Maintaining a clean windshield in your car or truck may be more important than you may think. A buildup of grime or dirt can dramatically affect a person’s ability to see objects, people, other vehicles, motorcycles, etc. in the roadway. A dirty windshield can prevent a driver from seeing what is there to be seen, particularly when bright light is cast upon the windshield, such as light cast by the sun at sunrise or sunset, or bright lights cast in a parking lot. When bright light falls onto a dirty windshield it creates what is referred to as “veiling glare.” Outside light increases the brightness of the windshield surface from the perspective of the driver. When this happens, it reduces the contrast of objects in the roadway or parking lot ahead. When contrast is reduced, a driver cannot easily see what is in his or her driving path. Anything in the roadway or parking lot is at risk. A child walking across a parking lot after returning a grocery cart, a bicyclist out for a morning ride, a disabled vehicle stopped on the side of the road, the list of possibilities goes on and on.
Our firm has unfortunately seen the tragedies that can occur when drivers do not keep their windshields clean. Drivers cannot avoid what they can’t see. All drivers must keep their windshields clean in order to reduce the chance that drivers will not see what is there to be seen while driving on roads or in parking lots.