VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Tyler (KETK) – A woman was killed this week in a crash in Van Zandt County and the glare from the sun is being blamed. To prevent tragedies like this from happening again, East Texas law enforcement encourages people to be mindful of their surroundings at all times.

“Because kids are back in school after the holiday break, we’re going to be out in a usual time in the late morning and afternoon. So make sure you’re paying attention, watching out for the school buses when they’re loading and unloading children,” says Sgt. Jean Dark, Department of Public Safety.

Sgt. Dark also encouraged people to clean their windshield getting rid of anything that could block your view.

“Making sure that not just the outside of the windshield is clean but the inside as well. That will help with some of the glare of the sun potentially and how that affects, the effects that might have if you’re driving as well if your windshield is smeared with anything or if it’s dirty,” says Sgt. Dark.

Your visibility on a sunny day, especially as it rises and set, will be affected by it.

“I know a lot of times a road that goes east and west, directly east and west certain times of the year, the sun can blind you in the early morning hours or in the afternoon when the sun is going down. So you have to exercise a lot of additional caution,” Says Sheriff Steve Hendrix, Van Zandt county Sheriff’s Office.

Another tip, use your sun visors when the brightness becomes intense on the road.

“Can help to cut glare and ultimately it’s abut knowing where the sun is at when your traveling,” says Sgt. Dark.

Law enforcement say the bottom line when behind the wheel is:

“You have to exercise caution and do everything we can to get to our destination safely,” says Hendrix.