QUESTION: Am I at fault if I crash into someone else while driving in dense fog? After all it isn't my fault, it was the fog!
ANSWER: If we ignore all other facts and entertain only the fog issue, then my opinion is that you are likely to be at fault. There is nothing unusual about the fog. Fog is fog. It's a weather condition that all drivers must contend with and everyone knows that fog is the sort of weather condition that reoccurs and is known to the driver. Fog isn't usually a surprise that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs. If you are driving along in the middle of a bright sunny day, without any weather conditions and some freak of nature fog bank suddenly and without warning moves in overtaking your vehicle, then maybe you have a sudden emergency but otherwise no. A heart attack is a sudden emergency. Fog is not.
To see what can happen when a driver continues driving in fog that interferes with their ability to maintain a proper look consider these two accidents and ask yourself; Were they preventable?
Here is the story as reported by the online Gazette.
Scott Nelson, 42, died when he drove his pickup into a semi-trailer truck that came to rest across Highway 20 after a collision with a stopped vehicle in dense fog about a mile west of Epworth, the Iowa State Patrol said.
Ron Fowler, 56, of Boone, was attempting to turn left from the northbound lanes of Highway 6 onto Skyline Road near Dubuque Regional Airport at about 1:30 p.m. when a southbound vehicle driven by Gene Horn, 57, of LeClaire, struck the rear of his semi-trailer truck, according to the Dubuque County Sheriff's Office.And in this one a Waterloo police officer was struck due to fog.