Fog is a frequent occurrence in many areas of California. Driving in the fog can be dangerous and lead to car accidents that risk serious injury to the driver, passengers, other motorists and pedestrians. Four years ago, a young grandmother was behind the wheel taking four relatives, including two grandchildren, to a train station. The accident that happened on that foggy day would result in injuries requiring that she remain in a nursing home to this day.
While the road was familiar to her, heavy fog hid the approach of a stop sign. The fog had disoriented her to the point that she didn't know how close she was to the intersection. By the time she realized where she was, her vehicle had already entered the intersection, only to be rammed by an oncoming semitrailer on the driver's side.
Her car spun around and around by the force of the impact. Everyone in her car, including her 12-year-old and 3-month-old grandchildren, was securely fastened in their seats with seat belts or car seats. The children escaped without injuries. Two other adults riding in the car had to be hospitalized with injuries, but were released only hours later.
The driver, however, was thrown out of the car, and she barely escaped alive. She required surgery, went into a coma, and had to be revived twice. She suffered severe brain damage, and subsequently had seizures. Almost five years later, she continues to live in a nursing home, relies on a wheelchair for mobility and suffers memory problems.
It is recommended that those driving in a fog have a window open near the driver to listen for traffic noises, and avoid using high beam headlights, which can reflect off the fog, creating an effect like a white wall. It's also a good idea to slow down. Wherever you need to be, reaching your destination late is far preferable to never getting there at all.
Source: The Sentinel, "Preparedness Facts: Driving in the fog -- a true story," Elizabeth Hall, Dec. 15, 2012
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