Caution: This Sign Has Sharp Edges
In Gray Summit, there is a road called, unimaginatively, Old Gray Summit Road. This is a curvy road with lots of signs warning about deer, and it happens to be the road my girlfriend’s parents live on. Old Gray Summit Road runs alongside a nature reserve in Gray Summit, so deer there are abundant. There have been many nights where I have had close calls with these deer. Luckily, the signs are there to forewarn me that at any moment a deer could jump out from behind a bush and hit my Danger Ranger. (Not that any earthly force could hurt my Danger Ranger.) Lucky the signs were there, eh?
The Joplin Globe has an odd article (link via John Combest) comparing the median wires along I-44 to the need for fog signs in Joplin. Now, while the usefulness of median wires cannot be argued, how useful are signs warning about fog? Fog does not jump out at your car from behind a bush, and it doesn’t appear out of nowhere. Fog isn’t hard to spot. On the contrary, fog is easy to spot. A sign saying “FOG” is the equivalent of a sign saying, “Slow down because there is a giant wall of water vapor ahead, and you won’t be able to see through it because it is so thick. So thick, in fact, that you can see it from far away, thus making this very sign redundant.” And one would think that while driving through heavy fog, nobody would need a sign telling them to slow down.
Honestly, “FOG” has to be the most redundant road sign since “Slippery When Wet.” If a driver is unwilling to slow down in heavy fog, is a sign telling them there is heavy fog truly going to make a difference? How far away are we from, “Danger: Darkness Occurs After Sunset. Use Headlights”?
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you are approaching a large area of fog, rather than look around for appropriate signage that gives instructions on how to drive, just slow down.