What is it?
Fog is nothing more than a cloud whose base is right on the ground. Fog droplets are so small that they remain suspended in the air - they don't fall out as rain. Because the cloud is at the earth’s surface, visibility is reduced considerably.
What’s the Risk?
In Fort Collins, our densest fogs occur in the winter. They form through a combination of evaporation and nighttime cooling. Our most dangerous fog situation takes place following a snowstorm, when the following conditions are met: a warm-up is taking place, winds are light, and nighttime skies are clear.
Anywhere you have the possibility of fog mixed with traffic, you have the possibility of a major traffic accident and chain reaction collisions.
How Should I Prepare?
- Slow Down: When fog is present, it is extremely dangerous to be driving at normal speeds. With such poor visibility there is virtually no time to react if you are going too fast. Drive more slowly and allow for extra travel time.
- Turn on Your Lights – But Not Your High Beams: Turn on your headlights to help other vehicles see you through the fog. However, if you turn on your high beams, your headlamps will reflect off of the fog and back into your face, actually making it harder to see.
- Do not stop in the roadway: If you feel that you must stop because the fog is too thick, pull well off of the right side of the roadway so that your parking lights don't confuse other drivers approaching from the rear. Do not stop or leave your vehicle on the roadway for any reason except in an emergency.
- If you have an accident: If you have an accident and your vehicle is still drivable, do not stop in the roadway. Very cautiously, pull well off of the roadway to the right. If your car is disabled, turn on the lights and emergency flashers and get away from the car. Very carefully move well off of the roadway and go for help. Do not stand in the roadway next to your vehicle while waiting for help. Remember that other approaching traffic cannot see you in the fog. In major chain reaction accidents, most of the damage and injuries stem from secondary crashes caused when people and vehicles stopped in the traffic lane are struck by other traffic.