What Is Reasonable Driving In The Fog?

If you are pursuing damages for a car accident that occurred in foggy conditions, one of the things the court will analyze when determining liability is whether the person you are accusing was driving reasonably. Here are some of the questions that can be used to determine reasonable driving:

How Fast Were They Going?

Due to reduced visibility and road slipperiness, driving in a fog is more dangerous than driving when the air is clear. Therefore, motorists are expected to slow down considerably when driving in a fog. That way the drivers can have time to react in case of an emergency. The slow speeds also reduce the severity of impacts, and hence damages and injuries, that road users may experience in case of an accident.

Therefore, the court will be interested in how fast the driver who hit you was driving just before the impact. Note that normal speed limits don't apply when driving in foggy conditions; the driver can't defend themselves by claiming that they were driving below the speed limits. All motorists are expected to drive at "safe speeds," when driving in a fog. It will be up to the court to determine whether the other motorist's speed was safe or not.

Which Lights Were They Using?

It's extremely important to use the right lights when driving in foggy conditions.  The appropriate lights allow motorists to see the road and also see each other. Here are the general guidelines to follow as far as fog lighting is concerned:

  • Drivers should use low-beam lights; high-beam lights will bounce off the fog and worsen the visibility
  • Drivers should use fog lights to help other drivers see them

What Was the Distance Between The Cars?

Each driver is expected to leave adequate distance between their car and the car in front. That way they can stop or perform evasive maneuvers in case of an emergency to avoid hitting other cars. However, reacting to an emergency on a slippery road with reduced visibility is more difficult than doing the same in perfect conditions. Therefore, motorists are expected to increase the distance between them when driving in a fog; it will be up to the court, under the guidance of road safety expert, to determine whether the distance was safe under the circumstances.

How Were They Positioned On the Road?

Some drivers ignore lane markings and position themselves in the middle of the road when visibility is reduced. They do this to avoid accidentally driving off the road. Unfortunately, that position increases the danger of colliding with other vehicles. Therefore, any driver that takes such a position on the road when it is foggy isn't being reasonable.

Contact a personal injury lawyer for more information and assistance.