As our hemisphere tilts closer toward the sun, many incredible things happen. Weather becomes warmer, thanks to stronger solar radiation heating up our part of the planet. The days also become longer, meaning that there are more minutes and hours of sunlight. The intensity of the light we experience also increases, meaning there’s now more risk than in other seasons of both sunburn and serious glare in your eyes.

Glare is a risk factor that many people in vehicles overlook. Drivers are often so excited to get out and enjoy warmer weather that they simply don’t consider the shifting risk factors for a motor vehicle collision in the summer. Failing to seriously consider glare as a risk and take steps to reduce it could leave you in danger of a crash while on the road.

Sunshine can actually increase your risk of a serious collision

You may think that the worst weather for driving would be snow, heavy rain or even fog. It is true that all of these kinds of inclement weather can increase your risk of a crash. However, sunshine can be dangerous as well. Far too many people overlook bright sunshine as a potential cause for a motor vehicle crash.

According to a longitudinal analysis of people hospitalized due to crash-related injuries between 1995 and 2014, bright sunshine increases the risk of a potentially deadly crash by as much as 16 percent. That risk is at its highest in the early afternoon, when the sun is at its peak in the sky and brightest. It only takes a second for an oncoming car, a window, a puddle or another surface to bounce brilliant light into your face, temporarily blinding you to your surroundings. Sunshine, in other words, can lead to a severe car crash.

The sun in your eyes won’t protect you from liability in a crash

Some people approach motor vehicle crashes like missing homework. They seem to think that as long as they have a reasonable excuse or explanation for the situation, they will not end up accountable. However, unlike homework, you can’t simply re-do an accident. Once you crash, the consequences are set in stone. More importantly, you could cause serious bodily injury and property damage that impacts you and other people. Those damages could end up costing you.

Investing in a good pair of sunglasses that offer full-spectrum UV protection is an easy way to reduce the risk of glare or sunshine causing a crash. However, just owning them won’t really reduce your risk. You should commit to wearing those sunglasses whenever you drive during the day. Even on cloudy days, sunshine can break through, creating momentary glare and resulting in a collision. If you drive during the daytime hours, especially during very sunny days, you should always wear sunglasses to protect yourself and others.