As Arkansas motorists know, driving in fog may be hazardous. A report issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in November 2014 included the collected statistics of accidents where foggy or smoky conditions were a factor. The study covered a police-reported crash data collected over a span of 19 years as well as 23 years of national data. It found that reduced vision during foggy or smoky conditions interferes with a driver’s ability to measure speed and depth.
In 2012, foggy and smoky conditions in Florida were the cause of a three-vehicle accident in which there were no fatalities. Although the smoke and fog initially lifted, conditions deteriorated again in less than an hour, causing an accident involving 19 motor vehicles that resulted in 18 injuries and 11 fatalities. The AAA study reported that following at a safe distance is one problem during fog and may cause motor vehicle accidents. It was noted that many drivers tend to remain at the same speed as that used during clear weather. Speed reduction does not occur for some drivers until lane markings are no longer clearly visible. Even then, reducing speed may not be sufficient to give a driver braking time to avoid an accident.
Other drivers are uncomfortable driving in foggy weather and may stay too close to the vehicle in front and incorrectly perceive the distance from a lead car. In another study that was discussed in the AAA report, participants perceived a car in front of them as 60 percent farther away than it actually was.
While some accidents in fog are unavoidable, many others are caused by motorists who drive too closely or too fast for the conditions. A person who is injured in such a collision may want the assistance of a personal injury attorney in demonstrating that the driver was negligent and should thus bear the financial responsibility for the losses that have been sustained.