Located in the heart of America’s “Sun Belt,” South Carolina averages 219 sunny days per year. While that’s great news for sun bathers, it’s not so great for drivers who have to deal with sun glare. South Carolina drivers frequently experience the frustration and anxiety caused by severe sun glare blinding them through their windshields. Sun glare is more than just an annoyance. It can significantly impair your vision, making an accident with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a cyclist much more likely.

A recent study found that ⅓ of all daytime accidents occurred because of bright sunlight. Bright sunlight increased the risk of getting into a dangerous motor vehicle crash by a whopping 16%.

South Carolina law requires drivers to have complete, unobstructed windshields to maintain a clear view of the highway. This means anything impairing a driver’s vision, even if it’s the sun refracting through a smudged windshield, means you, the driver, bears at least some liability for a crash. With the brightest days of summer still ahead, it’s important to take steps now to prevent sun glare. Doing so makes you less vulnerable to causing an accident and all the following consequences.

Tips for Preventing Glare

When sun glare obstructs your vision, even the most cautious drivers are in danger of causing a collision. Taking these measures can reduce glare on your windshield and lower your risk of an accident.

Keep your windshield clean

You should clean the outside of your windshield every time you fill your tank. At home, you can use soap and water to wash your windshield, and then wipe it with vinegar and a lint-free cloth.

If you regularly get dead bugs or tar on your windshield, consider a commercial product intended for windshields to help remove them. Regular cleaning of your windshield also makes scratches from the windshield wipers less likely to occur.

Whenever you wash your car, ‌don’t forget to also clean the inside of your windshield. This ensures you have full visibility of the road ahead of you. Consider applying rubbing alcohol with a microfiber cloth. This will help make the inside of your windshield more resistant to fogginess and will boost your visibility.

Avoid wax or other car shine products

Everyone loves a shiny car, but when you use wax products on your car’s exterior paint, light can scatter off the hood, intensifying the light coming through your windshield. Consider using protective coatings for your car paint that don’t cause these glare problems.

Keep your dashboard clear

Shiny or light-colored objects on your dashboard can also cause distracting reflections on your windshield. These reflections can hide what is happening outside your vehicle in certain lighting conditions.  Avoid hanging items, even air fresheners, from your rearview mirror. Not only can they obstruct your view, it is actually illegal to operate a vehicle with something hanging from your rearview mirror in South Carolina.

Maintain your windshield and its wipers

Cracks, chips, and even minor scratches can affect how sunlight comes through the windshield. Light reflects off these defects and bounces around your car, which can seriously impair your vision. You can also install a tinted strip at the top of your windshield, sometimes called a sun strip, or tint your whole windshield. Just ensure you follow the local auto window tinting laws.

Keeping your windshield wipers in good working order and your tank full of windshield wiper fluid can help if you get road spray on your windshield or drive through a lot of insects.

Wear polarized sunglasses

Use polarized sunglasses when you drive to cut the intensity of sun glare. The lenses in polarized sunglasses contain a specific filter that blocks the intense reflections of the sunlight. Many cars include a sunglasses holder so you can always keep a pair on hand when you need them.

Use defensive driving

Sun glare can make it hard to see ahead. Avoid suddenly changing lanes, keep plenty of following distance, and reduce your speed so you have more time to react when you come across another vehicle or pedestrian.

You can also pull over, as soon as it is safe to do so, if the sun’s glare stops you from seeing road signs and markings. If you can do so safely, wait for the sun to move far enough that it is no longer blocking your vision.

Change your driving route

If possible, use an alternative route to avoid the sun’s glare during the day. Driving north to south can help you avoid getting hit by sun glare. A trip through areas with tall trees or buildings may also help filter the sun’s rays.

What to Do if Sun Glare Caused Your Crash

If you’ve been injured by a driver who couldn’t see you due to sun glare, contact the South Carolina car accident lawyers at Joye Law Firm today. Injured drivers have the right to compensation for their injuries.

An experienced car accident attorney at our law firm can investigate your accident, work with experts on accident reconstruction, calculate a fair settlement, and negotiate with the insurance company. Contact Joye Law Firm today to schedule your free, no risk case evaluation.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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