Driving in the fog can be a dangerous venture, even for veteran drivers. Most drivers will turn down the music and tell passengers to be quiet, so they can focus more on the road when entering these conditions.
Unless you live in a climate that requires you to navigate these types of driving conditions frequently, it’s hard to feel comfortable or drive confidently in the fog. Here are five great tips to help you reach your destination safely.
1. Reduce your speed.
Because even thin fog can conceal other cars, animals, and signs, it is important that you don’t drive at the usual speed limits. The thicker the fog, the slower you should drive.
Make sure you pay close attention to the speedometer. Driving through fog makes it hard to know how fast you’re going because you can’t see buildings or other cars to determine if your speed is appropriate.
2. Adjust your lighting.
Most vehicles are outfitted with fog lights, which help make the road more visible. It is always best to use these lights, if possible. If not, you should turn on your low-beam headlights.
Using your high-beam headlights might seem like a good idea, but the light reflects off the water particles and bounces back to you, reducing visibility even more.
3. Follow the lines.
The road lines are an important thing to pay attention to during foggy conditions. Since you can’t see things farther than a few feet away, you should watch the white line on the right side of the road to make sure you’re in the appropriate lane. It is easy to veer into another lane of traffic or off the road entirely if you aren’t careful. Using this line helps keep you on the right path.
4. Don’t stop on the road.
If driving in the fog is too intimidating to you, don’t stop on the road. If you are on a highway, don’t just pull off to the side to wait it out either. The fog will hide your car and create another hazard for other drivers, potentially causing a lot of damage for both parties.
If you don’t want to drive in the fog, pull off the freeway or highway and go to a parking lot. You can stay there to wait it out or find a place to rest. It isn’t worth the risk to park so close to traffic.
Once you are parked, turn off your lights so no one thinks they are in a lane of traffic.
5. Use your surroundings.
If you feel like you need some extra support, consider following the taillights in front of you. Some vehicles have built-in fog lights on the back to help give light for those around them.
This safety feature helps other drivers to see the vehicle, to prevent rear-ending, but it also helps provide a light for others to follow. Many drivers depend on the cars in front of them to help navigate the road and regulate speed.
Using these five tips will help keep you safe when driving in the fog. It isn’t anything that becomes easier with practice, but knowing how to handle it can reduce some of the stress you feel while in it.