In Pittsylvania County on February 11, a tractor-trailer made a left turn from Wilkerson Road onto Kintuck Road right in front of an oncoming car. The two vehicles collided, and the driver of the car was rushed to the hospital with a serious injury. Virginia State Police believe that the big-rig crash was caused by slick roads and foggy conditions—the truck simply didn’t see a car coming when it attempted the turn.
Unfortunately, fog is the cause of a significant number of tractor-trailer accidents in Virginia. While many drivers use greater caution while on the road during a rain storm, snow storm, or icy conditions, many do not know the dangers of fog and do not slow their speed or take extra precautions. In addition, fog is especially dangerous for truck drivers and those who share the roads with commercial trucks. Because of the large size and heavy weight of 18-wheelers, they take a much longer time to slow, come to a stop, and turn. This means that, in the event of an emergency, they are not well equipped to avoid an accident or hazard. Because fog shortens visibility, truckers may not see a vehicle or hazard until it is far too late.
- Try to avoid foggy conditions by checking the weather before getting behind the wheel.
- Know that using your high beams in foggy conditions can actually hinder your visibility.
- Slow down in fog—but understand that the vehicles behind you may not see you brake suddenly.
- Open your window so that you can hear oncoming traffic before a turn or other maneuver.
- Don’t stop on the side of the road in traffic, as other cars may try to follow your light or crash into your vehicle.