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The Danger of 'Overdriving Your Headlights'

Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook

One of the many things that plays role in the unique beauty of San Francisco, is the fog that regularly makes its way into the city. It was once described as pleasing itself with its dramatic entry through the harp strings of the Golden Gate Bridge. Unfortunately, despite the picturesque nature of the fog, it can pose a fatal risk for drivers in the Bay area.

Many drivers fail to obey the speed limit even when conditions are perfect, daylight hours, no fog, and dry pavement. Some of these drivers will speed even when conditions call for driving at below the posted speed limit. It is often called 'overdriving your headlights' when a driver's visibility is limited due to fog or darkness, but the driver still drives at a speed which does not allow them the ability to stop in time to avoid obstacles in the road. This type of driving has the potential to cause catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.

This appears to have been the scenario that played itself out early yesterday morning near Stockton. Before sunrise, a driver was reportedly pushing a disabled car through the fog. Investigators later said that visibility was only about 100 feet at the time. Due to construction on the interstate in that area, there was no shoulder for the driver to pull his car onto.

At some point another car approached the man and his disabled car. The approaching car attempted to swerve to avoid hitting the man pushing his car, but was unable to do so. The car struck the man and killed him instantly.

Source: KCRA Channel 3 News "CHP: Deadly Crash On I-5 Blamed On Fog," Leticia Ordaz, Nov. 29. 2011