Dense fog reduces visibility and creates unfavorable driving conditions. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes unavoidable to drive in the fog. Fog can form in several circumstances but most commonly when there is a difference in temperatures between the air and ground forming water vapor in the air. Therefore, fog is most often seen in the morning and evening when there is a temperature shift.
Fog can cause accidents on normally safe roads. It’s important to adjust your driving to the conditions.
How to drive safely in fog
1. Use low beams and fog lights
Always drive with your headlights on when it’s foggy no matter the time of day as this will increase your visibility to oncoming traffic. However, don’t use high beams or ‘brights’ as they reflect off the fog creating a glare and make your visibility even worse.
2. Reduce speed
When visibility is poor, slow down. Should you come across something in your lane, you have less reaction time than if you could see it from further away. This also means avoiding using your cruise control. It’s important for you to have control over your speed in case of the need to stop quickly. Also, keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you as a longer braking time is necessary.
3. Keep the windshield clear
Use your windshield wipers and defrost to keep optimal visibility through your windshield as moisture accumulates and can create a glare.
4. Reduce distractions
When driving in adverse conditions, your reaction time is decreased. Reduce any distractions such as a cell phone, the radio, eating and drinking and give your full attention to the road.
5. Use road lines as a guide
The white line on the right edge of the road is called the fog line for a good reason. Use this line as your guide to stay in your lane. By using this line instead of the center line, it will keep you closer to the edge of the road to avoid drifting into the oncoming lane. Also avoid changing lanes or passing other vehicles if you cannot clearly see traffic in the other lanes.
If the fog gets too dense, find a safe place to pull over that’s out of the flow of traffic and wait out the fog. Turn on your flashing hazard lights so other cars are aware of your location.
In case of the unexpected, it’s important to protect yourself with the right car insurance. Reach out to your local Rural Mutual insurance agent for a free quote and to customize a policy specific to you.