Saturday, 1 November 2014

Autumn sun kills 28 motorists per year and causes thousands of accidents Glare of low-lying sun causes deaths and injuries, says AA . . .


Autumn sun kills 28 motorists per year and causes thousands of accidents
Glare of low-lying sun causes deaths and injuries, says AA

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The glare of a low-lying sun - a particular problem for drivers each October - has contributed to an average of 28 road deaths a year since 2010, according to figures highlighted by the AA.

Around 3,900 road users a year are injured after accidents caused by dazzled by the sun, with north-west England drivers the worst affected, the AA said.

The motoring organisation drew attention to the figures as sunrise and sunset move into the morning and evening rush hours until the clocks go back on Sunday October 26.

One road where dazzle is a particular problem is the M4, which carries thousands of drivers towards London each morning and runs in a fairly straight west-east line from South Wales to the capital. Source: PA.

At this time of year many M4 motorists have to contend with a low sun on their morning commute and then face being dazzled as the sun sets as they travel home in the evening.

The AA said that in north-west England, 2.2 people are killed or injured for each reported sun-dazzle accident - well above the national average of 1.4. Another badly affected area is Yorkshire and Humberside where the figure is 1.6.

AA president Edmund King said: "Many slower and more vulnerable road users - joggers, dog walkers, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders - will be trying to take advantage of the last of the light evenings before the clocks go back. All road users need to be fully aware of the potential twilight dangers.

"Joggers, dog walkers, workers returning home on foot and other pedestrians walking with their backs to vehicles are almost twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured in road accidents."

Mr King went on: "Research conducted for the AA, from official 2004 pedestrian casualty statistics, shows that 10.8 per cent of the 5,566 pedestrians killed or seriously injured when in the road were walking or running with their backs to the traffic. This compares with 5.9 per cent of the casualties who were facing oncoming cars.

"European research also shows that the rate of head-on crashes involving lorries nearly quadruples in twilight conditions.

"Although up to 10% of accidents in which trucks leave the road, roll over, hit each other head-on or up the back happen in twilight conditions, up to 40 per cent of head-on accidents with cars happen when the sun is low in the sky. They also tend to happen on rural roads."

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