Winter brings weather changes to our otherwise sunny California. In Orange County, early morning dense fog along the coastline starts appearing during the morning commute and in the inland valleys, Tule fog can develop without warning. Tule fog is technically radiation fog, but whatever you want to call it, various types of fogs are responsible for motor vehicle accidents at this time of the year.
Last year there was a massive 100 car pile-up in California’s Central Valley due to heavy fog. Within an hour’s time, the visual distance while driving went from 2 miles to about 200 feet. Dozens were injured and two people died in this tragedy. This week, a judge sentenced Morris Taylor, the driver most responsible for the pile-up, to one year in jail and three months probation. The main reason he didn’t receive more jail time was that the California Highway Patrol concluded that he was just one of many people speeding that day in the fog and there was plenty of blame to go around.
Last year in California there were over 951 injuries and 57 deaths due to fog-related auto accidents and over half of those incidences occurred over the November through March time period. Since many of these huge pile-ups occur because of excessive speeds, it is imperative to slow down. In many instances, fog can literally appear quite quickly.
In addition to slowing down, the San Joaquin Valley is setting up a new $12 million dollar fog alert system to expand their safety goals. This new system will include the use of weather stations, vehicle motion detectors, visibility sensors and closed-circuit cameras to monitor weather and traffic patterns. The new fog technologies are strategically placed along several miles of California Highway 99 and if all works well, all of the sensors and cameras should be integrated.
Once a problem is detected and fog begins to appear on the highway, the sensors will alert the cameras and then within 30 seconds, alert messages would soon appear on the giant message boards. The CHP and the community are hoping that this will prevent a huge car pile-up and prevent unnecessary personal injury. A similar system built in 1996 near Stockton, California helped reduce the number of crashes in that area by 70%.
Have you been injured in a weather-related automobile accident? If so, then you need to speak to a professional personal injury attorney as soon as you are able. A good attorney will assist you in the complicated ordeal of fixing your car, getting appropriate medical care and of course, dealing with your insurance company. You need a professional advisor on your side to worry about the details while you recover. Call us at 1 888 752-7474.