On Jan. 9, 2008, a 70-car pileup on I-4 resulted in five deaths and 37 injuries. At the time of the crashes, I-4 was blanketed with a mixture of fog and smoke from a controlled burn. During its review of the I-4 crashes, the Florida Highway Patrol identified two action items:
Create a standard operating procedure for smoke/fog incidents.
The SOP should incorporate the Low Visibility Occurrence Risk Index (LVORI) system, designed to take information from the National Weather Service and place it on a scale to estimate the likelihood of smoke or fog being a contributing factor in vehicle crashes.
The FDLE concluded that the FHP had failed its assignment. “The issue of the impact of smoke/fog on traffic safety was presented to the Florida Highway Patrol in 2008. However, after the fatal traffic crashes on Interstate 4 in Polk County, FHP failed to adequately create and implement effective guidelines for troopers to follow when dealing with events related to limited visibility on public roadways,” the investigation noted. “The specific changes to FHP’s policies and procedures were limited, and subsequent training provided to command personnel was ineffective and poorly memorialized.”
The FDLE cited specific instances when the FHP did not follow through on