Fog and the Risk of Auto Accidents
Every time a person gets into a vehicle (either as driver or passenger), there is a potential risk for an auto accident. Auto accidents injure millions of people in the United States each year, resulting in substantial financial losses. Most people can only hope that by making responsible driving decisions and taking all necessary safety precautions, they can keep the risk of an auto accident low. Unfortunately, there are many factors that are out of the control of even the most responsible driver, primarily, weather conditions.
Bad weather can alter the condition of roads and make it difficult for drivers to react appropriately. One weather condition that many drivers have difficulty navigating is fog. Attorney Sean M. Burke understands the risk of auto accidents in fog, and wants his Orange County, CA clients to understand what they should do if they’ve been injured in a car accident in fog.
Fog and Visibility
Fog is a dense layer of condensation that sits much lower to the ground than clouds. This buildup of moisture creates a heavy layer that appears white and hazy. The main concern when driving in fog is visibility. When fog is intense, it can be difficult to see the vehicle directly in front of you. In addition to drastically reducing visibility, fog can also alter a driver’s perception. The following are common concerns when driving in the fog:
- It can be harder to make out street signs and signals
- When fog is present, it is not as easy to gauge how fast the vehicles around you are traveling
- In fog, it is not easy to distinguish between moving vehicles and those that are stationary
- Depth perception, or estimating the distance between objects, is affected by fog, making it unclear how close your car is to other vehicles
Because fog can have such an impact on visibility, it is important for drivers to be especially cautious when fog is present. Taking proper precautions is the best way to minimize the risk of an auto accident when weather conditions are poor. The following tips are especially useful when fog is reducing visibility:
- Reduce driving speed
- Increase the amount of space between your vehicle and the one in front of you
- Avoid using high beams and opt for fog lights instead
- If conditions are especially poor, consider pulling off the road until the weather has improved
After an Accident
Unfortunately, many drivers make poor decisions when driving in fog, and these can easily lead to an auto accident. Drivers who have been involved in an auto accident should take the following steps:
- Collect insurance information for all involved drivers
- Collect the contact information for all involved parties, including witnesses
- If possible, take photos of involved vehicles and surrounding conditions
- Contact the police to file a report
- Seek medical attention for any obvious injuries (even when injuries do not seem to be present, it is a good idea to schedule an exam)
- File a claim with your insurance company
- Contact an experienced attorney
If you have been involved in an auto accident, it is important to work with an experienced attorney, such as Sean M. Burke, to ensure your legal rights are protected. Mr. Burke will gather the evidence that is necessary to prove liability, and fight for maximum compensation for your losses. Contact us at your earliest convenience to learn more about your legal options.