Driving In Fog: Tips And Tricks For Safety

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Among all inclement weather, driving in Fog is one of the most dangerous conditions to drive in. According to data from the US Department of Transportation, each year, over 38,700 vehicle crashes occur in fog. Over 600 people are killed and more than 16,300 people are injured in these crashes annually.

Fog

According to Wikipedia, fog is a visible aerosol that consists of tiny water droplets suspended in the air. Fog is considered a type of low lying cloud and is heavily influenced by nearby bodies of water, local topography and wind conditions. As a consequence, fog greatly affects visibility on the road. Just imagine driving through a cloud. It can be hard to see the road and other drivers in foggy conditions.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. Fog can make driving very treacherous, so if you are able to avoid the road during it, do so. If you absolutely must drive in fog, we’ve listed some tips for you so you can stay safe.

Before Getting On The Road

  • Minimize distractions. Silence your cell phone and put it somewhere where you won’t be tempted to grab for it while driving. Turn off the radio. You want all of your focus to be on the road.
  • Again, be focused. Don’t drive in the fog if you are sleepy or impaired. More importantly, don’t drive at all if you are sleepy or impaired. Both increase the risk for fatal accidents.
  • Roll your windows down. Having them down makes it easier for you to hear other cars and emergency vehicles on the road with you.
  • Before getting on the road, clear off your windshield completely. Use your windshield wipers and defrosters to clear it. You want to do this because it helps to limit excess moisture. Moisture and ice on your windows can create glare, which makes it even harder to see. In addition, use your defrosters and wipers while driving to keep your windshield clear then, too.
  • Adjust the temperature inside the car to be similar with the temperature outside to reduce the fog on your windshield. Applying products like RainX can make your windshield less susceptible to fog.
  • Turn on the proper headlights for driving in fog. Use your low beams and fog lights. High beams worsen visibility because they can reflect off the fog. If you don’t think your current headlights in low beam are powerful enough for you to see clearly in fog, get a headlight replacement as soon as possible.
  • Make sure cruise control is turned off and stays off for the entire drive. Cruise control does not give you as much control of the vehicle, and you want maximum control when driving in fog. Do not use it, even if there are clear spots. You never know when the next patch of fog will appear.
  • Make sure your emergency car kit is packed before you head out. You can prepare one at home yourself or purchase one.
  • After you’ve checked on everything, it’s time for you to get on the road!

On The Road

  • Slow down! Because visibility is so bad in fog, you can’t see the road or other vehicles very well. This is not the time to speed. Go slow and pay attention. It is better you get to your destination in one piece than early.
  • Beware of any animals on the road. Animals feel more hidden by the fog and are bolder to jump into roads or highways. Fog means less time for them to see you, and for you less time to see them. As a consequence, it is more likely that you get into a deer or other animal related accident.
  • Use the right edge of the road as a guide. This helps you to stay in your lane so you don’t drift into the other one. Also use roadside reflectors to guide you. The markings can help Do not use the lights of vehicles in front of you as guides. Pay attention to the road in front of you, not the road in front of them.
  • Increase your distance from other vehicles. You want to have proper time to respond to any obstacles on the road. Decreased visibility means longer braking times, so you want to ensure you don’t crash into the car in front of you. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 5 seconds, or 3 vehicles of space, behind another vehicle. Again, this space is your friend.
  • On that note, don’t accelerate if a car behind you is too close. Speeding will make your situation worse. Even if others don’t, stick to safe speed.
  • When slowing down, make sure you check your mirrors carefully. Gently apply your brakes so drivers behind you can see your brake lights. This way you won’t catch them by surprise with a sudden stop.

Pull Over If The Fog Gets Too Bad

  • If the fog gets too dense for visibility, pull over in a safe area. When you are pulling over, make sure to use your turn signal. Don’t forget to signal earlier than you would when driving in normal conditions.
  • Pull off away from the road. If drivers can’t see the shoulder, they will likely have trouble seeing your vehicle, too. If you are on the highway, get off at the first exit you see and pull over there. A gas station or other roadside venue are both great options to wait out the fog in.
  • Turn on your hazard lights. This helps other drivers know you are stopped. Never drive with your hazard lights on. When they are in operation, your ability to use your turn signals is disabled. If you need to move your vehicle, turn off your hazard lights while doing so.
  • Finally, if it is very cold out, use the blanket in your emergency roadside kit to stay warm. Keeping your vehicle on with the heat running can drain your battery. If your battery does drain, you luckily have your emergency kit with you so your jumper cables are at the ready.
Driving in foggy weather conditions is not easy and it is not recommended. However, sometimes there are reasons that you absolutely have to drive in it. Follow our tips and stay safe. We at SWP Auto Glass prioritize safety. Feel free to contact us online or at +1 (469) 494-3807 if you feel your auto glass is not up to par for driving in foggy or other inclement weather conditions.