Dense fog is responsible for over 30,000 car crashes and over 500 deaths each year in the United States. As a result, drivers are expected to exercise a greater level of care while sharing the road with other drivers in heavy fog and other dangerous weather conditions.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident where the other driver did not take necessary precautions in dense fog, you may be eligible for compensation in a personal injury claim. In order to avoid an accident, here are five safety tips for Indiana drivers in dense fog.
1. Eliminate as Many Distractions as Possible
It is important to recognize that sound may be your best indicator of an approaching vehicle. However, if your radio is up or you are carrying on conversations in your car, you may not be able to hear oncoming traffic. By turning off all sounds (when possible) and avoiding the urge to look around for objects in your car, you will be able to focus on the road while driving in dangerous weather conditions.
2. Use Low Beams, Not High Beams
While it is perfectly appropriate to use your high beams in low-light scenarios, using high beams in dense fog will actually impair your visibility. Fog is moisture in the air, and instead of disseminating light, it reflects it. While your high beams might normally give you wider and longer visibility, the fog actually renders your high beams useless and even dangerous.
Low beams keep your lights on the road in front of you below the fog. You will be able to see to the best of your abilities with low beams. Drivers should avoid the urge to turn on their high beams during fog.
3. Keep Your Windows Defogged
A common effect of outdoor fog is that your windows will begin to fog up themselves. To prevent this, use your windshield defrost rather than your body-level vent A/C or heat setting. Turn your defrosters on high and run your windshield wipers on an intermittent setting. These steps will keep the fog from further impairing your visibility.
If weather permits, you might also consider rolling down the side windows in the car. By doing so, those windows will not fog up, and you will be better able to hear approaching vehicles on the road before you see them.
4. Slow Down
Driving in dense fog is dangerous. You should adjust your speed as if you were driving in heavy rain or even ice and snow. If an obstacle appears in front of you, you will have far less time to respond or prevent a collision.
If fog has overtaken the highway or interstate, disable your cruise control and maintain a slower speed. Keeping your foot at the pedals will keep you more alert, and a slower speed will give you more time to react.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Stop Until the Fog Clears
Sometimes, the best thing you can do in dense fog is to pull over at a rest area or safe place. If you must pull over on a wide shoulder, be sure to turn on your hazard signals so other vehicles will see you and know that you’ve stopped. As a side note, do not turn on your hazards while driving. This will confuse drivers into thinking that you’ve stopped or are experiencing vehicle trouble.
If you do get into an accident while driving in dense fog due to another driver not following standard safety measures, you may be able to prove negligence in a car accident case. For more information about how an Indiana attorney can help you with your car accident case, contact Stewart & Stewart Attorneys at 800-333-3529 or visit our website.