Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
September 12, 2011

Contact Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or marla.augustine@nebraska.gov

Note: Sound bites are available at: http://www.dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/audio.aspx.

Glare-related Motor Vehicle Crashes Highest in September

Lincoln—The number of glare-related motor vehicle crashes is highest in the month of September, according to data from the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES).

A glare-related crash is one in which bright light, such as from the sun or headlights, is a factor in the crash. Most of these crashes occur during the day, indicating the sun is the most common source of glare.

“Glare reduces visibility and creates a hazard while driving,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “Someone driving in the morning facing east or the evening facing west should be aware of the danger and be extra cautious.”

Glare-related crashes were approximately one percent of all crashes annually during the period of 2002 to 2009 in Nebraska. There were 3,093 glare-related crashes, or on average one per day.

“The data show September to be the most important month to take precautions for glare,” Dr. Schaefer said.

September had approximately three times more glare-related crashes than other months. From 2002-2009 there were 659 such crashes in September, or approximately 21 percent. During that month, most glare-related crashes occurred between 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., for a total of 590 crashes.

Three-fourths of glare-related crashes occurred in urban areas. Seventy-eight percent involved two or more vehicles.

Safety tips to help prevent sun glare-related crashes:

  • Use polarized sunglasses while driving.
  • Avoid high-gloss products on the dashboard.
  • Keep the inside and outside of the windshield clean.
  • Make use of the vehicle’s sun visors.
  • Increase the following distance between vehicles when glare is present.

A glare-related crash fact sheet can be found at http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/codes_index.aspx.

The Nebraska Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System (CODES) is a multi-agency collaboration of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety. CODES links and uses motor vehicle crash data, health and death data to trace the injured occupants and pedestrians from the crash scene throughout the health care system and to identify the causes and outcomes resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

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