West Texas is known for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but along with this dazzling view comes some danger for drivers. Last week, the Department of Public Safety reported the latest accident that was caused by the sun, and we will likely be seeing more of these incidents in the coming weeks. Why?

During this time of year, the earth's tilt changes, which causes the sun to be positioned lower in the sky. In fact, this orients the sun almost parallel to east and west roadways during sunrise and sunset times. This, in turn, brings equal hours of daylight and darkness, but it also leads to a blinding view for motorists. Not only that, but you also have to worry about reflective surfaces, like the pavement, playa lakes, and your car hood, making your line of sight even more obscured.

Sun Glare
Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash
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While there is no way to dim this intense illumination brought on by the Autumnal Equinox, there are ways in which motorists can stay safer on the roadways. First and foremost, wear your polarized sunglasses and use your visor during your morning and evening commutes. Second, clean both the inside and outside of your windshield regularly. Third, put your devices down and keep your eyes on the road.

Also, leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you and keep your headlights on so that other motorists have a better chance of seeing you when the glare is extreme. Finally, remember that your safety is the most important thing, so even if you are running late, try not to rush to your destination. Drive with caution and take extra care to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists!

While wearing your sunglasses at night might be a bit of a stretch, you should at least be wearing them into early evening in order to make sure that you arrive to your destination safely.

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