16 Mar Driving While Blindfolded
Driving in heavy fog is like driving while blindfolded.
Fog is considered to be the most dangerous weather hazard there is for driving. Especially if it is exceptionally dense fog or combined with other adverse weather conditions. Foggy conditions are the number one cause of large multiple vehicle pile ups. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of a crash.
During dense fog, a very scary thing happens to people while they are driving. They unknowingly speed up! Of course, we all know that speeding up in fog is the worst thing you can do, but fog creates an optical illusion. As you look out your windshield, your body perceives that you are driving very slowly. Since most people become nervous in fog, they don’t look down at their speedometer. Over time, they begin going faster and faster. This is hands down the most dangerous aspect of driving in fog. It is very important for you to make a conscious effort to glance at your speedometer every now and then. There’s a good chance of you speeding up, without knowing it! You should also pay close attention to the temperature outside. Fog is made up of tiny water droplets in the air so it can freeze. If fog freezes it will cause black ice to form on the roads.
Check out some of other tips below:
- Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
- Use your low-beam headlights. High beams reflect off the moisture droplets in the fog, and make it harder to see.
- If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, in addition to your low beams.
- Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic.
- Use pavement markings to help guide you. Use the right edge (aka fog line) of the road as a guide, rather than the center line. Be careful not to drift into another lane or off the roadway.
- Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead. In some cases, you may even want to roll down your window so you can hear the traffic.
- Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. For example, turn off the cell phone and radio. Your full attention is required.
- Keep looking as far ahead as possible and don’t drive faster than you can see.
- Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Use your defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.
- If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road and try to position your vehicle in a safe parking area.
- Turn on your emergency flashers, in addition to keeping on your low-beam headlights.
- Don’t stop on the travelled portion of the road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision.
- Don’t speed up suddenly, even if the fog seems to be clearing. You could find yourself suddenly back in fog.
- Don’t speed up to pass a vehicle moving slowly or to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.
- Do not use your cruise control.
It is very important to remember to remain calm and patient. Don’t try to pass other vehicles or speed up suddenly. It is also a good idea to increase your following distance. And don’t forget, fog is water. Use your defroster and wipers to keep your windshield clean to achieve maximum visibility.