Driving in Fog

9 Great Tips to Survive Driving in Fog

by Zutobi · Updated Apr 28, 2023

Driving safely in fog can be difficult for all drivers, regardless of your experience behind the wheel. In extreme instances, fog can be dangerous and even deadly if drivers are not careful. If you find yourself driving in fog, you should keep these 9 tips in mind while you’re on the road.

  1. Keep a low rate of speed
  2. Make yourself visible
  3. Avoid using high beam lights
  4. Follow road lines with your eyes
  5. Keep a safe following distance
  6. Never use cruise control
  7. Consider pulling over
  8. Check mirrors often
  9. Stay home, if possible

1 – Keep a low rate of speed

Fog heavily reduces visibility ahead of you, making it difficult to see potential hazards on the road. Driving slowly will offer you a much longer reaction time to make emergency maneuvers when driving in fog if necessary. You will also have the ability to see upcoming street signs as you approach them. However, driving too slowly will make you a road hazard to other drivers.

2 – Make yourself visible

When driving in fog you should keep your vehicle visible to keep yourself, your passengers, and other drivers safe on unclear roads. To do this, always keep your headlights on at all times. Your daytime running lights will not provide the necessary brightness to become visible through the fog. To stay seen by all drivers and pedestrians, keep your headlights on and activate your fog lights if you have them.

vehicle with fog lights activated
Fog lights are made to pierce through the fog and will help you see better.

3 – Avoid using high beam lights

Some may think turning on their high beams can make the road more visible, but this is not something you should do. High beam lights can reflect off the fog, causing glare, and flashing bright lights into the side and rear-view mirrors of surrounding drivers. When driving in fog, you should stick to utilizing your low beam lights in these conditions. If your standard headlights are proving to be inefficient, you may want to consider replacing them at a reputable mechanic.

vehicle with high beam headlights
Do NOT use high beams in heavy fog – the fog can reflect the light back into your eyes, causing you to see less.

4 – Follow road lines with your eyes

In foggy conditions, it’s important to follow road lines with your eyes. Drivers are naturally attracted to light and may find themselves steering solely based on this. While other vehicle lights can sometimes be used as reference points, positioning your vehicle properly within the lines is a great way to ensure your safety.

edge lines on a highway
Road lines like this can be of great guidance in fog – use them as reference points!

5 – Keep a safe following distance

Keeping a safe following distance will ensure you have enough time to react to uncertain situations. As drivers are attracted to light, cars tend to bunch up to help them navigate foggy roads. Avoid this by maintaining a following distance of 5 seconds or more, as opposed to the recommended 3-second following distance in ideal conditions.

6 – Don’t use cruise control

Cruise control takes a lot of power out of the hands of the driver by accelerating and keeping the speed of the vehicle on its own. While this is a great luxury and convenience feature under normal circumstances, foggy weather is the worst time to have the option activated. When driving in fog, you should always keep cruise control off, drive slowly, maintain full control of your vehicle.

cruise control activated
Cruise control should be used in ideal conditions where you’re likely to maintain a constant speed, but certainly not in foggy conditions!

7 – Check mirrors often

While driving in the fog can be particularly stressful, you must remember to perform basic driving skills, such as checking your mirrors and blind spots often. Being mindful of surrounding drivers will help you navigate foggy roads safely.

8 – Consider pulling over

In most weather conditions, fog is only temporary. It may only occur in one particular region or it may be simply passing through your area. You may want to consider pulling over to avoid having to deal with the annoyances that are associated with driving in fog. If you choose to stop, pull as far to the side of the road as possible to avoid confusing other drivers. Be sure to observe your surroundings and signal your intentions as well.

9 – Stay home, if possible

Sometimes, driving in the fog just isn’t worth it. With approximately 30,000 fog-related crashes occurring annually, you may want to consider staying home if possible. Consider the purpose of your trip to determine if it can be postponed for another time – even if it’s just a few hours later.

Foggy weather can be overwhelming, but you shouldn’t let it get the best of you. Feel free to revisit this blog whenever you’re faced with unexpectedly hazy roads. If you’re in a city known for its foggy conditions, such as San Francisco or New York, memorizing these tips is a great idea for your daily commute. You never know when you might wake up to a morning of fog before work!

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