When you think about how the weather in Colorado can cause traffic accidents, the focus may be on snowstorms, icy roads, or tornados and high winds. However, the strong Colorado sun can also be a factor in some accidents. Sun glare can temporarily blind the driver who may not be able to see traffic in front of them. Even for a moment, a flash of the sun in the eyes can increase the risk of an accident.
Blinded SUV Driver Hits and Kills Roofer
On November 9, 2019, Mario Amaya, a roofer, was standing at the back of his work truck getting supplies. The teenage driver of an SUV was approaching and reportedly was temporarily blinded by sun glare on the horizon. The driver struck Amaya's truck, pinning him between the vehicles, where he later died.
Sun Glare Hazardous Enough to Shut Down I-70
When the weather shuts down part of I-70, it is usually because of dangerous snow conditions. On November 14, 2019, the Colorado Department of Transportation temporarily shut down Eastbound I-70 in the morning for about half an hour.
According to CDOT, the sun glare, including light bouncing off the snow, ice, and wet roads, was strong enough that it severely restricts visibility. The steep and icy conditions of the stretch of highway also make it more important for drivers to keep watch of the traffic ahead and leave plenty of room to safely avoid an accident. CDOT recommends:
- Making sure your windshield is clean (both inside and out),
- Wear a good pair of sunglasses,
- Expect slowdowns and adjust your speed, and
- Avoid eastbound travel on Floyd Hill between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. in the winter.
Sun and Wildlife Accidents After Daylight Savings
The end of Daylight Savings Time increases the number of evening commuters who are driving at dusk. Dusk puts the sun low on the horizon just as people in Colorado are getting out of work. Unfortunately for drivers and wildlife, November is also the time when deer, elk, moose, and bighorn sheep are out and on the move.
According to an article in the Coloradoan, “Colorado wildlife-vehicle collisions spike in November.” Accidents with deer account for the majority of vehicle collisions, with 60% of vehicle and wildlife accidents in 2017 involving deer.
Drivers Blinded by Sun Glare May Still Be Liable
Drivers who are blinded by the sun may still be liable for causing an accident. Sun glare is a condition that drivers are supposed to be aware of and prepared for when it happens. If you were involved in a car accident and the other driver blamed it on the sun, the other driver may still be liable for your injuries.
Damages After an Injury Accident in Denver
Whatever the cause of the injury accident, the person responsible should be held accountable for their careless or unsafe driving practices. Sun glare, distracted Lyft drivers, or driving while intoxicated can all cause an innocent victim to suffer serious injuries and losses. Damages in a vehicle accident can include:
- Vehicle repair,
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages,
- Future costs of the accident, and
- Pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident in the greater Denver metropolitan area, please do not hesitate to contact accidentdenver.com today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation. We are here waiting for you.