Royal car accident caused by the dazzle of low sun
28th January 2019
Worldwide front page media coverage of The Duke of Edinburgh’s car accident which, he told police at the scene, was due to being ‘dazzled by the sun’ which was low in the sky at the time of the two vehicle crash. According to the AA, being dazzled by bright light is frequently cited as the cause of road accidents. There is no doubt that low sun in the early morning or late afternoon is a major driving hazard and we have covered this issue in previous news posts. Figures released in 2014 showed the glare of a low-lying sun was contributing to an average of 28 road deaths a year with around 3,900 road users a year injured during incidents where the driver had been dazzled by the sun.
The AA have commented that a pair of ‘everyday’ sunglasses might not be suitable for driving, so a pair of ‘driving’ sunglasses should always be kept in a vehicle; however this description was not qualified. What they mean is a pair of polarised sunglasses. Part of the ‘dazzle’ caused by the sun is when it reflects off the road causing harsh glare. A polarised lens eliminates this glare.
The Duke of Edinburgh should have been wearing polarised prescription sunglasses – not his usual clear glass spectacles.
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