As we settle into late autumn, patches of road fog tend to be more prevalent during this time of year. It is important that you know how to drive under these conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, over 500 road fatalities occur in fog-related accidents each year in the US. Below are some tips to follow to help you navigate this time of year.
Increase Your Following Distance
Foggy conditions make it harder to see. This means that you will need plenty of space to brake if the car in front of you suddenly stops. Driving slower and keeping a safe distance is a good rule of thumb.
Use Your Wipers and Defrosters
The visibility issues can be aided by getting rid of the moisture, ice, and fog on your windshield. These reduce glare, and the only way to fix this is by wiping away the moisture. Make sure your wiper blades are performing well before you head out on the road, especially this time of year.
Use Your Low Beams
Many reach for their high beams because they can not see in the fog. The bright light of your high beams will only be reflected off of the water droplets in the air back to you and make it even harder to see through the fog. Use your low beams to give yourself the best chance to see in the fog.
Do Not Use Tail Lights as a Guide
Although tempting, tail lights do not tell you the full picture of the landscape ahead of you. By focusing too much on the tail lights of the car in front of you, you do not focus on possible hazards that could cut your trip short. Instead, focus on the roadside reflectors to help guide you along the road.
Avoid Cruise Control
Use your cruise control to focus more on the road and less on your speed so you can avoid a collision. An animal that runs out in the fog, a car that suddenly stops, or a fallen tree branch can all cause you trouble if you are not focused on the road. Your cruise control helps turn your attention to what is happening on the road.
Be Careful When Slowing Down
Stick to a safe, reasonable speed when driving, even if other drivers do not. If you need to slow down, avoid slamming on your brakes. Always check your mirror before slowing down and gently press the brakes early on. This way, any following vehicles will be warned far in advance and avoid any collisions.
Stay Home if the Fog Is Really Dense
Driving in fog can be very dangerous, and staying home is by far the best way to avoid a fog-related collision. The California DMV says, ” The best advice for driving in the fog is DON’T.”