How to Steer Clearly When the Fog Rolls in
You’d never drive with your eyes closed, right? Of course not. But, driving through fog can feel like you have your eyes shut—visibility is drastically and frighteningly diminished and the road seems to vanish into the thick air, sometimes, without much warning.
What can drivers do to navigate this murky driving condition safely?
According to the experts at Travelers.com, when fog threatens your visibility, first determine if you should continue driving or not—pulling over somewhere safe and waiting for the fog to lift can be the smartest driving choice.
“In extremely dense fog where visibility is near zero, the best course of action is to first turn on your hazard lights, then simply pull into a safe location such as a parking lot of a local business and stop,” explains the National Weather Service. “If there is no parking lot or driveway to pull into, pull your vehicle off to the side of the road as far as possible. Once you come to a stop, turn off all lights except your hazard flashing lights, set the emergency brake, and take your foot off the brake pedal to be sure the tail lights are not illuminated so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into you.”
If you think you can safely navigate through Mother Nature’s temper tantrum, the Travelers.com experts say it’s time to get super-focused (not that you weren’t completely focused on the driving task already); but, just in case, turn off the tunes, ignore your phone (which should be out of reach anyway), stop talking to your travel companions, roll down your windows so you can monitor traffic noises, and then proceed slowly with your headlights on.
“Driving at normal speeds in fog can be very dangerous. Avoid using high-beam headlights in fog as fog consists of tiny water droplets that spread and reflect light. While your high beams are not useful in the fog, remember to turn on your low-beam headlights to help other drivers see you,” advise the experts at Travelers.com.
Space is super important when driving in fog, too. Because other drivers are struggling just as you are to do the best they can in a difficult situation, it’s best to keep your distance from them to avoid collisions, according to the National Weather Service experts.