BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – It’s fog season in Louisiana, and heavy fog at night and in the morning can cause low visibility conditions, making driving dangerous.
At least seven people were killed and multiple people were injured on Oct. 23 after a massive car pileup on Interstate 55 near Manchac and Ruddock.
Officials have provided advice on how to safely drive through heavy fog conditions.
Meteorologist Brandon Lashbrook said fog can form as temperatures cool or get close to the dewpoint. Light winds can help fog develop, and super fog can form when smokey areas mix with dense fog.
“In the case of Monday morning’s super fog, smoke from a marsh fire formed over the Southshore east of New Orleans drifting northwestward over Lake Pontchartrain towards I-55,” Lashbrook said. “This smoke mixed with the fog present over the area and created visibilities near zero over the stretch of interstate between LaPlace and Ponchatoula.”
Lashbrook said dense super fog is extremely dangerous over interstates with cars traveling at high speeds in low visibility.
AAA Public Affairs Specialist Don Redman said drivers should use their headlights on low beams when driving in the fog.
“High beams, or bright lights, will only bounce off the fog, causing glare and reducing visibility,” Redman said. “Also, drivers should use their fog lights if their vehicles are equipped with them.”
Redman said motorists should not drive with emergency lights flashing because it’s illegal and can cause confusion for other drivers who can’t detect brake lights or turn signals.
Trooper Christian Reed, the Louisiana State Police Public Information Officer for Troop A, said cars should reduce speed when driving in heavy fog. Reed said speed limits are for ideal conditions and a driver can be ticketed for driving too fast in heavy fog if it’s not an ideal condition.
Redman said AAA recommends delaying travel plans or work commutes during a dense fog advisory or planning an alternate route that takes you through an area where the fog is less dense.
“Be prepared with additional signal devices, such as road safety flares, to give other motorists advanced warning should your vehicle become disabled,” Redman said.
On Monday, heavy fog and super fog were possible through the evening and into the next day.
On Tuesday, Oct. 24, Meteorologist Ashley Renee said the forecast looks like fog chances will be lower overnight and on Wednesday morning.
Winds will increase some more later today. “Winds will be from the ESE around 10-15 mph. Winds will likely stay around that same speed overnight. If that occurs, that could help fog development to be limited or possibly non-existent. Temperatures cooling to the dew point temp is one of the ways fog forms, but if breezy winds continue overnight through Wednesday morning, then we should have clearer conditions for our morning commute with little to no fog present.Meteorologist Ashley Renee
Drivers should use the 511 app or visit LA511.org for more roadway conditions.