Driving In Fog
Fog is a fact of life in Florida, causing low visibility and the potential for disaster on Florida roadways. One memorable pileup in 2012 involved commercial trucks as well as passenger vehicles, and took 10 lives, as well as multiple injuries. Survivors of the crash report hearing the stomach-turning sound of vehicles smashing together again and again. Between the darkness, the fog, and smoke from a nearby fire, drivers had virtually no visibility at all.
Staying Safe When Visibility is Low
What is one of the greatest causes of multi car pileups? You guessed it: fog. Considered the most treacherous of driving conditions, experts warn that drivers who do not follow basic safety tips are at risk of experiencing a collision:
- Beware of optical illusions: Driving through dense fog gives you the perception that you are moving very slowly. Without realizing it, many drivers speed up. Instead, keep an eye on your speedometer and drop your speed instead of increasing it.
- Keep your headlights on: Although some people want their lights off to avoid the reflection from the fog, this is a horrible idea. Your headlights are not required to help you see, but to make sure you are seen by others. So keep the lights on, and if you have fog lights on your vehicle, use those too.
- Keep the high beams off: The water vapor will reflect light, so high beams could drastically reduce your visibility. Low beams are enough to announce your presence without diminishing your visibility too much.
- Painted lines can help: When the fog is so dense that you can’t see much ahead, use the lines on the road to guide you. Without actually fixating on the lines, let them help you to stay in your lane and moving safely.
- Leave plenty of space between vehicles: Although it may be tempting to follow the taillights of the car ahead of you, staying back is much safer. You never know how much vehicles are bunched up ahead, and if an accident occurs, you’ll be much more likely to avoid it if you keep a healthy distance between yourself and other drivers.
- Pull into a parking lot: If you are really uncomfortable with the driving conditions, consider finding a parking lot, rest area, or side street and parking your car. Avoid just pulling over to the side of the road, as that could be very dangerous if other drivers believe you’re still on the roadway and rear-end you. Once you’ve pulled over, stay seat-belted and turn off your lights until the fog lifts enough for you to travel safely.
Fortunately, fog is generally a temporary hazard, and one that drivers should attempt to avoid if at all possible. If perilous conditions are unavoidable, be aware of the fact that, regardless of your level of caution, other drivers may not be as careful. If you find yourself involved in a collision due to the recklessness of another driver, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton in Daytona & Ormond Beach can help. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.