DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – A woman driving an SUV early Monday morning near East Locust Street and Bridge Avenue ran a red light and crashed into a school bus, causing no serious injuries.
The SUV driver told Davenport Police she never saw the traffic light was red because the rising sun had blinded her.
The accident happened on the first day of fall – the time of year when safety experts say sun blindness poses a particular threat to motorists.
The sun moves closer to the horizon in the days surrounding the autumnal equinox, which “keeps it pointed straight into your eyes, and makes it more likely to reflect at low angles off other cars, buildings and windows,” AARP reports.
“Autumn’s sunrises and sunsets can cause a large amount of glare, making it difficult to see other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights or the roadway,” according to AAA’s website.
Esurance reports the sun can also cause problems even when it’s setting behind drivers.
“Sunlight can bounce off your rear view mirror or reflect off traffic lights up ahead, and this can blind you for a split second while your eyes adjust,” according to the Esurance website.
“It can also make it hard (or impossible) to see traffic lights, which can prevent you from knowing if you're supposed to stop or go.”
AAA recommends keeping your windshield clean this time of year as streaks and smudges can magnify sunlight.
Also, make sure to always have sunglasses and avoid using washing and waxing products that can amplify your car’s shine.
The driver of the SUV who crashed into the bus received only minor injuries, but was cited by police as a result.