Spring breaks the risk of foggy weather to Oklahoma City, Edmond, Nichols Hill and Guthrie. Unfortunately, fog ends up reducing visibility significantly. A personal injury lawyer knows that this can significantly increase the risk of car accidents. Drivers need to be aware of the added risks associated with foggy driving and should make sure they take steps to try to avoid motor vehicle collisions that fog could cause.
Fog and Oklahoma City Accident Risks
A study published by the National Institutes of Health indicates that fog can double the risk of a motor vehicle collision occurring. The study was designed to get a realistic idea of how fog affects driving ability. Many past studies on the impact of fog have tested drivers by reducing the contrast of everything in their vision in a driving simulation. However, these past studies more closely resembled circumstances of driving with a foggy windshield, rather than the realities of driving through real fog. The new study involved a more realistic simulation of foggy weather, adjusting contrast based on how fog actually affects visibility.
When it is foggy, the road surface closer to the horizon generally appears more fuzzy and faint than nearby locations. The study accounted for this, and provided 12 drivers with two simulated driving scenes that tested what it was like to drive in both moderate and severe fog.
The research showed that fog influence speed perception and drivers tend to slow down when it is foggier out. This undermines earlier research indicating that drivers tend to go too fast for fog conditions. It also suggests that speed is not necessarily one of the primary reasons why the accident risk increases so much during foggy weather. This leaves researchers and safety experts with questions about how to most effectively prevent accidents in fog, since slowing down is not enough to make motorists safe when visibility is reduced under foggy weather conditions.
Smart Motorist has some tips that motorists should consider to try to stay safe. Suggestions include:
- Slowing down, which research suggests drivers are already doing. Drivers may start to feel more comfortable with the fog if it persists over time and can slowly increase their speeds. Be sure to keep an eye on the speedometer in order to avoid that.
- Turning on headlights but never high beams, which can make it harder to see by reflecting off the fog.
- Turn on fog lights if you have them. Many European cars have extra-bright rear auxiliary fog lights that can significantly increase visibility.
- Don’t use your emergency flasher, as studies have shown that drivers tend to inadvertently drive towards flashing lights that attract the eye.
- Avoid stopping in the middle of the road. If you cannot keep driving, pull your vehicle completely off the road onto the road shoulder.
- Keep focused on the right edge of the road to guide the position of your vehicle, rather than the center line, to reduce the chances of crossing into oncoming traffic.
Fog is the most dangerous hazard that exists, so drivers need to ensure they are doing everything they can to try to stay safe.