Washington DC experiences foggy weather more than 100 days each year, according to historic climate data. Yet many drivers neglect to change their driving behavior to accommodate for this phenomenon. This can lead to car accidents, personal injury, and fatalities. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that nearly 39,000 car accidents happen annually because of poor visibility.
To avoid these types of highway accidents, drivers should avoid common mistakes that can lead to collisions under foggy conditions. Motorists who are involved in an accident during foggy conditions are urged to contact an experienced car accident lawyer for assistance.
Drivers may be tempted to tailgate in the fog in order to follow the vehicle that is in front of theirs. They essentially use the taillights, brake lights, and turn signs of the vehicle ahead as guides. This is a dangerous practice because it leaves the tailgating driver without enough stopping distance.
The way to fix this foggy driving error is for drivers not to rely on other vehicles’ lights for guidance. Instead, drivers are encouraged to concentrate on following the highway lines on the right side of the vehicle. Paying attention to the right side of the road helps the driver stay within the lanes.
Use of High Beams
One of the first driving lessons every driver learns is to turn a car’s beams to the regular or low-beam setting in fog. However, in dense fog, some drivers may try to use their high beams to penetrate the fog. This actually backfires, causing the beam to be reflected against the foggy clouds, which actually limits visibility.
Rather than using high beams, drivers who encounter fog should keep their beams at a normal or lower-than-normal level, sometimes called parking light level. They should also maintain their headlights by making sure the headlight covers are clean. Taking time for headlight maintenance increases the performance of headlights in all driving conditions.
Going Too Fast
Drivers should slow down, not speed up, in inclement weather. Yet drivers sometimes try to get out of fog by going faster than they should. Even driving the posted speed limit may be too fast.
Drivers should remind themselves that driving in fog is not unlike driving in heavy rain, sleet, or snow. The fog may not stick to the roads, but it still can make it difficult to see street signs, exit ramps, oncoming traffic, pedestrians, animals, and objects.
Drivers entering foggy roads should take extra precautions to eliminate any distractions, such as listening to loud music or even talking on a hands-free phone. After all, they need to have time to react if someone swerves in front of them or they encounter a red traffic light they did not realize was just ahead.
Pulling Over at an Inconvenient Spot
A good suggestion for driving in practically impenetrable, dense fog is to pull over to the side of the road. With that being said, drivers need to be cautious. Pulling over only slightly may leave a motorist at risk of being hit by another driver.
A better solution is for the driver to wait until they can safely pull over onto a shoulder with enough room. They can then put on their four-way flashers to signal they have stopped.
What Happens if I Get in an Accident in the Fog?
Even drivers who drive cautiously in fog may end up getting into car accidents. In this situation, the driver should follow all the basic rules regarding post-accident steps, including moving the vehicle out of the way, exchanging information with the other driver, calling 911, taking photos of the scene, and getting medical attention, if needed.
Drivers who have been seriously injured after getting into an accident exacerbated by poor visibility may want to speak with a car accident lawyer. Speaking with a lawyer can help drivers understand their rights as victims.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Counsel Drivers Hurt in Fog-Related Accidents
If a fog-related accident has left you or a loved one with medical bills, lost wages, and other injuries, reach out to the Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King. Our experienced legal team can support your claim and recover the compensation you deserve. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Washington DC, we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.