A solar eclipse occured last Sunday, May 20th commencing at approximately 4:30 p.m. At 7:10 p.m. at the tail end of the partial eclipse, a 26-year-old San Bruno woman driving a 1997 Audi sedan at the intersection of Grand and Walnut avenues says she was blinded by the sun. Because the driver was blinded by the sun, she claims that did not see a woman and her 10-year-old daughter in the crosswalk and that she struck the pedestrians mistakenly.
It would appear that the glare from the setting sun may have impeded this driver’s view of the intersection, according to police. Since the pedestrian accident did not appear to be negligent to the police, the driver will not be charged with a crime, according to police.
Emergency responders found both pedestrians down in the roadway, and transported them to San Francisco General, where the girl’s broken right arm and mother’s minor injuries were treated.
I wonder if anyone else sees anything wrong with this excuse? If the driver was so blinded by the sun that she could not see two pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk, why did she drive into the crosswalk at all?
It is a fundamental duty of all drivers to be able to see the road ahead of them before they drive onto that road. To drive onto a roadway or into an intersection without being able to see other traffic or pedestrians is at the least negligence. If you cannot see, pull over and wait until you can see.
This pedestrian accident was 100% predictable and therefore it was 100% preventable. “The sun was in my eyes” is not a good enough excuse to avoid liability and this driver should be made accountable for what she did to this family.
She could have killed people by driving where she could not see. How fast was she going? At the very least, she should have slowed to a crawl to reduce the chances of causing serious injuries. I am not buying this excuse. I hear a lot of excuses, but this one should only come up once every eleven years or so.
As a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney, I learn almost every day about fatal accidents and serious personal injuries resulting from the drivers not maintaining a proper lookout. Distracted driving and blind driving are similar as they both involve a failure to look where a driver is going and to see and perceive what there is to see and perceive.
Blind driving is a threat to the safety of our children, to teens and to adults alike. It’s important to feel safe on our city streets, especially while we are out walking with a child, and these injured pedestrians deserved better from this driver and frankly from the police as well.
About the author: Claude Wyle is an aggressive advocate for San Francisco Bay Area pedestrian safety. Claude has decades of experience representing those harmed by the wrongful conduct of others, and, as a San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Attorney, has fought to protect the rights of injured adults and children throughout his legal career.