Texas Law and News Blog

The Effect of Fog on Winter Accidents in Texas

Although accidents due to ice and snow are certainly possible in the state of Texas, the top causes of winter motor vehicle accidents in the area are rain and fog. According to the American Automobile Association, accidents that occur in fog cause 155% more fatalities than motor vehicle accidents that occur in clear weather. Recently, one individual was killed and another sustained life-threatening injuries after a motor vehicle struck a horse in heavy fog conditions. The following are some considerations for Texas drivers who may encounter foggy conditions in winter.

The Dangerous Elements of Fog

Many motor vehicle drivers in the state of Texas are unaware that fog distorts a driver’s perception in a variety of ways. These qualities of fog include the following:

  • Distinguishing Between a Stationary Object and a Moving Object is Harder. In the fog, motor vehicle drivers often have a difficult time determining between parked and moving cars, which can easily cause accidents.
  • Distorted Speed Perception. Fog can cause motor vehicle drivers to believe that an object is traveling more slowly than it really is. Due to the distorted speed aspect of driving in fog, motor vehicle operators are advised to avoid speeding while driving in these conditions.
  • Visibility Can Be Made Worse by Use of Headlights. Many motor vehicle operators who drive at night in the fog use high beams, which only serves to scatter more light back at the driver and obscure visibility.
  • Misjudgments of Distance Can Occur. Motor vehicle drivers tend to believe that blurry objects are farther away than clearer ones.

Tips to Avoid a Motor Vehicle Accident

There are several pieces of safety advice that motor vehicle operators should follow when driving in treacherous conditions, which include the following:

  • Check Applicable Insurance Coverage. Motor vehicle drivers should make sure that they have collision, towing rental, and personal injury coverage. If a motorist lacks any of these types of insurance, the individual should consider whether obtaining this type of insurance would be beneficial.
  • Drive with Extreme Caution. Motor vehicle drivers should allow for a great distance between themselves and the motor vehicle in front of them.
  • Make Sure a Vehicle’s Wipers are Working Properly. Individuals should make sure that their motor vehicle’s windshield wipers are working properly before driving and replace these wipers as soon as possible if they are more than several years old.
  • Take Time While Driving. In situations involving fog, motor vehicle drivers should take their time when operating a motor vehicle and always remember that it is better to arrive slightly late and safe than become involved in an accident trying to reach a destination on time.
  • Turn on Your Vehicle’s Lights. In foggy conditions, motor vehicle drivers should make sure to turn on their vehicle’s lights when driving. Lights can significantly help individuals observe conditions on the road.