Weather events, like flooding, hail, and high winds, are often blamed for vehicle damages, collisions, and injuries. However, one peril – fog – is equally dangerous but seems to fly under the radar. Take a notorious Thanksgiving Day accident in 2012 in Southeast Texas. Foggy weather and poor visibility led to a 140-car pileup on a highway east of Houston. The crash claimed lives and sent between 80 and 90 people to local hospitals for treatment.
At the Philleo Agency, we want drivers in our community to be as safe as possible while driving around Brookfield. Continue reading to find out more about driving in foggy conditions and what you can do to protect yourself and your passengers.
Dangers of Driving in Fog
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, fog-related accidents are responsible for killing hundreds of people every year and injuring more than 10,000. This is because fog severely impacts a driver’s visibility. The result is an adverse effect on the flow of traffic, causing drivers to change their normal behavior on the road. Unfortunately, this can mean serious trouble for other drivers who are unable to see cars slowed to a stop on the highway. This especially true when drivers are following a well-known road, but failing to reduce speed because of the familiarity.
Driving Safely in Foggy Weather
If possible, we recommend you avoid driving during foggy weather conditions if at all possible. Wait until the fog has lifted or reduced. If this is not possible or you find yourself driving into a fog unexpectedly, simply take the following steps:
- Reduce Your Speed
This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to minimize your risk of being involved in a high-speed accident. In foggy weather, you may not be able to see the vehicle traveling in front of you until you are very close to it. If you are traveling at high speeds, this might not afford you enough time to slow down.
- Turn On Your Fog Lights
They are called fog lights for a reason. These lights can help other drivers see your vehicle and also better illuminate the road to improve your visibility.
- Never Use Your High-Beam Headlights
Your first instinct when visibility is low might be to brighten your headlights. This could be a grave mistake, though. High-beam headlights refract off of the moisture in the fog and further obstruct your vision. Instead, turn on your low-beam lights.
- Keep Going or Pull Over, but Don’t Stop in the Road
You might be surprised at how many people simply stop in the middle of the road when driving in foggy weather. Even if you cannot see the road ahead, you are safer if you find a place to pull over away from traffic. Just be sure to turn off your lights once you pull over. Tail lights that are left on could cause drivers behind you to assume you are in a travel lane.
- Watch the White Shoulder Paint as You Drive
If you move safely into the right lane, you will be able to see the white line that separates your lane from the shoulder even in the foggiest weather conditions. Use this line as a guide to know the direction of travel.
- Eliminate Distractions
It goes without saying, but distractions are never good while driving – especially in fog. Make sure you give driving your full attention. Turn off the radio, put down the cell phone, and keep your focus on the road.
If you find yourself in a fog-related accident, stay put and wait for help to arrive. Getting out of your vehicle right away could be dangerous if another vehicle does not see you stopped in the road. Of course, you should also make sure your vehicle is covered against fog-related accidents. To find out more about collision insurance or to request your Brookfield car insurance quote, contact our office today. We look forward to serving you soon.