Poor weather has a huge impact on driving conditions. Fog may not be thought of when people think of extreme weather, but fog is one of the most dangerous conditions that wreak havoc on drivers and causes thousands of accidents and deaths each year. Drivers, therefore, need to take extra precautions when driving in foggy conditions. You need to know how fog affects driving, the steps to take for safe driving, and what to do after a driving accident.
If you’ve been in an accident during foggy weather conditions, you should speak to a Kansas City attorney who will evaluate the circumstances of your case and determine if you are eligible to receive compensation. The other party may try to blame the weather completely when in fact, they were at fault as well. Your personal injury attorney will fight to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Dangers of Driving in Fog
Fog is one of the leading causes of weather-related crashes in the U.S. and can be a particularly treacherous and underestimated threat. Fog is dangerous because of its negative effect on visibility due to the density of the air. Fog makes it incredibly difficult to see pedestrians, other vehicles, or road signs. Sometimes, the fog can be so thick that you might be able to see only a few feet in front of you. This makes your chances of getting into an accident in foggy conditions much higher than when driving in clear weather.
Foggy conditions often cause serious car accidents, including many multi-car pileups, because drivers may not see vehicles stopped ahead of them until it is too late to brake. When many cars are involved, serious injuries or death in these types of accidents often occur. If you are in an accident, you must stop and safely pull off to the side of the road to exchange information with the other party. It’s especially important when there is low visibility that you move your vehicle as far off the road as possible. Set up flares and reflectors, or turn on your hazard lights to alert the other vehicles, so they don’t crash into you.
Safe Driving Tips for Foggy Conditions
- Drive slowly. When there is fog present, drivers need to decrease their speed to maintain safe control of their vehicles. Depending on how thick the fog is, drivers may not be able to see more than a few feet in front of them. Slowing down will give drivers more time to identify, react, and hopefully avoid hitting anything in front of them. If the fog is particularly thick, the driver may need to pull over and wait for the conditions to subside. However, this may be dangerous also, and you want to be very particular about where you pull over to wait out the fog. Try to get off the road completely, perhaps into a parking lot, so other drivers will not hit you if they veer off the road into the shoulder if they lose sight of where they are on the road.
- Pay attention to the road. Ideally, drivers should always pay full attention to the road, regardless of the weather conditions. However, in reality, distracted driving is becoming increasingly common. It is especially important when driving in foggy conditions where visibility is reduced that drivers give the road their full attention. Distracted driving can cause a driver to redirect their attention just long enough to cause an accident, which is far more likely if visibility is limited and drivers do not notice people or objects in front of them until it is too late.
- Use low beams and hazard lights. Many drivers mistakenly use high beams to increase visibility in thick fog when it is dark outside. However, this creates a thick wall of light that blinds drivers, further reducing their visibility and creating a greater hazard. Instead of high beams, use fog lights or low beams, which will maintain a consistent level of visibility while letting others know of your presence on the road. It is also advisable to turn your hazard lights on to give the other drivers on the road a better chance of seeing your vehicle.
- Maintain a safe distance. Drivers should never tailgate others, as they can’t always stop on time if the driver ahead brakes suddenly. In reduced visibility, tailgating is even more dangerous and can cause multi-car pileup accidents. To avoid colliding with other vehicles ahead of them, drivers should increase their distance beyond what they would maintain under normal weather conditions, leaving extra room to stop if needed.
Liability Considerations for a Fog Car Accident
Following a car accident in fog, the weather may appear to be the main culprit, but the reality is that drivers can often also be partially or fully at fault for causing the accident. Drivers can be held liable for their part in causing an accident during poor weather conditions. Therefore, in accidents involving fog, one or more drivers are typically responsible or at least share fault.
Similar to other types of hazardous road conditions, motorists must practice safe driving habits in foggy conditions. Many vehicles even feature fog lights specifically designed to assist drivers in these weather conditions. If drivers fail to act reasonably and prudently during foggy conditions, they could cause accidents, which may lead to severe injuries and fatalities. If a driver hits your vehicle when driving in the fog, the other driver may be held liable. For example, the driver may have driven too fast and not taken into consideration the limited visibility and the need for reduced speed. The driver may have also had their high beams on, reducing visibility and depth perception. These and other factors could make the other driver liable for the accident and any damages sustained because of their negligence. An experienced attorney will investigate and help you document these factors indicating the other party’s fault.