For those who plan to travel during Thanksgiving, experts say the best time to leave is as early as possible, with 6 a.m. named as the ideal time to hit the road in NY. One of the biggest challenges to leaving so early, aside from lack of sleep, is dealing with sunrise-induced sun glare. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), sun glare is a critical factor in about 16% of motor vehicle crashes.
How to Protect Yourself Against Sun Glare
You can’t control the cloud cover or whether or not you are traveling sunward. There are things that you can control in order to reduce the risk of sun glare.
- Reduce your speed. The number one piece of advice for drivers for whom visibility is compromised is to slow down. The brighter the glare and the more it obstructs your vision, the slower you should drive.
- Keep your distance. Just as with rain, snow or fog, drivers should increase the distance between themselves and the car in front when the sun is creating visibility issues.
- Get out your shades. Sunglasses will help cut back some of the glare, but it won’t always eliminate the problem.
- Clean your windshield. Ideally you should wash the car (or at least the windshield) to reduce dirt, streaks, and other contaminates. If you can’t clean the windshield before you leave, try using the wiper fluid on the road.
Sun Glare Can Result in a Traffic Ticket
When sun glare is a significant factor in an accident, many drivers inadvertently admit as much, thinking that this absolves them of some of the blame. In truth, when sun glare occurs drivers have a responsibility to adjust their behavior accordingly. Failing to do so could result in one of two possible tickets.
One of those would be VTL 1180 (e) – Failure to reduce speed (special hazard). This statute requires drivers to momentarily slow down in situations where the speed limit could present a hazard. This could include around a sharp curve, while approaching a railroad crossing, or when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds to dazzle you for a moment.
It’s also possible to be ticketed for VTL 1180 (a) – Speed not reasonable and prudent. This citation is issued to drivers who do not reduce their speed appropriately for the road conditions. This ticket is most commonly issued to drivers during inclement weather (e.g. rain, snow or fog). Sun glare qualifies as such conditions.
What Should You Do if You Get a Ticket?
Regardless of which ticket you receive–failure to reduce speed (special hazard), or speed not reasonable and prudent—the cost of conviction is up $150 plus a NYS surcharge of $88 to $93. Both carry three points on your license. If you or a loved one has been issued a ticket for failing to reduce speed (special hazards), imprudent speed, or any other speeding-related violation, contact an attorney to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled New York traffic ticket attorneys who are experienced in handling tickets for speeding as well as other driving-related offenses. Call 888-203-2619 or email the Rosenblum Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.