Last Updated on August 28, 2023 by Kristin
Driving through a layer of fog can be a surreal experience. You may be driving along in relatively clear conditions, and suddenly cannot see a inch in front of you. But with a few tips for driving through fog, you can be a safer driver.
Fog is made up of small water droplets close to the ground. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, fog often forms around bodies of water and lower places like river valleys at night.
Wondering what to do if you can’t see through the mist? Here are some tips for driving in fog.
Slow down when driving through fog
Perhaps the most important safety tip is to reduce your speed. You won’t be able to see oncoming cars or other obstacles with the same ease as you would in regular conditions, so it’s important to take it easy when driving in fog. Try as much as possible to look out for reflective markers and the white shoulder line on the right side of the road, and be extra careful around turns.
Increase your distance from other vehicles
If you are driving on a busy road and encounter fog, the National Weather Service suggests you increase the distance between your vehicle and others on the road. This can help avoid running into other cars if they have to stop suddenly due to the decreased visibility.
Defrost your windshield
When driving through fog, make sure you can see as well as possible through your windshield. According to State Farm, you should be using your windshield wipers and defrost setting as necessary to make sure you avoid any added glare.
Turn on your car’s normal headlights
If you encounter fog, chances are you already have your headlights turned on. Do not be tempted to turn on your high-beam lights, or brights.
According to Car and Driver, you should not use your high-beam headlights during foggy, rainy or snowy conditions. These beams will create a reflective effect, causing you to see even less clearly. Plus, they might end up blinding other drivers, causing more dangerous conditions.
Some — but not all — car models do come with specific lights designed to work in foggy conditions. These are not only designed to help you see in low-visibility conditions, but to help other drivers see your tail lights.
Pull over if you can’t see anything
Finally, if the road is so foggy that you can’t see anything at all, it might be a good idea to pull over until weather conditions improve. State Farm suggests using your turn signal earlier than you normally would to exit the road, and putting on your hazard lights when in a safe place so that drivers do not mistakenly think you are still driving.