Fog is the Most Dangerous Driving Condition
Statistically speaking, fog is the most dangerous driving condition faced by residents of St. Petersburg. There is actually a fog season in Pinellas County that runs from December until February or March. Fog is dangerous to all drivers because visibility can be decreased to almost zero. Low visibility can result in rear end and head on collisions. Although fog is listed as a contributing factor in only 1% of cases, it results in 2% of all fatalities. These statistics bear witness that fog related accidents are more likely to result in serious or fatal injuries.
What Causes Fog?
In Pinellas County, the type of fog that forms is usually radiational fog. Radiational fog is formed because the Earth constantly radiates infrared energy into the atmosphere. When there is cloud cover, the clouds tend to reflect this energy back to the Earth keeping the ground heated. On nights when there is no cloud cover this infrared energy will dissipate and the ground will cool. The cooler ground will then cool the air at ground level which will allow moisture in the air to condense into a mist of tiny water droplets. This is fog.
How Does Fog Cause Accidents
Fog does not cause accidents. Errors by drivers attempting to drive in fog cause accidents. The most common driver errors that cause accidents in fog are:
1. Drifting into oncoming traffic;
2. Drifting off the road and colliding with an immovable object;
3. Driving too fast; and
4. Following other drivers too closely.
The driver errors listed above, are all caused or exacerbated by low visibility. A keen awareness of your surroundings, though always appropriate when driving, is at a premium when driving in foggy conditions.
How to Drive Safely in Fog
Driving safely in fog is largely an exercise in caution. In fact, if you on the highway and encounter heavy fog the best advice is probably to pull over until the fog burns off because semi-trucks will not stop in fog and seldom seem to slow because the truck drivers have schedules to meet. In my opinion the fog, interstate, semi-trucks and passenger cars are a dangerous cocktail that has caused many a large pile up. If you are not willing or unable to postpone your trip, the following tips should be followed:
1. If your safety gap between your car and the next vehicle is normally three seconds, increase it substantially depending on visibility;
2. Slow down;
3. Keep your lights on;
4. Do not use your bright lights;
5. Use the right hand edge line as your guide point, as opposed to the center;
6. Keep your defroster;
7. Maintain a constant speed;
8. Remember, fog can make road surfaces slick, brake slowly and early; and
9. Watch carefully for school children and bus stops.
Contact Jones Law Group
Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg personal injury attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you in the privacy of your own home.
Whether you were a pedestrian, a bicyclist, or the occupant of car, motorcycle or boat and have been injured in an accident, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.
Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707