Smog is in the air and it’s killing people. A massive pile-up involving 70 vehicles on the National-Highway 1 stretch near Karnal, Haryana, left 6 dead and 51 injured. The police at the scene estimate that the death toll could go up in the coming days. The three pile-ups happened at Namesty Chowk, Karan Lake and Butana village. The onset of fog has been early this year, and when combined with smog, is making driving very treacherous.
All three accidents were caused due to poor visibility. Smog when mixed with fog early in the morning, is reducing visibility to 50-100 meters, leading to deadly pile-ups. The lack of wind in the area is also leading to smoggy conditions persisting for many hours.
Pile-ups kill! Here’s how you can avoid them:
- If you can avoid it, do so. In other words, don’t drive out in smoggy conditions as driving gets very challenging, and the risk of accidents exponentially increases during such conditions. Waiting till conditions clear up is a good idea.
- If you can’t see ahead, park. However, safe parking is essential as you could otherwise be the cause of the pile-up. Pull off the road wherever possible, and switch on your hazard lamp while parked.
- Cut speed. While driving in poor visibility conditions, the first thing you must do is to cut speed. Driving slowly allows for emergency braking maneuvers and also helps in collision avoidance.
- Invest in a good set of fog lamps. This will improve visibility in fog. Importantly, the bulbs in the fog lamps need to throw out a yellow light, which penetrates fog best. White and blue lights don’t work well in foggy/smoggy conditions.
- N0 high-beam. Well, this may sound counter-intuitive but the fact of the matter is high beam reflects off fog, further impairing visibility. Therefore, the best combination for driving in foggy conditions is low beam along with the fog lamps switched on.