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The dangers of driving in fog or smoke

A screen of fog obscuring the road can be a well-known hazard in Nebraska. Not only are accidents more common when there are misty, smoky or foggy conditions, but the specific types of accidents that happen change. For example, fatal multi-car pileups are much more likely when weather conditions render it difficult to see the road.

Research sheds some light on why this may be the case. Foggy conditions reduce visibility significantly, which substantially impairs a driver's ability to see dangerous conditions ahead and to react in time. To make things worse, fog appears to negatively impact people's ability to tell how far away other objects are. A study showed that drivers perceived a car in front of them to be approximately 60 percent farther away than it really was. This means that people driving in fog may tend to follow each other much too closely for safety.

This may be one reason behind a disturbing fact about crashes in fog. They tend to have more vehicles involved, there are often more serious injuries and the research shows that more fatalities occur. In a 2012 crash in Florida involving 19 vehicles during a period of intense fog, 11 people lost their lives and 18 were injured.

While some accidents in inclement weather are unavoidable, others are caused by a motorist driving too fast for the conditions or following another vehicle too closely. A person who is injured in such a crash that was caused by the negligence of another driver may want to meet with a personal injury attorney in order to determine how best to seek compensation for the economic and noneconomic losses that have been sustained.

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