Even in Denver Colorado and in the surrounding areas are no stranger to foggy conditions, especially when temperatures and humidity fluctuate. However, even for the most experienced driver, this can significantly impact your morning commute or travel plans that may be in place as road users need to adjust to visibility issues. Before sending your teen to school or heading to work, consider these five tips for driving in fog to ensure that you are arriving at your destination safely.
Take It Slow
According to the Federal Highway Administration, fog contributed to an average of 8,902 fatalities in 25,451 crashes annually from 2007 to 2016 nationwide. Although this weather condition often contributes to the least number of crashes comparatively, drivers should treat it like any other adverse condition and use caution when on the roadways.
Because the most significant impact this has on driving ability is the negative effect on visibility, drivers should be mindful to decrease their speeds to account for other vehicles on the road and allow extra time to get to their destination.
Use the Right Line as a Guide
On multi-lane roads and highways, it’s no secret that dense fog can make signs, lanes, and lines on the pavement next to impossible to see unless directly in front of you. Because of this, consider traveling in the farthest right lane and using the thick white line as a guide to keep you centered. You’ll want to continuously follow this with your eyes to ensure you are keeping your vehicle straight.
However, avoid using the dashed or center lines as your guide—this can actually cause you to drift into other lanes and potentially collide with another vehicle.
Use Low Beams or Fog Lights
One of the most essential things that anyone should remember when driving in foggy conditions is to only use low beams or fog lights—never high beams. Using your “brights” could actually make visibility worse as the light reflects off the fog and back to you. Since fog lights are placed lower on your vehicle, you remove the risk of it shining back in your eyes or causing a glare to other drivers.
It’s also important to note that you should always have headlights or hazard lights on when traveling in fog so you can increase visibility to other vehicles, especially if you have a darker-colored vehicle.
Increase Stopping Distance
When visibility is low, it is always in your best interest to increase the distance between you and other vehicles. Dense fog can make other cars more difficult to see, especially later in the day, so having that extra space can help you more easily adapt to changing road conditions and traffic.
Consider Pulling Over
Young or inexperienced drivers may feel tense or stressed when driving in dense fog. It’s important to know that you can always pull over if visibility worsens and you can’t see where you are going.
If choosing to pull over, remember to pull completely off the road and turn your lights off, so you aren’t mistaken for another active lane. You may alternatively consider using hazard lights. Another safe option is to exit the roadway completely to find a parking lot or public space where you can wait until the conditions become more manageable.