District 10 - Operation Fog
Many of the roads in Central California have been called some of the most dangerous in the world. Not because of poor construction, but because of poor visibility…brought on by fog.
Unlike tornadoes or thunderstorms, fog is a somewhat passive weather phenomenon. Still, it’s known to catch motorists by surprise. One minute you’re driving along at freeway speeds with a clear view of the road. The next minute you’ll find yourself barely able to see beyond the hood of your car. And the traffic ahead of you has slowed to crawl.
Caltrans and the CHP began a program called "Operation Fog" back in 1991. It's an effort designed to both make motorists aware of the unique weather driving condition which inundates Central California roadways each winter and to reduce the number of fog-related traffic accidents.
The fog season in Central California is roughly four months long, from November through February. During the other eight months of the year motorists quickly forget how difficult it can be to safely navigate through the low visibility conditions brought on by foggy weather. That’s why each winter Caltrans and the CHP try to reinforce the lessons required to make driving in fog a safe experience.
Operation Fog Informational Video
- Reduce speed to allow safe stopping distance.
- Drive with your headlights on low-beam. Never drive using only your parking or fog lights.
- Avoid crossing traffic or busy intersections whenever possible.
- Listen for traffic you cannot see.
- Use windshield wipers and the windshield defogger to improve visibility.
- Be patient! Don’t pass long lines of traffic in fog.
- If visibility diminishes to a point that you can no longer proceed, don't stop in the traveled lanes.
- Attempt to utilize the closest off-ramp which will afford you a safe location to stop and wait for the fog to clear. Steer to the right and onto the shoulder (further to the right if safe and practical). Turn off your lights and remain stopped until visibility improves.
- If your car stalls or is disabled, turn off your lights, exit your vehicle and move away from it to avoid injury.
- Call the Caltrans Highway Information Network at 1-800-427-ROAD for the latest highway condition information
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Phone: (209) 948-7543