Fog is dense, unavoidable, and difficult to see through. Driving in the fog is challenging with headlights sometimes causing blinding conditions and the alternative being to drive without a clear visual.
Driving in bad conditions require caution and discretion. You want to be as safe as possible when the climate outside is foggy. Here are fifteen important tips for driving in fog:
Tip #1: Adjust Speed
Adjusting your vehicle speed is one of the most essential tips for driving in fog. The thicker the fog, the less visibility. The less you can see, the slower the speed. Be sure to apply care when adjusting your vehicle’s speed. Drive a consistent speed wherein the vehicles around you can predict your movement.
Tip #2: Take Care Changing Lanes
Any sort of lane-changing should be done very carefully. Any overtaking should be avoided, if possible. Move slowly. Use your turn signals. Change lanes in a confident and controlled fashion.
Tip #3: Look For Roadside Reflectors
On highways or unusual roads, you may notice roadside reflectors to the side. Your lights reflect off these and provide you an indication on where the side of the road is. This can prevent you running off the road or crossing over into an opposing lane. These should be very noticeable, aiding you in making your way around twists and turns.
Tip #4: Keep Your Windshield Clear
Use your windshield wipers as needed. Turn on your defroster. This will limit excess moisture on your windshield and reduce clear. It’s tough enough trying to see through fog looking in a clear windshield. Don’t cloud it up with moisture.
Tip #5: Increase Distance Between Cars
Normally, we maintain a gap of two seconds between cars on the road. Increase this to four seconds. All cars on the road will ideally increase distance between one another. If someone has to make a quick decision and hit the brakes, there’s enough time to react and avoid a collision this way.
Tip #6: Use The Edge, Not The Middle
The safest way to drive in fog is to use the edge of the road as your guide. This will help you stay in your lane. If you use the middle of the road to help you along, you’re more likely to drift. By adhering as close and careful as you can to the side of the road, this ensures you don’t drift or drive off accidentally.
Tip #7: Turn Off Cruise Control
There is no cruise control in fog. You have to have your full attention on the road. Be ready to break and adjust your driving in response to other drivers or hazards. You want full control of your vehicle.
Tip #8: Turn Down Your Headlights
High-beams worsen visibility. The more light you blast out, the more it reflects off the fog. Turn down headlights and use your fog lights to guide you through. Fog lights aim at the ground, giving visibility to what’s underneath all that fog. This illuminates the road and thereby helps you drive.
Tip #9: Use Your Taillights
Taillights are key to notifying the car behind you as to what you’re doing. Driving with four-way blinkers on isn’t smart because it can compromise you when you want to take a turn or break. Like your foglights, the taillights should be in working condition, clean, and ready to use in climates like this.
Tip #10: Minimize Distractions
Avoid your smartphone. Turn down the radio. Avoid conversations with passengers if they’re challenging your ability to drive safely. Driving through fog is really going to press you to concentrate on the road.
Tip #11: Beware of Animals
Fog on a rural road, highway, or less-driven roadway compounds in danger with the risk of fast animals trying to scurry across the road. White tail deer, raccoons, and similar animals can be difficult to see in the middle of the night or when visibility is down. You can’t see them and they can’t see you. This means more of a chance of a collision.
Tip #12: Roll Down Your Window
In some cases, a driver might want to roll down their window to listen for other vehicles. This isn’t necessary in every case but is a preference to some drivers. This can be helpful if you’re on a highway alone or driving somewhere where there really isn’t any visibility.
Tip #13: Know When to Stop
At some point, conditions will be what they are and you won’t be able to see almost anything. Stop driving. Pull off in a parking lot or somewhere safe off the road. Consider an alternative route or a way to make your way through the fog at a different time. It can take hours for fog to clear.
Tip #14: Do Not Stop On the Shoulder
If a driver will have difficulty seeing you driving, seeing you on the shoulder will be equally tough. When stopping, do not stop on the road or on the shoulder. Pull all the way off, into a parking lot preferably.
Tip #15: If You’re Tired, Stop Driving
If you’re tired or feeling fatigued, your reaction time will be further reduced in fog. Even if you have somewhere you absolutely have to be, it’s better to pull off somewhere safe, stop driving, take a nap, and resume later. It could very well save your life or the life of another drive.