Sun Glare… What a difference a day makes!

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James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::

Sun glare occurs when the sun is positioned low in the sky ahead of the direction of travel on a given roadway. It can occur in the time periods following sunrise or preceding sunset. And, it’s just what it sounds like … it’s when the sun is right in your face, thereby complicating the task of driving!

A bright sunny morning shown in the top image above, followed by an overcast morning the next day (at the same location and roughly the same time) shown in the bottom image above.

Another comparison a bit further up the roadway from one day to the next is shown below:

I once heard a local traffic reporter indicate during the morning news … “There’s sun glare in both directions.” While the sun may be shining brightly on the entire roadway, only motorists heading along a section of roadway leading toward the position of the sun have the potential to experience sun glare at any given point in time.

It’s important to keep a clean windshield, both inside and out, as well as to use your sun visor(s). A dirty windshield can exacerbate the problem that sun glare presents. Further, use of a sun visor can make all the difference between being “blinded” by the sun and being able to see what lies ahead in order to navigate your path of travel safely.

James R. Schmidt, Jr., BSME, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer at DJS Associates, can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

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1 Comment
  • Dr Frank Hope PhD
    Reply

    Interesting article and photos thank you engineer Schmidt Jr of ForesenicDJS. It helped me look at some of the glare
    at other times of the day in photos I’ve taken recently. The glare is
    reflective off in one photo of a truck and is seen clearer in a color print versus a
    black and white inkjet print. I also like the suggestion in the blog on the use of the
    sun visor.
    I may have some kind of legal and moral duty to disclose to you and the traffic
    hearing and warn that I’ve used a hard and a coated sun visor both
    with limitations. The first hard sun visor that came with my Nisan Versa
    blocking perhaps some front window view given my
    eco compact vehicle, the second clear sun visor just still limiting the intense
    sun exposure.
    In a ticket case Im fighting tomorrow safety choices chosen also involved yielding to
    buses likely also experiencing the glare, and signal or jesting it
    seems to turn off that road. Thats how I got the no turn ticket.
    Its a wonder they the buses involved in this busy Queens NY City
    block (Archer Avenue and Parsons Blvd) too dont have
    more accidents in this type of condition on the habitual pace
    of their schedules. It might also help if they posted bigger signs
    higher like the event or area banners flying, or before the many
    bus stop signs as the moving signs move in windy or gusty times.

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