Foggy Conditions Can Cause Big Traffic Crashes

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- A pileup on Interstate 77 along the Virginia-North Carolina border has been blamed primarily on fog, but major accidents have happened in our area before.

The Shenandoah Valley sees its share of wild weather. Fog is a frequent occurrence, especially in the spring and fall months.

Sandy Myers with the Virginia Department of Transportation said fog can create especially dangerous travel conditions in notorious areas, like Afton Mountain

"Historically we have seen some multiple vehicle accidents up there," said Myers.

In April 1992, 60 vehicles crashed in heavy fog conditions and two people died.

And in April 1998, heavy fog was to blame in a 65 car pile up. Another crash involving 18 vehicles happened three weeks later.

VDOT said those major accidents along this stretch of Interstate 64 caused them to be more proactive about keeping drivers safe.

Weather systems along the interstate collect data, ranging from surface temperatures, humidity, wind and atmospheric conditions. Once a threshold is reached, an alert is sent out.

"All of those things combined are going to affect the drivers experience. Because if they're driving through snow or fog or ice, that's going to impact their vehicles performance, and their performance as well."

Fog lights are activated along the highway to help drivers see, but the best thing drivers can do is to slow down. It may save lives.

Follow Meteorologist Aubrey Urbanowicz WHSV on Facebook and Twitter.


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