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Tips for driving safely in bright sunlight

California drivers know that being out in the early morning or late afternoon can be challenging because of the brightness of the rising or setting sun. Bright sunlight creates visual illusions, putting drivers at 16 percent greater risk for a fatal accident than if they were in normal weather.

The first step that drivers can take to protect themselves is to keep a good pair of sunglasses in the car. Sunglasses will reduce the brightness of the sun and protect the eyes from harmful UV rays. Drivers are also encouraged to use the sun visors when the sun is hitting the front windshield or the side windows. All sun visors are designed not to hinder the driver's vision.

Window tinting, where a thin plastic film is placed over the windows, is recommended. Every state has its own regulations on what percentage of light must pass through the tint, and police may issue fines for overly dark windows. Specialty auto repairs shops can tint the windows for a few hundred dollars.

Since bright sunlight can reduce reaction times, drivers should keep a greater distance from the vehicle in front. If the rays begin to hurt the eyes or impede driving in any other way, drivers can exit the road and wait until the sun is in a different position.

If drivers neglect the above tips and cause an accident, they cannot blame the sun for their actions. Those who incur an auto accident injury and who file a claim with their own insurance company can consult with a lawyer about another claim, this time with the other driver's insurance company. A successful personal injury claim may cover medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages, pain and suffering and other applicable losses. The lawyer might negotiate for a settlement or litigate if one cannot be achieved.

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