Potential Fog Hazard
February 13, 2018
J. McLellan 608 / 267-2542
Drivers be wary! For the next five days, the National Weather Service is predicting a melt / freeze cycle for Dane County. The Dane County Highway Division is diligently working to ensure that roadways can drain water from melted snow. Another hazard generated in these conditions is fog (https://goo.gl/XHSehy). Foggy conditions not only limit visibility, but can also create icy conditions. Fog conditions are affected by terrain, snow cover, temperature gradients, amounts of sunshine, and wind.
Drivers must exercise great caution when maintaining control of their vehicle because road conditions can change with the crest of a hill or the surrounding ground cover. In addition to yesterday’s crash near Verona, WI, one of the largest traffic crashes in United States history occurred in Dane County on January 7, 2008 due to foggy conditions. Over 100 vehicles were involved in multiple crashes over a five mile stretch of Interstate 39 / 90 sending more than 50 people to the hospital. The Wisconsin State Patrol said vehicles were driving too fast and following too closely. (https://goo.gl/aP7fzd)
Drivers should SLOW DOWN and leave more space between their vehicle and the one in front of them. On dry pavement at 70 mph, stopping distances are minimally the length of a football field (https://goo.gl/Jrc4aq). This distance should be greatly increased with fog or slippery conditions.