Driving in fog and other low visibility conditions can be frightening, especially to new drivers. Dense fog is statistically one of the most dangerous driving conditions due to the major driving impairment it causes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, over 38,700 crashes occur each year due to fog. Of those crashes, approximately over 600 are killed and over 16,300 are injured. (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2020)
With spreading knowledge on what precautions to take while driving in fog, we hopefully can greatly reduce this number. Here are some tips that can help with driving in fog and other low visibility conditions.
- Slow Down. The best thing to remember, especially if in a hurry, it is more important to get there uninjured and alive than on time.
- Turn on low beam headlights and fog lights. High Beams can cast a glare and just reflect the light back at you. Unfortunately, they do not cut through fog and can create a more dangerous situation.
- Keep your distance from the car in front of you. You should already be maintaining a proper distance of 3 seconds behind the car in front of you to give yourself time to react. Maintaining at least this distance or a little more could be beneficial if you ever must slam on your breaks.
- Use the right-side pavement line as a guide. This line will be a little easier to see without headlights of oncoming traffic glaring on you.
- Turn on your windshield wipers and defrosters. This can help eliminate any fog on your windshield on the outside of the glass.
- Avoid slamming on your breaks. If others are following too closely, not slamming on your breaks can prevent you being hit from behind.
- Use your turn signals early. Using your turn signals early can give other drivers time to react to your turn.
If you can avoid driving in fog, that is of course best. However, if you must drive in dense fog, it is important to remember these tips. If you have a new teen driver, make sure to refresh them on the rules of the road when it comes to navigating dense fog safely.
U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. (2020, February 20). Retrieved from https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/weather_events/low_visibility.htm