The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is currently investigating a fatal crash involving three vehicles in Harker Heights, Texas. DPS Troopers responded to a wreck on State Highway 9 around 7:30 a.m where the motorist claims the rising sun impaired her vision, causing her to veer into oncoming traffic. The motorist, a 24-year-old woman driving a 2021 Toyota RAV SUV, was traveling east on SH 9 when the bright sun compromised her vision, causing her to cross into the westbound lane and collide with a 2014 Chevrolet sedan. 23-year-old Cole Simmons lost control of his sedan, consequently hitting a 2013 Chrysler sedan in the eastbound lane driven by a 55-year-old woman. According to DPS, all three motorists received treatment at Advent Medical Center where medical staff pronounced Simmons dead. Simmons had been with the Harker Heights Fire Department, and also served as an EMT for the community since August of 2021.
Contrary to popular belief, the dangers of driving too fast for weather or road conditions falls under the definition of reckless or negligent driving. Part of the role of being a defensive driver means practicing responsible, courteous, and safe habits on the road. Moments after sunrise and before sunset pose threats to individual’s eyesight. Refrain from hazards and creating risks by following AAA’s tips when driving into the sun is impossible to avoid:
- Invest in polarized sunglasses – they can help reduce glare.
- Utilize your sun visor – it can help to block out the sun.
- Leave more following room – when the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. This is one more time when it pays to leave more room between you and the next vehicle.
- Drive with your headlights on to increase your visibility to other drivers.
Know that visibility on the road will almost never be perfect, so it is important to take these tips into consideration so that you can make the proper adjustments and adapt to the environment posing less-than-optimal surroundings.
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