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FHP issues fog alert for area roadways
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Photo by TERRE PORTER
The car parked on the right-hand side of the road is barely visible due to heavy fog. The Florida Highway Patrol advised drivers Sunday night that low visibility conditions are possible, especially on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Heavy fog has begun to encroach upon the Skyway Bridge again tonight, says an advisory issued by the Florida Highway Patrol Sunday night.

Troopers say drivers may encounter low visibility conditions as they traverse the bridge and area roadways.

Drivers should use extreme caution if fog or other low visibility conditions are met along area roadways.

A number of safety tips are posted at www.flhsmv.gov/fhp, including the following.

- Drive with lights on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more. Your lights help other drivers see your vehicle, so be sure they all work. Keep your windshield and headlights clean, to reduce the glare and increase visibility.

- Slow down and and watch your speedometer before you enter a patch of fog. Be sure that you can stop within the distance that you can see. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Speed is a major factor in fog-related crashes.

- Watch out for slow-moving and parked vehicles. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.

- Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. Turn off the radio and cell phone. Your full attention is required.

- Use wipers and defrosters liberally for maximum visibility. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if poor visibility is due to fog or moisture on the windshield.

- Use the right edge of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

- Be patient. Avoid passing and/or changing lanes.

- Signal turns well in advance and brake early as you approach a stop.

- Do not stop on a freeway or heavily traveled road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision. If you must pull off the road, signal (people tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog), then carefully pull off as far as possible. After pulling off the road, turn on your hazard flashers(hazard lights should only be used when you pull over to show that you are parked on the side of the road). Move away from the vehicle.
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