In an effort to reduce the number of multi-vehicle highway collisions and potentially save lives during the Central Valley’s fog season, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) advise motorists to prepare for reduced-visibility driving conditions.
The fog season in the Central Valley typically runs from November through February. During this time, motorists must be prepared for rapidly changing driving conditions due to tule fog - the leading cause of weather-related traffic collisions in California.
Motorists should be on the lookout for people working on the highways as well. CHP officers and Caltrans maintenance and construction crews routinely work alongside traffic, and the fog adds another hazard to their jobs. Motorists should be on high alert when driving through areas where officers, work crews and their equipment are present.
When driving in areas of dense fog, motorists are urged to slow down. Unsafe driving speeds in foggy conditions drastically reduces stopping distances and reaction time. Increasing following distance is also a good idea that will allow motorists to monitor the traffic ahead.
To assist in slowing traffic when visibility is less than 500 feet, CHP will implement their Pace Program on major highways between Bakersfield and Modesto.
Here are some additional safety tips for driving in the fog:
☆ Inspect your brakes, wipers and defroster before your trip
☆ Use your low beams
☆ Roll down your windows and listen for traffic you cannot see
☆ Stay off of your phone while driving
☆ Be aware of your surroundings at all times
☆ Be patient and only pass other vehicles when it is safe to do so
☆ Unless absolutely necessary, don’t stop on any highway
☆ Leave early to give yourself additional time to reach your destination
☆ Check with your local media outlets for driving conditions
☆ Download the Caltrans QuickMap app for real-time traffic updates
☆ Consider postponing your trip until the fog clears
Caltrans and CHP