A recent 100-car pileup on the North Carolina-Virginia border on I-77 claimed 3 lives and injured 25 people, some critically.
Our Greensboro car accident lawyers understand that the incident involved 17 crashes that resulted in the pileup, all attributed to severe fog, specifically the cloud that had fallen upon the Fancy Gap Mountain region.
There were reportedly some advance warning signs to notify people of the fog. Some have said drivers were traveling too quickly for the conditions. However, motorists reportedly found themselves beset by these conditions quite suddenly. One minute visibility was normal and the next, it was virtually non-existent.
USA Today conducted a recent analysis of crash statistics, and found that so far this year, there have been nearly 20 pileups on U.S. highways. Of those, five involved at least 50 vehicles. The injuries were numerous.
The sudden onset of fog has been at the core of numerous pileups since last year. In Texas last Thanksgiving weekend, two people were killed in a 95-car pileup on I-10 when a sudden patch of fog settled over Beaumont.
Then last year in Florida near Gainesville, 10 people were killed when I-75 became suddenly blanketed in smoke and fog.
In addition to fog, winter weather is also a major culprit, with the storms along the Great Lakes leaving numerous pileups in their wake. Just this past January, pileups in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana involved 30 to 40 vehicles each.
As we continue to thaw out this spring, fog will continue to be a concern in North Carolina, particularly along the mountainous regions.
Fog has the ability to reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less. If you know the area through which you are traveling is under a fog advisory, postpone your trip if at all possible, or plan an alternate route. Usually, fog lifts by either late morning or afternoon, so the inconvenience shouldn’t be too great.
However, if this isn’t possible, The Weather Channel advises drivers to keep the following in mind:
- Use your low beams. If you use your high beam lights, the light will only be reflected back to you, which is going to serve to reduce your visibility even further.
- Slow down. Specifically, keep an eye on your speedometer. Fog creates the optical illusion of slow motion, even if you are actually moving fast.
- Stop to listen for the traffic you might not be able to see. Roll down your window a bit, turn down the radio and keep all other distractions to a minimum.
- Defrosters and windshield wipers can help to maximize your visibility.
- Please be patient. Don’t attempt to pass traffic or hurry. You will only be putting yourself, your passengers and fellow motorists at risk.
- If you have trouble seeing directly in front of you, you may choose to use the painted road markings or the edge of the road as a guide.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
U.S. highways have seen 19 pileups so far in 2013, April 1, 2013, By Paul Overberg, USA Today
More Blog Entries:
Officers Increase Saturation Efforts to Curb Carolina Accidents, April 23, 2013, Greensboro Car Accident Lawyer Blog