Background Research has suggested that sun glare poses serious driving hazards and increases accident risks. Drivers of large vehicles (bus/coach, heavy goods vehicle) are exposed long-term sun glare but the impact to their injury severity, given that a crash has occurred, is unknown. Objectives This study attempts to investigate whether sun glare is associated more severe injuries sustained by drivers of large vehicles.
Method Using UK Stats19 accident data (1990–2010), injury severity is compared for crashes affected by sun glare (face-sun crashes) and those not affected by sun glare (back-to-sun crashes). An overall logit model was estimated to identify whether face-sun crashes were more injurious than back-to-sun crashes, while controlling for other variables. One additional logit model by face-sun crashes was then estimated to identify the contributory factors to KSIs (killed or seriously injured).
Results A total of 4 85 739 crashes involving large vehicles were extracted from the Stats19 for the period 1990–2010. It was found that drivers in face-sun crashes were 1.192 times more likely to sustain KSI (AOR=1.192; CI: 1.152–1.234), compared to those in back-to-sun crashes. The face-sun logit model reveals several important determinants of KSIs: for instance, male drivers, young drivers (up to 19), rural roadways, in autumn seasons, and during sunset hours.
Conclusions We conclude that sun glare, especially travelling during sunset hours, is associated with an increased injury severity sustained by drivers of large vehicles. To reduce injury severity, intervention points are discussed finally.
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