The Fog Is Rolling In

Tis the season for the annual rolling in of the fog. Throughout the nation several regions are seasonally impacted by intense and often vision-impairing fog that unfortunately can result in severe automobile accidents. According to the Federal Highway Administration, fog causes an annual average of approximately 30,000 crashes in the United States every year. As winter approaches it is likely that work commutes will be impacted by the change in weather conditions which may result in employee tardiness to work. If your commute will be impacted by a significant change in weather conditions, plan accordingly to minimize if not alleviate the need to rush to work. You can take these steps to forecast (no pun intended) for an altered or extended commute:

1. Talk to your supervisor. Open communication with your supervisor may prevent consequences of tardiness related to poor weather conditions. More than likely your supervisor must travel the same path to arrive to the work location. If you are proactive and professional in addressing your concerns regarding an altered or extended commute, your supervisor may be more likely to adjust your start time or allow for tardiness given the circumstances.

2. Plan accordingly. For most employees, attendance at the office is a requirement; however, if you can avoid travel to other locations throughout the day, do so – only leaving the office when absolutely necessary. Try to schedule meetings as teleconferences or by video chat. For employees that have the option to telecommute and avoid attendance at the office on bad weather days, take advantage of that option and stay off the road.

3. Drive safely. Plan your commute to and from work to allow yourself enough time to arrive to work safely. While driving make sure to keep a safe distance behind the automobile in front of you; pull over or reduce your speed if visibility is too poor to continue; focus on the road conditions – avoiding use of your cellular phone (even with a hands-free device). According to the California DMV, you should turn on your windshield wipers and use your low-beam headlights. For other tips on how to safely maneuver in special driving conditions, visit

Luckily for some, driving to work in the fog may not be a concern. However, as the year comes to an end some employees may suffer from mental fog or “brain fog.” Scientists have coined the term “clouding of consciousness” to explain the complexity of symptoms that may occur when suffering from “brain fog.” For many the feeling of being overwhelmed, tired, less sharp or unfocused may seem to occur as demands at work focus on end of the year wrap-up. In addition to those demands, may be personal demands related to holiday planning and beginning of the new year assessments or goal planning. Of course only a licensed or certified medical professional can diagnosis a condition and employees should seek such treatment if believed to be suffering from a medical condition; however, for those that are feeling the usual brunt of a long year, be sure to use the vacation that your employer offers and rejuvenate to clear the fog.