Driving in inclement weather like fog can be stressful for even the most experienced, cautious drivers.
The best thing to do is postpone your trip until the fog lifts. But because that isn't always practical, these tips will help you safely drive when your visibility is reduced:
- Don't use your high beams. Many drivers make the mistake of turning on their high beams, when traveling through fog. This actually can make conditions worse, as the light reflects off the fog and causes glare.
- Never drive with just your fog lights on. Fog lights are the small colored lights below your headlights. Despite their name, they're not enough to make your car visible to other drivers in the fog. Instead, they're meant to be used in combination with your regular headlights.
- Slow down when driving through fog. Often, you won't be able to see things like other cars, pedestrians or animals until it's too late to stop. Be sure to keep a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you. Fog may create the optical illusion that you're driving more slowly than you actually are, according to Weather.com, so watch your speedometer.
- Turn on your windshield wipers. Fog can leave extra moisture on your windshield, making it more difficult to see the road, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
- Avoid aggressive driving. Chances are, other drivers on the road also will be driving slowly. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends remaining patient and not trying to pass slower cars. The reduced visibility will make it nearly impossible to make a safe pass, particularly if you are on a two-lane road.
- Use the right side of the road as your guide. This will help you get your bearings and remain in your lane while you drive, according to Weather.com.
- Sometimes, the fog will be so heavy you can't see at all. In this case, the best thing to do is pull over and wait until the fog lifts. But even pulling off the road can be a safety risk. Drivers often go on auto-pilot in the fog, following the taillights of the car ahead -- meaning cars behind you simply might follow you off the road. So be sure to signal your intention to turn off the road. Then, get your car as far away from the road as possible and turn on your hazard lights.