Fog and smoke can create dangerous driving conditions for people traveling in the District of Columbia. According to a report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, accidents that occur during times of heavy fog and smoke are likely to involve fatal pileups. In almost 20 percent of multi-car accidents with 10 or more vehicles, fog and smoke is listed as a factor in the police report.
Car accidents may be more likely to occur when there is fog and smoke on the road because drivers have less visibility. When a road is blanketed in thick fog, drivers often have trouble seeing vehicles that are in front of them. Details in the environment are also obscured when there is thick fog and smoke, and drivers traveling at night cannot use their high beams.
Despite the visibility issues that drivers experience when there is thick fog and smoke, most drivers do not lower their speeds during these conditions. In fact, many drivers speed up to follow closely behind the car in front of them in order to maintain a visual reference point. Drivers traveling through fog and smoke may not realize that their following distance is unsafe because they perceive the vehicle in front of them to be farther away than it actually is.
A multi-car pileup during foggy conditions can be a confusing event for accident victims. Someone who was injured in an accident like this may want to have representation from an attorney while the investigation is underway. While in many instances accidents that take place in inclement weather are unavoidable, the attorney can review the investigation report and other evidence and, if it can be determined that the driver who hit the car that was occupied by the injured victim was driving too fast for conditions, the attorney may choose to file a lawsuit against that motorist seeking compensation for the losses that have been sustained.