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How Sunlight Can Cause Calgary Car Accidents

Posted in: Blog // Written on behalf of Cuming & Gillespie
September 23, 2015

When it comes to car accidents in the Calgary area, there are many culprits that the Calgary Police and other parties try to identify. Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is still a significant problem that leads to many car accident injuries and wrongful deaths; distracted driving due to texting, phone conversations, eating, or trying to perform other tasks while operating a vehicle are also big problems.

One problem people often don’t think about, but that can lead to accidents that are no less serious, is the sun.

Night time car accidents in Calgary aren’t as common as you might think; although low light conditions make it more difficult for us to see, headlights and brakelights make it easy to spot other vehicles, and pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to use lights, reflectors, and light-colored clothing to promote visibility. When everyone is properly equipped, spotting others on the road and avoiding collisions is actually relatively easy. In the middle of the day, the sun provides a blanket of light that makes everyone and everything similarly easy to spot.

At dawn and dusk, though, when the sun is at low angles, the incoming light and greatly reduced visibility can leave drivers and others on the Calgary roads at much greater risk. This visibility issue is believed to be the major contributing factor to a recent pedestrian accident here in Calgary that left the victim dead at the scene of the collision, and the sole driver involved understandably distraught.

When driving east just after sunrise or west shortly before sunset, the angle of the sun’s light can leave drivers all but blind. Visibility more than a few feet in front of the vehicle can be reduced to almost nothing, making it incredibly dangerous to drive. This circumstance does not absolve drivers of their responsibility to maintain safe following distances or to avoid collisions with others, including pedestrians; even when following the posted speed limit, if you aren’t able to see and thus react to hazards in a timely fashion, the burden rests on your shoulders.

Sunglasses, visors, and other shade devices can help increase visibility in these circumstances, though they can also limit your field of vision and create new hazard areas, meaning there is no perfect solution. Your best bet is to avoid driving at dawn and at dusk if it can be avoided, and to use extreme care when you can’t. If you truly can’t see more than a few feet ahead of you, you shouldn’t be driving at all—no matter what your reason for being behind the wheel, it isn’t worth risking your life or that of another Calgary citizen.

Calgary’s Premier Car Accident Injury Law Firm

If your or a family member has been seriously injured or killed in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Cuming & Gillespie today to get the assistance you need and the justice you deserve.

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