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.