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Fog kills 5.5% of those involved in an accident!


Blog Category:
12/8/2009
James E. Ballidis
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Late fall is typically the start of fog season in California. Already we have had many fog advisories issued by the National Weather Service, and with these advisories, several serious injury accidents have occurred. Each year fog-related crashes injure over 1000 people and the average fatality rate is 55.

Only three months ago there was a huge pile-up of cars and trucks on Highway 99 in central California. This area is notorious for its “Tule fog” which stretches throughout the central Joaquin valley and at times can leave drivers driving with no forward visibility. Over 18 cars and trucks were involved and when the California Highway Patrol came on the scene, they reported that the visibility was only 10-15 feet. Many people were trapped in their cars with serious injuries, while law enforcement tried to rescue them.

Fortunately for today’s’ drivers travelling through this stretch of California, there is a recently opened joint venture Fog Pilot Program developed by Caltrans and the CHP. Officials say that this will be an early warning system that will warn drivers of potentially hazardous driving conditions.

The system works by aggregating information from six weather stations, 22 visibility sensors and 41 traffic sensors. Then the data is fed through to the message boards along the highway, warning drivers of upcoming dangers. When visibility drops below 500 feet, the message will automatically appear of the Caltrans’s message boards along the highway.

Even with new technology, there was still an accident this weekend. Drivers should always be alert and not intentionally drive in heavy fog conditions. Here are few driving safety tips if you must drive in these conditions:

Category: Car Accidents


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