Drivers and other road users blinded by the glare of the sun have contributed on average to 28 road deaths a year since 2010, according to analysis carried out by the AA.
The AA says that “dazzle remains a stubborn factor” in the injury of 3,900 road users each year – despite the number of people killed and injured on UK roads falling 7.4% and 12% respectively since 2010.
The AA published its findings at the time of year when sunrise and sunset coincide with the busiest times of day on the roads.
Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “European research shows that the rate of head-on crashes involving lorries nearly quadruples in twilight conditions. They also tend to happen on rural roads.“
In a follow up piece on its website, Road Safety Analysis (RSA) described media coverage of the AA’s findings as “excitable reporting”, pointing out that the AA’s data refers to all deaths where ‘Dazzling Sun’ was identified as a contributory factor for one of the vehicles involved.
RSA used its MAST Professional software to “dig a little deeper” to examine the contributory factor (CF) CF706 ‘Dazzling Sun’, and points out that “other contributory factors may have played a part in the collision taking place and the results do not mean that the sun was solely to blame”.
RSA also looked at the collision data in terms of recent history, time of day and age of driver, and concluded that: “We concur with the AA about the risk (from sun glare) increasing recently and agree with their advice to motorists.
“Drivers should take extra care early in the morning, especially in deep mid-winter when the sun is at its lowest.
“Mature drivers should consider their options regarding eyewear, ensure their eyes are checked regularly and appropriate tinted glasses are available.”