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Low visibility advisory issued for Suncoast due to fog

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 8:20 am | Updated: 8:25 am, Tue Feb 4, 2014.

SOUTHWEST FLORIDA-Visibility can change within seconds, so use extreme caution when driving within fog.  To make sure drivers know what to do when you encounter fog, the Florida Highway Patrol urges the motoring public to travel with caution anytime there is reduced visibility. Wildfires, smoke, fog and heavy rain can all lower visibility on the roads so it is important for motorist to drive as safely as possible in these conditions.

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 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. Open you window a little and listen for traffic you cannot see.

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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