Driving in Fog – Safety Tips

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fog safetyFog is a thin layer of cloud resting on the ground. It can reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less, creating hazardous driving conditions. The best advice for driving in the fog is DON’T. You should consider postponing your trip until the fog clears. However, if you must drive, be prepared to cope at a moment’s notice. It can be patchy, going from a light mist to a thick cover in an instant.
DRIVE WITH LIGHTS on low beam. High beams will only be reflected back off the fog and actually impair visibility even more. Your lights help other drivers see your vehicle, so be sure they all work. Keep your windshield and headlights clean, to reduce the glare and increase visibility.

SLOW DOWN – and watch your speedometer – before you enter a patch of fog. Be sure that you can stop within the distance that you can see. Fog creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Speed is a major factor in fog-related crashes.

WATCH OUT for slow-moving and parked vehicles. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Open your window a little, to hear better.

REDUCE THE DISTRACTIONS in your vehicle. Turn off the radio and cell phone. Your full attention is required.

USE WIPERS AND DEFROSTERS liberally for maximum visibility. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if poor visibility is due to fog or moisture on the windshield.

USE THE RIGHT EDGE of the road or painted road markings as a guide.

BE PATIENT. Avoid passing and/or changing lanes.

SIGNAL TURNS well in advance and brake early as you approach a stop.

DO NOT STOP on a freeway or heavily traveled road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision. If you must pull off the road, signal (people tend to follow tail lights when driving in fog), then carefully pull off as far as possible. After pulling off the road, turn on your hazard flashers(hazard lights should only be used when you pull over to show that you are parked on the side of the road). Move away from the vehicle.

Never drive with just your parking or fog lights.

Increase your following distance and be prepared to stop within the space you can see ahead. Avoid crossing or passing lanes of traffic unless absolutely necessary. Listen for traffic you cannot see. Use your wipers and defroster as necessary for best vision.

If the fog becomes so thick that you can barely see, pull completely off the road. Do not continue driving until you can see well. Turn off your lights and keep your foot off the brake pedal or someone may see your taillights, think you are moving, and drive into your vehicle.

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