Rollover accident highlights risks of fog to drivers

By Gary Meyer

Eileen Brunelli was driving east on Mil Potrero Highway toward Frazier Park on Thursday, Feb. 7 when a mass of fog covered the highway, she recalled afterward. She was unable to see beyond the hood of her Jeep Cherokee.

"I’m very familiar with that road," she told The Mountain Enterprise on Friday, Feb. 15, "and I should have been able to drive through it, knowing where the road was. But I just couldn’t." Marks left on the road at the scene of the accident showed Brunelli had swerved up a bank of earth on the right shoulder of the road, came back down, then swerved right and rolled over, into a ditch along the right side of the highway before the entrance to Camp Oswego.

Brunelli has numerous aches and pains from the accident, but none is as painful as the loss of her dog Charlie, who was not crated or restrained with a halter safety belt in the Jeep. He died during the rollover.

Avoid entering a fog bank, if possible, by pulling safely off the road with flasher lights on. Wait for the fog to pass. The risk of hitting something or losing control while inside a ‘white out’ fog bank is high. Below are tips for driving in fog.

Tips for Driving in Fog

  • Postpone the trip if possible. Conditions may clear in a few hours.
  • If you must go, drive with headlights on. Low beams work best in fog.Driving with parking lights on is illegal.
  • Reduce your speed.
  • Avoid crossing traffic if possible. Listen for traffic you cannot see.
  • Use wipers and defrosters for maximum vision.
  • Don’t stop on a freeway. If you pull over, pull well off of the roadinto a turnout and turn off your lights, leaving only hazard blinkers on toavoid confusing other drivers.
  • Be patient, don’t pass lines of traffic.
  • If your car stalls, exit your vehicle and move well away from it so youwill be clear of a possible collision.

 

This is part of the February 22, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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