It may be a close call to decide whether being blinded unexpectedly by the sun while driving can be considered the driver’s negligence if a serious accident results from that blindness. The answer may depend on the detailed second-by-second scenario of what occurred. In most instances of sun-blindness, however, a car crash with another car or A collision with a pedestrian will be considered to be negligence. Under basic common sense rules in Tennessee and elsewhere, it is generally up to the driver to use the sun visor, put on sun glasses and, where necessary, to slow down and pull over.
A case of a driver claiming to be blinded by the sun occurred recently in Chattanooga. She was operating her car in the late afternoon on Saturday, Sept. 19, on A local roadway. A man was jogging south against the direction of traffic near the shoulder of the road. She was driving on the other side of the road, also heading south. She told police that the sun was in her eyes and that she didn’t see the jogger.
She veered off the road, apparently crossed to the other side, and struck the man. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he died on Sept. 21. According to his co-workers who posted on social media, the man was an accomplished athlete. He left work on Saturday and took a routine run when he was struck, leaving his friends, family and co-workers heart-broken.
Tennessee authorities will conduct a forensic investigation and issue a final report. Based on the details available, however, it appears that the man’s family will likely have a claim for wrongful death against the driver. The individual should have pulled over on her side of the road, drastically slowed the car down or otherwise got her car under control, instead of risking a car crash by trying to drive under those circumstances. It is generally held to be careless driving under any facts, moreover, to allow one’s vehicle to cross the middle of the road and strike a jogger on the other side.
Source: newschannel9.com, “Runner Hit By Car In Chattanooga Has Passed Away”, Sept. 21, 2015