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Tips to Drive Safely in the Fog

February 6, 2019

Tips to Drive Safely in the Fog

Driving in the fog is challenging for even the best of drivers. If the fog is especially dense, you might only be able to see a few inches ahead of your vehicle, even with your brights on. If you aren't extremely careful, driving in foggy conditions can easily lead to an accident, injury, or even death. Abide by these tips and you will have done your part to make driving in the fog as safe as possible.

Reduce Your Speed

Slow down! Even if there is light fog, you should still reduce your rate of speed. Fog makes it difficult to see more than a couple feet ahead of your vehicle. These conditions make it awfully difficult to turn, avoid obstacles, and swerve away from pending collisions. Take your foot off the accelerator to slow down and you will be that much safer on your way to your destination.

Turn on the Defrost

Fog usually forms when it is humid outside. Turn on the vehicle's defrost function to combat the humidity and fog. The defrost will dry the interior portion of the vehicle's windows and windshield to improve your vision. Do not fall into the temptation of wiping off the windshield or windows with part of your shirt, coat or a rag. This attempt to clean auto glass results in lasting smearing and also distracts you from the road.

Stick to Low beams and Fog Lamps

Though it is tempting to turn on the high beams, doing so can reduce visibility when it is foggy out. Brights certainly add illumination in most driving situations, but they can backfire when it is foggy. The strong beams reflect off the water within the fog, making it look that much thicker. Ideally, your vehicle will be equipped with fog lamps. Turn on the fog lamps as soon as you encounter any fog.

Mind Your Vehicle's Spacing in Relation to Others

Increase the space between your vehicle and the one ahead when conditions turn foggy. If someone is tailgating you, do not hesitate to pull over to the side of the road and let them pass. You need greater distance between your vehicle and other vehicles when it is foggy as it will be harder to see if there is something up ahead that will force you to brake.

Be Hyper-aware

It is especially important to look for the lights of other vehicles when driving in foggy conditions. It is easier to see the red brake lights of the vehicle ahead than it is to see the light of oncoming vehicles amidst the fog. If you are even slightly sleepy when the fog settles, head to the closest convenience store and grab some coffee. You need to be alert when driving in these challenging conditions.

Do Not Slam on the Brakes

If you approach a patch of particularly dense fog, your first reaction is to press the brakes. Do not slam on the brakes in an attempt to get your bearings. There might be a vehicle trailing close behind you that encounters the same fog. So don't reduce your rate of speed well below the speed limit or come

anywhere close to a full stop in the road just because it is foggy as this overreaction might lead to a pileup that is much worse than any potential accident that could have resulted from driving through the fog.

Cut out all Potential Distractions

Distractions are the last thing you need while attempting to maneuver through the fog. There are all sorts of potential in-vehicle distractions that compound the difficulty of driving in the fog. Do not use your phone when driving. Turn the radio off so you can hear other vehicles in your vicinity that you might not be able to see due to the fog. Square your focus on the road ahead and check your mirrors with regularity, and you will improve your chances of making it to your destination safe and sound.