Major Ken Howes or
Florida Highway Patrol
TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Highway Patrol is issuing a statewide travel advisory cautioning motorists of the potential dangers of driving in smoky and/or foggy conditions. Thick fog and smoke can reduce visibility and create extremely dangerous driving conditions. Patches of fog can appear without warning and are often times so thick that motorists are blinded by the reflection of their own headlights. "During the winter months motorists should expect and prepare for foggy conditions and adjust their driving accordingly", warned Colonel Charles C. Hall, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
All drivers should expect and be ready for fog when driving during the nighttime or early morning hours, especially in low lying rural areas or along the coast or waterways. All bridges, including the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, will experience thick fog during this time of year.
Florida also continues to experience below normal rainfall conditions. The extremely dry conditions are creating the potential for massive wildfires throughout the State of Florida. Everyone is being urged to extinguish all burning materials before discarding them and to not throw lighted cigarettes from vehicles.
Motorists are being urged to look for roadside message boards and listen to local radio broadcasts to stay abreast of the ever-changing weather conditions. "Weather may change very rapidly and all motorists should slow down and exercise extreme caution at the first sign of adverse conditions", added Colonel Hall.
Motorists are encouraged to report adverse weather conditions, crashes, and other highway emergencies on their cellular telephone by dialing *FHP (*347). The call is toll-free.
FHP officials are offering the following safe driving tips:
Plan your trip ahead of time and remember to monitor the local weather along your planned route.
If the road is slippery or if visibility is reduced you should reduce your speed, and turn your low beam headlights on.
Signal turns well in advance and brake early as you approach a stop. Remember that the car behind you cannot see either.
Keep your windshield and headlights clean, to reduce the glare and increase visibility.
If you need to pull off the roadway, it is advisable to use the nearest exit or rest area.
Be patient. Fog and smoke are temporary conditions.