Safety Tips for Driving in Foggy Conditions
When it comes to operating a vehicle there is no more frightening or nerve wracking type of driving condition than trying to drive in foggy weather. Driving in fog is much like driving right through a cloud, as fog forms when the temperatures outside drop below the dew point level, and the water vapor in the air condenses giving off the foggy atmosphere.
Fog usually occurs in the morning and can be a huge hassle for those making their morning commutes as it creates some of the most dangerous driving conditions imaginable. This is why it is so important to be prepared for driving in foggy conditions should you ever find yourself in a dangerous situation such as this.
When it comes to driving in foggy weather, of course, your best bet is to always postpone your driving plans until the fog has lifted. Typically the fog will lift by the late morning or early in the afternoon. However, if you must venture out, there are a few things you can do to make your driving experience safer.
First, you will want to make sure you have the right type of lights on. Put your lights on low beam as you start to drive. The light from high beam lights will actually reflect back off of the fog. This creates what is known as the “white wall” effect, which can impair your visibility more than it already is and make the driving situation even more dangerous.
With your low beams in place you will definitely want to be driving at a slow speed. This is important not only so you will be in better control of your car and more prepared to stop at a moment’s notice, but because fog actually creates a unique visual illusion. While driving through thick fog it often looks as though you are driving in slow motion when you are actually going much faster than you realize.
This illusion is why it is always important to keep a close eye on the speedometer as you travel. The most important precaution to keep in mind when operating a vehicle in foggy conditions is that you need to be patient. Driving in fog can be very dangerous, so when fog is present, you will want to avoid speeding, passing other slow-moving cars, or reckless driving
Condensation will likely form on your window as you pass through the cloud, so make use of your wipers as you drive to try to get rid of the moisture buildup, which will help increase your visibility. You may also need to use your defrosters to help clear up your window shield.
However, these measures still may not be enough to help you get the type of visibility you need to safely operate your vehicle. If you are still unable to see far enough in front of your car to drive safely, you will need to use the right edge of the road as a guide. Thick fog can reduce visibility for up to a one-fourth of a mile in total distance and can make seeing right in front of your nose nearly impossible.
As you drive, another great way to make sure you aren’t putting yourself at further risk is to open up the windows in your car so you can listen for all of the traffic that you cannot see. If these actions do not help with increasing your visibility, you need to stop driving and pull over until the fog has slightly cleared.
However, you will want to avoid stopping on a freeway or a similar busy road. If you must stop, turn your car’s taillights off. Many people try to follow taillights when driving in fog, and this will prevent other cars from driving off the road and striking your vehicle.
Driving in fog can be a difficult process for even the most advanced drivers. For this reason, it is important that you are able to take some additional time with your travels and exercise patience.
Statistically, driving in heavy fog situations is actually the most dangerous type of driving situation. Therefore, most critical is to do what you can to increase your visibility on the road to help keep yourself and other drivers safe. If you follow these pointers, you will find it much easier to get from one destination to the next even in the most dense fog situations.