I was driving on Conference Drive in Mount Hermon a while back when I came very close to hitting a flagman who was standing just inside a shady portion of the road. Fortunately, I was driving very slowly, because I'd seen the warning signs of construction ahead, but both of us were pretty startled!
Then, a day or two later, I was driving up Highway 9 between Santa Cruz and Felton, entered a shaded portion of the highway, and had to swerve suddenly to miss a pedestrian who was not only walking in the traffic lane (not much choice at that point in the road), but who was also walking with his back to traffic, completely oblivious to the fact that he was pretty much invisible to approaching drivers.
My point is, when our sunny weather starts, this kind of thing happens a lot. When you're driving in bright sunlight and suddenly enter a shaded area, you can be temporarily blinded.
Drivers: please be hyper-aware that this can happen. Sunglasses can help, if you can wear them, but in any case, be ultra-vigilant as you drive from sun into shadow...slow down and be prepared to stop or maneuver if something or someone is in your path.
Pedestrians, cyclists, and road workers: Be aware that, if you're in shadow, it may be harder for drivers to see you. If you're walking, walk facing traffic and be prepared to move off the road, if necessary, to protect yourself. If you're riding a bike, be extra careful to listen for cars approaching behind you and be aware that it may be harder for the driver to see you initially. And if you're holding a flag at a road construction site, while I completely sympathize with your desire to stay in the shade as much as you can on these hot days, consider stepping into the sunlight, if possible, when a car approaches, to be sure the driver can see you clearly.
Audrey Nickel, Mount Hermon A: All great tips. Thank you. Here's more from CHP officer Brad Sadek: "It’s a good opportunity to remind readers: The speed posted on a speed limit sign is what is safe for ideal conditions. The moment the conditions on the roadway change, your speed should also. This is the perfect example. You may be able to drive on a well-lit roadway, and a heavily shaded roadway at about the same speed. However, on the roads where bright light is mixed with dark shade, it is important to give yourself a little speed buffer so your eyes can adjust to the light."