Among all the various weather conditions that can afflict Virginia’s highways, fog is perhaps the most dangerous. Even light fog can diminish a driver’s ability to see what’s in front of them, and patches of intermittent fog can make drivers think they’re in the clear. A horrendous car accident involving almost 100 vehicles was caused by fog on March 31, on Interstate 77 in the southern part of the state.
The trouble started early that Sunday afternoon, when heavy fog permeated the area. A series of collisions started and grew into a huge multi-vehicle accident as the day wore on. Ultimately, 17 crashes occurred, all within a mile of one another near Fancy Gap Mountain. Over 20 people sustained injuries as a result, while three individuals died in the tragedy. Authorities even had to close certain lanes on the interstate so that rescue vehicles could reach the many victims.
According to a spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police, drivers going too fast for conditions appeared to have caused many of the collisions. Despite the presence of warning signs on the roadway, which had been cautioning drivers on the fog-related danger since early that morning, many apparently refused to slow down. Unfortunately, this type of incident is not completely new to Virginia’s roads; there were fatal multi-car pileups near the same region in both 2000 and 2010.
Driving too quickly for road conditions can be considered a form of negligence in the legal arena, and disregarding weather and traffic conditions are also potentially negligent in car accident cases. In multi-vehicle accidents, all three factors can combine to pose a hazard to drivers. Unfortunately, some drivers will still operate their car as if conditions are ideal, even if they are downright dangerous. Victims of such negligent or reckless drivers may be able to hold the other drivers responsible in court, where they can pursue compensation for medical expenses associated with their experience.