Knowing how to drive safely in fog is essential in central and southwest Virginia. Fog is common year- round, and at both high and lower elevations. Fog is considered (by most insurance companies) the most dangerous weather condition for drivers. Knowing how to drive safely in fog will help you avoid causing an accident; it will also help you to possibly avoid being in an accident caused by a driver who fails to recognize the danger and make necessary adjustments.
Most auto insurance providers offer some tips for how to drive safely in fog. Based on those tips, on a good bit of experience driving in heavy fog, and tips from other driving instruction sources, we offer these tips on how to drive safely in fog.
- Don’t. The best advice about driving in foggy conditions, particularly in dense fog, is simply don’t do it. Wait until the fog lifts or find an alternate route to reach your destination.
- Slow down. When driving in fog, you need every possible second to respond to road conditions, other drivers, and animals or other objects on or beside the road. Do not allow other drivers push you to drive faster. If another driver is trying to pass you or to force you to drive faster, simply find a safe place to do so, and pull off the road onto the shoulder to allow the person to pass. Then carefully return to the road.
- Use your low-beam headlights. High-beam lights will simply reflect back and make visibility worse. Low-beam lights will offer some visibility; most important with the low-beam lights, your tail lights will be on. This will make it easier for other drivers near you to see your vehicle. OR
- Use Fog Lights. These lights are often part of light packages on new cars. Fog lights can be added to any new vehicle for a small additional cost. They can also be installed on your current vehicle.
- Stay in the right-hand lane. This will offer you a bit of extra reaction time of a driver on an oncoming vehicle drifts across the yellow line into the other lane. It also allows other drivers to pass you without endangering you.
- Never stop on the road. A car stopped on a road in foggy conditions is an accident waiting to happen. If you need to stop for any reason, pull off the road as far as possible. Once off the roadway, turn off your headlights/taillights. In this way, you will not confuse other drivers and attract them to your vehicle. You can also protect yourself and your vehicle by activating your hazard lights. This will warn other drivers.
- Navigate by the solid white line on the outer side of the lane. This line will help you keep an eye on the boundary of your lane and stay on the road.
- Roll your window down enough to hear other vehicles. Sometimes you can hear what you cannot see in foggy conditions.
- Use turn signals earlier than you would under normal conditions. Time – even seconds—can be the difference between safety and a crash when driving in the fog. Giving other drivers extra warning of your intentions provides time for them to react appropriately.
- Leave extra room. Give yourself extra time to respond to the vehicles and road conditions around you. You might need extra space to slow down. You should use the extra room to respond at a pace that allows other vehicles to respond to your changes.
If you must drive in fog, these tips will give you the extra seconds or inches that can insulate you from a dangerous crash. Crashes that occur in foggy conditions often become chain reaction crashes very quickly.
If you or a loved one is injured in a crash caused by the negligence of another driver or adverse road conditions – such as fog – and through no fault of your own, call the trusted attorneys of Altizer Law, P.C. From our Roanoke, VA office we help clients throughout Virginia who have been injured in all types of automobile and vehicle accidents. Trust us for compassion and fierce representation of your legal matter.