Driving in the fog? Whether it looks like a thin mist or a thick wall, it can significantly reduce your visibility. In fact, according to the Federal Highway Administration, fog causes more than 38,700 car accidents every year. And we don’t want you to be in one of them.
So, the next time you’re caught driving in the fog (most likely to occur at night or near dawn), follow these eight tips from our experts:
- Slow down. If you’re driving at a normal speed, you’re driving dangerously. Give yourself enough time to react to any obstacle.
- Let the right side be your guide. If you can’t see ahead, try to drive along the right side of the road (or at least, as close to it as you can). This will ensure you don’t drift into oncoming traffic.
- Turn off cruise control. With reduced visibility, it’s best for you to be in control – not the car. And while you’re at it, turn down the radio and turn off your phone. Keep your full attention on the road.
- Turn on your hazard lights. Think about it: If you can barely see the car in front of you, the driver behind you can barely see you. Four-way flashers could help them notice your vehicle and react appropriately.
- Use lights, not brights. Believe it or not, high-beams will reflect off the water vapor and bounce light back into your eyes. So, when you’re driving in fog, low-beams are the best way to see and be seen.
- Roll down your window. Your sight may be compromised, but your hearing isn’t. Rolling down your window can help you hear other traffic on the road, which will give you useful cues.
- Keep your windshield completely clear. Because fog is made of millions of tiny water droplets, the extra moisture in the air may collect on your windshield. To combat that, adjust your defroster and wiper speed as needed.
- If you need to… find a safe place to park. Sometimes, when the weather is at its worst, the best decision is not to drive. If this happens, pull over to the side of the road (away from the lanes) or a park-and-ride area and wait for the fog to clear.
Want more safe driving tips? Discover the 14 things you should keep in your car.