What to do when Driving in Fog
Driving in fog may seem like an impossible task as you inch along in a dream-like white blur. Fog is one of the most dangerous weather conditions that drivers face. Dense fog can decrease a driver’s visability to almost nothing. Every year, fog causes major pile-ups and numerous accidents when drivers are unable to see the road ahead of them. If you find yourself driving in this spooky situation, keep these tips in mind to stay safe.
How to Proceed
Low beams only! Using your car’s high beams can severely decrease your visibility. While brighter lights increase your visibility in most situations, the stronger beams will reflect off of the water particles in the fog and make it appear denser. Many vehicles are equipped with special fog lamps. These may or may not increase your visibility.
Windshield wipers will help keep the glass clear, even if it is not raining. Putting them on the lowest possible setting is usually proficient.
Because fog usually occurs in high humidity, it is probably a good idea to use your vehicle’s interior defrost function. This will help dry off the inside of your car’s windows. Try to avoid wiping the windows with a rag or piece of your clothing. Not only will this distract your attention from the road, it is also likely to cause the windows to smear.
Go slow. Drastically decrease your speed while driving in fog. You may only be able to see a few feet in front of your car. This means that turns, obstacles, and other vehicles will first appear when you are already upon them.
Keep a look out for other vehicles’ lights. The white lights of oncoming traffic will be more difficult to see than the red lights of vehicles in front of you.
Don’t slam on your brakes. When you come to an especially dense area of fog, your first instinct might be to stop so that you can regain your bearings. Remember that other vehicles are behind you and will be coming upon the same reduced visibility. Stopping in the middle of the road in decreased visibility will increase your chances of getting rear-ended by an approaching vehicle. Stopping your car could cause a chain reaction and a major pileup.
Keep a much greater distance between your car and the car in front of you. Although you may not feel comfortable loosing sight of one of the only objects that is visible to you at this time, make sure that there is a significant distance between your car and the vehicle before you.
If a foggy situation becomes overwhelming or causes you to feel disoriented, pull over. Fog is common in the early morning hours and will disappear after the sun has risen. If you are driving in dense fog at night, you may need to take periodic breaks to rest your eyes.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Driving-Tests.org. He has been writing for beginner US drivers for several years.
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