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Fog and car accident risk factors

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Car Accidents

Fog is a natural weather condition that can significantly affect visibility on the roads. It occurs when tiny water droplets become suspended in the air, creating a thick mist. While fog may look beautiful, it poses risks for drivers and can lead to car accidents.
Poor visibility

One of the main dangers of driving in foggy conditions is decreased visibility. Fog can make it difficult to see what is ahead, including other vehicles, pedestrians and road signs. The mist can obscure objects, making it challenging to react quickly to potential hazards.

The Federal Highway Administration reports that every year, over 16,300 people sustain injuries in fog-related traffic accidents and more than 600 lose their lives.

Glare and slick roads
When headlights, taillights and turn signals shine through fog, the light can scatter and reflect back, creating a glare effect. This glare can further reduce visibility for both the driver and other road users. It also becomes harder to judge distances and determine the speed of approaching vehicles. Foggy conditions often come with high humidity, which can make roads damp or wet. The moisture in the air can cause the road to become slick and lead to skidding or hydroplaning.
Road safety
When driving in fog, reduce speed and maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. This allows for more reaction time and helps prevent rear-end collisions. Use low-beam headlights or fog lights to improve visibility without creating excessive glare. Avoid using high beams, as they can reflect off the fog and further impact visibility. To avoid a car accident during foggy weather, listen for any sounds that may indicate the presence of other vehicles nearby, such as honking or engine noises. Sometimes, it is best to avoid driving until weather conditions improve.