbridge News Now

Charges are pending as an investigation continues into a north-side pedestrian collision just before 8:00 Thursday morning. 

A car being driven by a 46-year-old man, was travelling east-bound on 3rd Avenue North when it struck a 76-year-old woman who was crossing at 12 Street North.

The victim was taken to the Regional hospital and then transferred to a Calgary hospital, where she is being treated for serious injuries. Police believe sun glare was a factor in the collision…

Four examples of sun glare dangers at rail crossings...

1) low sun in line with oncoming train,

2) sun in line with signal lights,

3) sun glare washing out signal lights, and

4) sun reflection from your vehicle's mirrors.

Good advice for driving in sun glare >

A long weekend on the road | @RISKAFRICA_Mag

A good part of defensive driving is not only being cautious of the actions of others but also adjusting your driving according to visibility conditions…

Sun glare

Some people resort to wearing polarised sunglasses at night to reduce the glare reflected from road surfaces and the car’s bonnet and windscreen. International estimates say sun glare is responsible for up to 3 000 accidents per year, which is often at its worst during rush hour in the mornings and late afternoons, and especially so during South Africa’s winter months.

The Sunglass Association of America however, warns against wearing amber coloured or polarised night driving glasses as they do not reduce glare and can even make it more difficult for your eyes to compensate for glare.

Other steps to avoid glare include:

  • Investing in polarised glasses does help reduce glare and prevent your eyes from becoming tired from squinting during the day although wearing them for long periods during daylight hours can also reduces the difficulty your eyes have adapting at night.
  • Drive with headlights on so your visibility to other drivers is increased.
  • Ensure you have an adequate following distance to stop suddenly.
  • Do not use vinyl-based cleaners on your dashboard as it increases reflection.
  • Avoid driving cars with light-coloured dashboards.
  • Immediately slow down if you are suddenly blinded by glare.
  • Never overtake during low sunlight...

Be Careful, it's Nice Out There | Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman

Finally, the cold dreary days of winter are behind us and spring is in the air. With the warmer, nicer weather, comes an increase in motor vehicle accidents, and personal injuries motorcyclists, bike riders and pedestrians.

Drivers and pedestrians have the right to use the roadways, and have mutual duties and obligations to do so in a safe manner, and to look out for each other. More people are out walking and using some portion of the roads during the nice weather, and longer days. Both drivers and pedestrians must use reasonable care to observe anyone crossing into their paths of travel.

Motorists are faced with new challenges as the weather changes. Conditions that block normal observations, such as sun glare, fog, rain and lightening can lead to accidents...

Accidents mar morning commute | The Telegraph

A Wilton woman was seriously injured in a car crash Wednesday morning on Route 101 that police say might have been caused by sun glare. The accident was the fourth and last in a series of crashes that started after 6 a.m. and involved six vehicles and injured five people… 

Sun glare possible factor >

Locals hurt in Milford crashes | Monadnock Ledger 

Sun glare may have been a factor in a crash early Wednesday morning that sent a Wilton woman to the hospital with serious injuries, police said. 

Jillian Beaucher’s car was struck from behind on Route 101 in Milford near the Route 12 overpass by driver Bryan Thompson of Manchester, police say...

Sun glare may have been a factor in this accident, according to police.

Slick roads contributed to a number of other accidents on Route 101, one of which involved a Peterborough man.

Alexander Scribner was attempting a  U-turn on Route 101 and was struck by a vehicle driven by Steven Johnson of Merrimack. Scribner was transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Sun glare may have been a factor in this accident, according to police…

RT TSB of Canada @TSBCanada:

Article by Board member John Clarkson: As technology changes, so too does accident investigation

For more than 25 years, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has investigated marine accidents from coast to coast to coast. When something goes wrong, we dig deep to find out what happened—and then we dig deeper still to learn why. Because it’s only through understanding the causes and contributing factors of an occurrence that steps can be taken to prevent it from happening again.

TSB reports are based on in-depth interviews, rigorous analysis, and data from some of the most sophisticated scientific equipment available. In fact, since 1997, the TSB has increasingly used navigational software to access a wide array of navigational and communications data, and then played it back in real time to study the final seconds, minutes or even hours of a voyage. Data from Electronic Chart Systems, Automatic Identification Systems, Voyage Data Recorders and onboard recordings such as bridge audio: today we gather all of it. Our Engineering Branch can then use this information to create everything from a mathematical model of a ship to a 3-D picture of the local environment, including shorelines and the placement of any nearby vessels. In some cases, we can overlay the information on top of the vessel’s actual track, creating an animation, complete with audio and special effects!

Over the years, computer-aided recreations have played a role in a number of TSB investigations…

Tips For Safe Driving On A Road Trip |

It’s almost that time of year again, the weather’s getting nice, you’ve got some vacation time coming up, it’s time to take a road trip...

The best thing you can do when taking a road trip is to plan your trip. If you know the best times to drive and the details of your route, you’ll be able to reduce your risk of accident. There are several things to keep in mind when planning your trip, here are a few of them:

  • Prepare your car. Simple car maintenance can help prevent accidents. Make sure your lights and brakes work correctly. Check your air pressure and tire tread. Check that your windshield wipers, windshield washer fluid, and your defrost are all in good working order. Also while on the road, make sure to routinely check these things to make sure everything on your car works as it should.
  • Look at the weather for everywhere you are going to be driving. If there are any dangerous weather conditions, plan to avoid those routes or give yourself time to pull over.
  • Check into the road construction delays along your route. There are several websites and apps that can help you understand where any road construction is happening on your route, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Give yourself plenty of time. Impaired driving is one of the main causes of accidents. Give yourself a break at least every two to four hours to stretch your legs and get some exercise. Do not drive when you are tired or at night when fatigue and highway hypnosis can cause you to become impaired. Also make sure that you schedule eight hours of sleep for every night.
  • Do not rush to your destination, this will lead to speeding which can put you at risk of an accident.
  • If you are traveling through cities, keep in mind rush hour times. Rush hour is a dangerous time to drive and can be incredibly stressful if you are in an unfamiliar city. If possible, plan your route so you are not in the city during rush hour.
  • Plan for the sun. Sun glare can cause accidents, so try to plan your trip so you are not driving into the sun.
  • Get roadside assistance and prepare a road kit. So in case you do get into an accident or your car breaks down, you can get help when you need it.

Cheers, Ralph

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