Hidden Highways: Fog and Traffic Crashes on America’s Roads

Although fog and smoke are understood to create challenging driving conditions for motorists, surprisingly little research has been conducted on the characteristics of fog- and smoke-related crashes, and on the prevalence of such crashes in overall national highway safety statistics. This report illustrates the scope of the problem by presenting 23 years of national data on fatal crashes involving fog and smoke, and 19 years of police-reported crash data pertaining to these conditions. These data point to issues of particular concern with regards to fog and smoke, including the elevated prevalence of such crashes among young drivers, during winter months, and along undivided rural highways. Perhaps most alarmingly, fog and smoke appear to play a major role in fatal multi-vehicle pileups, and are coded as a factor in nearly one-in-five such crashes involving 10 or more vehicles. By examining national and regional data, as well as existing research into driver behavior and perception changes due to fog, this paper offers recommendations that highway officials, safety advocates, parents, automakers, driving instructors, and road users of all kinds can act on in order to promote safe highway operations in foggy or smoky conditions.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549008
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 29 2014 11:06AM