4 Safety Tips for Driving in the Fog

4 Safety Tips for Driving in the Fog | Swerve Driving School

When you leave for work in the morning and the conditions are foggy, do you know what to do? Driving in the fog limits your visibility, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. Here are four tips to help you drive safely in the fog.

1. Slow Down.

Posted speed limits are determined for roads that are dry, clear, and well lit. Do not try and drive your normal speed limit on any road in the fog. No matter how confident you feel, you are unable to see pedestrians, animals, and even other vehicles well enough to stop if something is in the way.

Black ice is common in fog because of the flash freeze it creates, so driving slow helps to keep you in control of the vehicle. Leave for work or your appointment early enough that you won’t feel rushed and can take your time to slow down and drive safely.

2. Stay focused.

Pay close attention to the road and anything you see in your surroundings. Turn down the music, hang up the phone, and limit all distractions.

Keep yourself in the correct lane by paying close attention to the lines on the road. If possible, use the solid, white line on the right because it is the easiest to see. Be careful not to drive too closely to the cars in front of you, giving them plenty of space in case they slam on their brakes.

3. Light the way.

Keeping lights on will help you see the road better if you know which lights to use. Many vehicles are equipped with fog lights, which are ideal for use in foggy conditions, as the name implies. If you don’t have fog lights, turn on your low beam lights.

Avoid using your regular or high beam headlights. These options increase the glare because the light reflects off the water in the air, and back to you. This decreases your visibility, which is the opposite of what you need in the fog.

4. Get off the road.

If the fog is super thick and you can’t see anything at all, pull off the road. Don’t ever just stop in the lane of traffic or sit on the shoulder, because other cars won’t be able to see you and might hit your vehicle.

Instead, pull off any main roads and into a parking lot. Turn off your lights so that other drivers don’t get confused and think that they are in a driving lane. The fog usually dissipates after the sun comes up and warms the air.

 

If you are not comfortable driving in the fog, it is always okay to stay off the road. Whether you are heading to work or starting to head home, find an option that helps you feel comfortable. It is intimidating to drive in the fog if you haven’t done it before. Try asking a friend or co-worker for a ride if possible.

Just remember that getting to your destination safely is the main goal. Your driving will reflect your goal if you can keep calm and follow these safety tips.

Relying on Your Senses (Other than Sight) When Driving

Relying on Your Senses Other than Sight When Driving | Swerve Driving SchoolThe five senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) are all important to accomplishing daily tasks. Other than taste, the senses are important to help drivers stay safe on the road.

Sight is obviously crucial to driving, helping you see the road, hazards, signs, and signals. The other senses might not seem obvious, but they are important too.

Hearing

This is the second most important sense to operating a vehicle. The roads are full of sounds that help you navigate around town safely.

For instance, other cars honk their horns to help alert you to a changed traffic signal, a potential danger ahead, or if you are about to collide with each other. This one sound is so powerful that it makes all the surrounding drivers look around and assess conditions.

There are many other important sounds you will hear as a driver. Here are just a few more examples:

  • Emergency vehicles: You often hear them before you see them, which helps you pull over and get out of the way.
  • Railroad crossings: When a train is approaching, they often blow their whistles to alert drivers to their arrival. The railroad crossing arms are usually equipped with a machine that makes a sound to add another alert of the incoming train.
  • Brakes: When drivers push the brakes of their car really fast and hard, they make a specific, squealing sound. Hearing this sound should cause you to look around and notice any problems around you, including an accident happening around you or even an animal in the road.
  • GPS: If you are driving somewhere unfamiliar, you need to listen to the directions being given to arrive at your destination safely.
  • Mechanical functions: If you hear funny sounds coming from the car, it’s important to take it to a mechanic. Some sounds alert you to serious mechanical problems.

The ability to hear is important to helping you stay safe on the road. Make sure your radio or podcasts aren’t so loud that they drown out the sounds around you.

Touch

The ability to touch in the car is important to operating your vehicle safely. Finding the necessary buttons and dials gets easier the more familiar you are behind the wheel of that car.

Instead of needing to look at the dashboard to find volume dials, radio stations, headlights, blinkers, and windshield wipers, you learn to find them by feel. This helps you concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

Another way that touch helps you drive better is that you become familiar with the feel of a car. Certain problems with the tires, like a leak or an alignment problem, pull your car to the side. If you know the feel of your car and keep your hands placed properly on the wheel, you are aware of potential problems, but also have better control of your vehicle.

Smell

While smell might not be used as much as the other senses, it is still important to make sure your car is running well. Certain mechanical problems only send a smell into the air. A few examples of smells are:

  • An overheating engine
  • Leaking gas or oil
  • Fumes coming into the car
  • Brakes that are too hot

Recognizing these scents help you to know how to treat the problem.

 

Using your senses while driving might seem like a lot of things to pay attention to, but they become second nature the more you are behind the wheel. Utilize these abilities to help you stay safe on the road.