7 Tips for Driving in the Fog
The recent crash that took the life of a father and his child due to a head on collision near Marsing brought to my mind another case where a child was seriously injured due to a crash that occurred while he was a passenger in a vehicle while his mother was driving 55 mph in a 35 mph speed zone while traveling in foggy conditions.
Drivers in Idaho now face a higher risk of danger due to increased speed limits that were recently adopted for a number of areas of highways located in Idaho, because the stopping distance is significantly increased due to the increased speed limits. Drivers are oftentimes in a hurry to get from one place to another and overlook the risks that exist during inclement weather. Many times they continue traveling at higher speeds which create a greater risk of injury or death for failing to take into consideration factors that suggest that they need to slow down and take other precautions.
TIPS FOR DRIVING IN THE FOG
There are a number of precautions that drivers can take to minimize the risk of creating an accident while traveling in fog.
1. Slow down! Vehicles traveling in the fog have a slower reaction time to respond to hazards on the road due to limited vision caused by foggy conditions. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the distance it takes to stop a vehicle while traveling down the road. When traveling during foggy conditions, drivers should take note that conditions exist that prevent other drivers from taking timely evasive action to avoid a collision, so one should simply allow more time to get to one’s destination and travel at a slower speed than usual. Slowing down reduces the distance one needs to stop if a hazard presents itself to an unsuspecting driver.
2. Turn your lights on! Traveling in the fog prevents you from being seen by other drivers. Turning your lights helps other drivers identify you sooner than when your vehicle is traveling with its lights off.
3. Keep your lights on low beam rather than on high beam. Lights that are on high beam reflect more light back to the driver reducing a driver’s visibility while traveling in the fog. Keeping the head lamps on low beam rather than high beam increases the driver’s visibility while traveling in foggy conditions.
4. Keep your defroster and wiper blades in good condition and keep your windows clean! Fog exists typically in cooler conditions and can create situations where the windows become frosted or in need to be defrosted. Hence, a well prepared driver should make sure that the defroster and window wipers are properly maintained. Windows on the inside of a vehicle also develop a film over time that also needs to be cleaned regularly to minimize the glare caused by sunlight and/or lights of other vehicles passing by. Taking the time to insure that the defroster and wiper blades are properly working and using them as well as keeping the windows properly clean can minimize glare that reduces a driver’s visual acuity while driving particularly in foggy conditions.
5. Don’t tailgate and allow extra room in following other vehicles. When driving in the fog, drivers may tend to use their brakes more often than otherwise. Tailgating another vehicle enhances the risk of colliding into a vehicle who driver is forced to hit their brakes in front of you.
6. Avoid changing lanes suddenly. Lane changes in the fog also impose a risk of creating an accident. As people are using their side and rearview mirrors, their vision is taken off the road. Sudden lane changes can enhance the risk of injury or death. Idaho requires drivers to travel at least 150 feet with their signal light on before making a lane change. If you are traveling 30 mph, obviously, that requires your signal light to be in operation for 5 seconds before changing lanes. Using your turn signals before changing lanes, alerts drivers traveling behind you of your intentions and allows them to take precautions.
7. Keep your checking for the white line located to the right side of the road if provided. Most highways in Idaho have a solid white line located to the right of the freeway. In thick fog it is difficult to keep focused on the road. The white line to the right side of the road can keep you on the roadway so long as you don’t cross over it. If you cross the center line, you risk creating a head-on collision with vehicles traveling in the opposite direction. But also keep your focus on the road ahead to keep you from hitting a vehicle in front of you that may be slowing down or traveling at a slower rate than you.
Avoid driving in the fog if possible, but sometimes driving in the fog is necessary to travel to work as well as taking children to school. When traveling in the fog is necessary, you should consider the precautions above to help minimize the risk to your loved ones and you.
BOISE TRIAL ATTORNEY ALAN MORTON HAS OVER 34 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE HELPING VICTIMS OF AUTO ACCIDENTS.
If you or a loved one incur damages arising from wrongful death or personal injury in Idaho due to the negligence of another driver, you should contact an experienced trial attorney for a free initial consultation. Boise Trial Attorney Alan Morton has over 34 years of experience in helping victims of auto accidents seek compensation for their injuries due to no fault of their own. You can reach Mr. Morton by calling him at 208.344.5555 or toll free at 888.716.8021 or by completing by email online. Mr. Morton would be happy to arrange a free consultation with you at his office or your home, workplace, hospital or any other convenient setting. Mr. Morton can help you in obtaining a replacement vehicle while your vehicle is being repaired and/or replaced if it is totaled as well as help you get the medical attention you deserve.