New details have emerged about the deadly five-vehicle accident that occurred the morning of Monday, Oct. 31 in Lake County. Florida Highway Patrol troopers have revealed that thick fog was a factor in the crash that killed one person and injured four. As troopers predict the fog will remain thick throughout the week, how can Tavares drivers stay safe in low visibility conditions during their commutes?
Fog, thunderstorms, and other inclement weather patterns are simply an unavoidable part of life for our city’s motorists, but they can still prove dangerous and cause accidents for even the most experienced driver. “It was so foggy out, it looked like we saw yellow blinking lights, and then I just heard all the cars hitting,” explained Steve Fulton, a witness to the five-vehicle accident, to News 13.
This Week’s Low Visibility Conditions
The dangerous fog that was a factor in the fatal accident on Monday is estimated to continue through the week, so drivers should be on their toes and ready to drive with extra caution at any time.
“We want other drivers to realize that this weather pattern could continue for the next couple of days, to make sure that you are driving at or below the posted speed limit and paying attention, because visibility could play an issue in you being able to see another vehicle in front of you,” said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes.
Staying Safe in the Fog
It’s best not to drive at all in heavy fog if you can avoid it, but sometimes motorists become trapped in sudden fog conditions when commuting to and from work. Here are some tips to help Lake County motorists driving in fog and other low visibility conditions to stay safe from accident and injury.
Use Your Low-Beams, Not Your High-Beams
Most drivers are inclined to use their high-beam headlights when visibility is low. But this actually can backfire in the case of fog, as the high-beams will reflect off the fog and make visibility even worse, according to Lake County’s guide to driving in fog. Instead, use your low-beam headlights to illuminate the way.
Use Your Windshield Wipers
Even if it isn’t raining, use your windshield wipers, as a clean windshield can reduce the type of glare that makes driving in fog conditions even more tricky. Sometimes, fog and moisture combined can cause low visibility, according to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, so wipers can be key in maximizing your visibility on the road.
When driving through fog, it’s essential for motorists to slow down and drive at or below the speed limit, according to according to FLHSMV. This gives drivers more time to react to items they may not see in the road due to low visibility. At a low speed, drivers can brake accordingly before hitting debris, other cars on the road, or even potentially going off road in the case of a curve in the road. At a higher speed, a motorist might not realize the dangers lurking ahead in the fog until it’s too late.
Eliminate All Distractions
No one should ever use their phone, eat food, or otherwise engage in distracting behaviors while driving, but minimizing all distractions is even more important when navigate treacherous foggy conditions.
Be sure to turn off your radio and partially open your window, as advised by Lake County’s guide. You will need to concentrate on the sounds of the road, such as passing cars and honking horns, in lieu of proper visibility in order to get to your destination safely.