East Texas has seen a few foggy mornings recently, coupled with a cold front that has brought freezing temperatures.
According to the National Weather Service, it’s important to use caution when driving in foggy conditions as numerous crashes occur each year due to low-visibility issues.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports over 38,700 vehicle crashes occur in fog each year. Additionally, statistics show 600 people are killed and more than 16,300 people are injured in these crashes annually.
“Low visibility conditions cause increased speed variance, which increases crash risk,” DOT’s website states.
NWS recommends the following safety tips when driving in foggy conditions:
- Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
- Make your vehicle visible to others ahead of you and behind you by using low-beam headlights since this means your taillights will also be on. Use fog lights if you have them.
- Never use your high-beam lights. High beams cause glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you.
- Leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you to account for sudden stops or changes in the traffic pattern.
- To ensure you are staying in the proper lane, follow the lines on the road with your eyes.
- In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then pull into a safe location such as a parking lot and stop.
- If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off of the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into you.
According to NWS Shreveport, showers and thunderstorms are possible this weekend ahead of the next cold front but strong to severe thunderstorms are not likely with this storm system.