Blinded by the light?: Report says setting sun led to deadly motorcycle crash
ST. GEORGE, Utah (BIKER DAD) — Blinded by the light? We’ve all been there on a sunset ride or drive and the big red sun is hanging just high enough in the sky to make us squint and nearly blind. That’s what police say led to a deadly crash in Utah when a car made left turn in front of a motorcycle. NBC 4 says it happened Sunday in St. George, Utah.
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But, there’s one thing about this theory that’s left out of the story. The report says the traveling southbound when a car in the northbound lanes turned in front of the bike. The sun rises in the east, and sets in the left. Traveling north or south usually does not put you in the position to be blinded by the light of the sun.
Police say the biker tried to stop. But he couldn’t do it in time. As a result, the man in his 40s, died from his injuries.
As police always say, this is an ongoing investigation.
Blinded by the light: crashes are common
According to one law firm “studies show sunny days can be even more hazardous (than snow or rain). One recent study has shown that serious car accidents increase by 16% when it’s very sunny and glare is present. Another study has shown that as many as 9000 accidents relating to sun glare occur each year! That’s more than caused by icy roads.”
Blinded by the light: tips on driving in heavy sunlight
- Slow WAY down: Your best move when driving through a sun glare is to slow down. When you can’t see you don’t have the ability to react quickly, so going slower will help you avoid an accident. Slow down to the speed you would drive if you were in the pouring rain, a blizzard, or driving through thick fog.
- Put more distance between you and other cars: When visibility is terrible it’s critical to stay a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Remember, if you can’t see, then the person in front of you probably can’t see either and may end up braking abruptly.
- Wear or have available polarized sunglasses: Keep a pair of polarized sunglasses in your car. They work great and will help you reduce the sun glare. Polarized sunglasses are made with a special filter in the lens that can block intensely reflected light. They’re particularly effective while driving through snowy or wet areas where sun glare is the most extreme.
- Keep your windshield clean: Dirty windows scatter light making it even more difficult to see when the sun is directly in front of you. Before you head out, make sure the windows are clean inside and out. Keep a roll of paper towels in the car so you can wipe the windshield down if needed on your drive.
- Have your wiper fluid filled before you head out: Also, keep an extra gallon of washer fluid in your car in case you run out during your time driving. Pulling over to refill an empty reservoir could be a life saver.
- Take an alternate route to avoid driving directly into the sun: Let’s face it, many of us drive the same routes every day. We know when sun glare is likely to be an issue. Routes that run north or south will keep you from traveling directly into the sun. Routes that are surrounded by tall buildings or trees can also help block sun glare. Another less convenient option is to adjust your schedule, so you avoid times when sun glare is at its worse, which is usually an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise.
- Keep your headlights on;
- Make sure your sun visor works.