How to Drive in Fog Safely | YourMechanic Advice

How to Drive in Fog Safely

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Driving in fog is one of the most dangerous situations in which drivers can find themselves, because fog greatly interferes with visibility. When possible, drivers should opt against driving in such conditions and wait for the fog to lift.

Unfortunately, we are not always afforded the choice to stay in place and instead must brave driving in the fog. When it is absolutely necessary to be on the roads in such poor visibility, follow these steps to do so as safely as possible.

Part 1 of 1: Driving in the fog

hand turning on the fog lights in a vehicle

Step 1: Turn on your fog lights or low beams. Fog lights, or your low beams in vehicles not equipped with specific lights for foggy conditions, will improve your ability to see your surroundings.

They also make you more visible to others on the road. Do not turn on your high beams because they will reflect off of the moisture in the fog and actually reduce your ability to see.

Step 2: Slow down. Since your ability to see is greatly hampered in the fog, drive slowly.

This way, if you do have an accident, the damage to your vehicle and risk to your safely are far lessened. Even if you pass through an area that is relatively clear, maintain a slow speed because you cannot predict when the fog will become heavy again.

wipers used in fog

Step 3: Use your windshield wipers and defroster as needed. The atmospheric conditions that create fog can also cause condensation to form outside and inside your windshield.

Turn your windshield wipers on to remove droplets on the outer glass and the defroster on to clear fogginess from the interior portion of the glass.

view of car driving on a two way road

Step 4: Stay aligned with the right side of the road. Use the right side of the road as a guide because it prevents you from being distracted by oncoming traffic.

It is a natural tendency in low-light situations to veer toward brighter spots. If you align your vehicle with the center line, you may inadvertently steer your car into oncoming traffic or experience temporary blindness from another car’s headlights.

cars driving around

Step 5: Do not follow other cars closely and avoid sudden stops. You must use defensive driving skills when driving in dangerous situations like fog.

Follow at least two car lengths behind other cars so you have time to react if they slam on their brakes. Also, do not suddenly stop in the road — this may cause someone behind you to crash into your rear bumper.

Step 6: Avoid passing other vehicles. Since you cannot see far into the distance, you cannot be sure what lies in other lanes of traffic, especially when oncoming vehicles may be involved.

It is better to stay in your lane and drive uncomfortably slow than to try and pass a slow driver and make yourself as a target for collision.

example of an accident in the fog

Step 7: Stay alert and pull over if the visibility becomes too poor to navigate. You must be vigilant about your surroundings when driving through fog so that you can react at a moment’s notice.

You cannot, after all, see potential problems far in advance and prepare. If, for instance, an accident lies ahead or an animal runs out into the road, you must be prepared to stop without hesitation.

Step 8: Eliminate as many distractions as you can. It is essential to maintain your focus on your driving throughout foggy conditions.

Turn your cell phone off or put it on vibrate, and turn down the radio.

person pointing at hazard light

If, at any point, the fog becomes too dense to see the road more than a few feet ahead of your vehicle, pull over on the side of the road and wait for the fog to clear. Also, turn your emergency flashers, or hazard lights, on so other drivers have a better chance of seeing you and won’t confuse you with moving traffic on the road.

To reiterate, avoid driving in foggy conditions whenever possible. When tackling such a dangerous scenario, however, treat the challenge with the respect it deserves and take every precaution to see and be seen while moving with the greatest of care.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mini Cooper Clubman - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Silverado, California
He arrived early, went straight to work, and it should have been quoted higher as it’s a Mini which takes longer than the average break job. He didn’t try to get more than the quoted amount. He even set out to replace a running light for me when he was finished. I thought there would hard sales telling me I needed more work but there wasn’t. Because he didn’t try to sell me more work, I will use him again. When I hired a mechanic I don’t want a salesman. 
Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Irvine, California
Chris again has provided great Service. Everything was great. I was very happy with the work and will definitely have him return for any other work.

Bryant

11 years of experience
408 reviews
Bryant
11 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Indianapolis, Indiana
Bryant has done great work on my car before, the latest work is no exception. He's very flexible, and goes the extra mile to get you back on the road.
Scion iA - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Carmel, Indiana
This is my first time using this service. I am very happy with it. Bryant was very knowledgeable and did quality work. I will use this service more regularly.

Edmar

21 years of experience
184 reviews
Edmar
21 years of experience
Chrysler 200 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Euless, Texas
Edmar always does a very good job. He's done a few different things on my car the last two years. Each job was performed very fast and top quality. Thank you once again.

Mazyar

7 years of experience
255 reviews
Mazyar
7 years of experience
Jaguar XF - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Lawrenceville, Georgia
He was early, courtesy and actually helped me save some money since i didn't need all the work that i thought i needed done. Honest guy. Very knowledgeable. Great attitude.

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