Auto Accidents and Fog: How Fog Affects Driver Perception
Auto accidents and fog are an often-overlooked problem. According to the Federal Highway Administration, fog causes upwards of 28,000 crashes, 10,000 injuries, and nearly 500 deaths every year in the United States. Fog reduces visibility, distorts perception, and limits contrast, effectively reducing your ability to see other cars and objects on the road.
A personal injury attorney protects the rights of victims in auto accidents. Steve Charpentier at Charpentier Law Firm in Melbourne, FL has the requisite skills and experience to maximize your compensation in a personal injury case.
An Overview of Driving in Fog
Fog consists of fine droplets of moisture suspended in air that reduce visibility. With low visibility, driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do. When your headlights hit the droplets, they appear dense and white. The smaller the droplets get, the thicker the fog becomes. Consequently, drivers cannot see more than a few feet ahead in some cases, drastically increasing the risk of an accident.
How Fog Affects Driver Perception
Fog affects driver perception in a handful of important ways:
- Perception of speed: Drivers tend to mistakenly think they are going slower than they really are when driving in fog due to lowered contrast. If you must drive in foggy conditions, go slowly. Because you cannot see far in front or to the side, you will need as much time as possible to react to other cars and objects.
- Perception of movement: It is difficult to determine whether a car is moving or parked in extreme fog. Mistakenly believing a car is stationary can lead you to turn right into an accident.
- Perception of distance: There is a common belief that the blurrier an object, the farther away it is. It is a mistake to assume that if an object cannot be seen clearly, it is not a threat. Fog clouds your viewpoint and reduces contrast so much that you may misjudge how far away another vehicle or object is. This will reduce your time to react and increase the likelihood of an accident.
Avoiding Auto Accidents in the Fog
Drivers have a tendency to put on their high beams in fog at night. However, shining your high beams is actually the worst thing you can do. While it may seem counterintuitive, increasing the amount of light will only scatter the light and cause a white, blurry, indecipherable cloud with minimal contrast. Here are some other tips for avoiding auto accidents in the fog:
- Take your time: The slower you go, the safer you will be. Assuming stopping is not an option, take your time and you will be happy you did.
- Drive with caution: The greater the distance between you and the car in front of you, the better. By driving under the posted speed limit, you will allow yourself more time to stop.
Contact Charpentier Law Firm
More than two dozen Americans get injured in fog related auto accidents every day. If it happens to you, let us review your case to determine if the other driver was at fault. To learn more, visit our website or call (321) 308-8020 today.