Authorities say fog is to blame for a massive, 95-car pileup that occurred on Sunday near the state line between Virginia and North Carolina. According to NBC News, the accidents occurred at approximately 1:00 p.m. in southbound lanes in Carroll County and ultimately there were 17 separate crashes within a short period of time in the area.
Our North Carolina injury attorneys know that bad weather can be extremely dangerous for drivers, especially fog, which makes visibility difficult. We urge every driver to exercise caution when driving in bad weather and understand some of the biggest risks of driving in unsafe weather conditions.
Fog Causes Massive Pileups
According to NBC News, warnings were issued starting at 5:47 a.m. on the day that the pileup occurred. The warnings were posted on overhead message boards and cautioned drivers that it was necessary for them to slow down as a result of the heavy fog.
Despite the warning and despite the clear lack of visibility, many drivers continued to proceed at their normal speed and/or did not increase vigilance due to the fog. This lapse in care helps to explain why so many vehicles were involved in the pileup.
When it is foggy outside, even a single accident can set off a disastrous chain reaction. Two cars may hit each other, resulting in the first accident. Other drivers may come upon the impaired vehicles at the accident scene.
If the drivers approaching the crash haven’t seen the accident, they may not slow down or try to avoid hitting one of the impacted cars. Further a driver who doesn’t see the accident due to fog until he is right on top of the crash may have no place to go at that point in order to avoid becoming a part of the crash himself.
Preventing Accidents in Inclement Weather
Fog is a leading cause of multi-car pileups because it increases the chance of a catalyst accident happening (the crash that starts the chain reaction of cars). Not only that, but the fog also makes it difficult or impossible for others to see that the accident has happened.
To try to protect yourself and avoid becoming an accident victim when it is foggy outside, it is important to follow some safe driving tips. For example:
- You should slow your speed, even driving below the speed limit, when it is foggy outside or when any bad weather reduces visibility.
- You should increase your following distance, putting more space between you and the car in front of you.
- You should put your low beams on to make it easier to see without blinding other drivers.
- You should consider driving with the window of your vehicle opened so that you can hear other cars. Your hearing can help guide you if your vision is not as effective.
- Use painted road markings as your guide to stay on track.
- If your car stalls or you need to stop, take your foot off of the brake pedal (since people follow tail lights when they are driving in a fog situation) and move your car away from the road.
By following these tips and making smart choices, hopefully you can avoid becoming the victim of any accident caused by adverse weather conditions.
If you have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP at 1.800.533.6845.