Most West Virginia drivers think of hazardous driving conditions as those involving inclement weather such as slick road conditions caused by rain, snow or ice or lack of visibility due to precipitation or fog. Bright sunlight, however, is seldom thought to pose a risk of hazard, but statistics tell another story. The period of time during the day when a motorist drives directly into the rising or setting sun creates visibility problems and consequently a higher risk of a vehicle crash.
In fact, the potential for a life-threatening accident is 16 percent higher in bright sunlight than under normal weather conditions, according to studies reporting accident statistics. One of the problems with driving into bright sunlight is that drivers don’t prepare for it because it is not typically thought of as a risk factor. Nonetheless, there are several tips to employ to make driving under these conditions safer for all on the roadways.
One way to drive safer is to use techniques to block the sun’s rays. A good pair of sunglasses, window tinting and proper usage of the vehicle’s sun visors can all be helpful in this area. Secondly, as is done when other unsafe road conditions exist, employ defensive driving techniques. Drive slower, allow greater lengths for braking and don’t follow too closely. If all else fails, avoid driving at these times of the day or pull over and wait until the bright conditions subside.
No matter what the road conditions, each driver is responsible for driving in a reasonable and safe manner. Negligent driving can lead to liability. A personal injury lawyer can explain the scope of compensation that may be available for injured parties.