During cold winter months, motorists rightfully worry about having an accident on an icy or snowy stretch of highway. You should not forget the dangers of driving in fog, though. After all, if you cannot see the roadway in front of your vehicle, you have a risk of crashing into slow-moving traffic.
A late-December video from North Texas illustrates the dangers of dense fog incredibly well. The video shows a jack-knifed semitruck sliding into emergency responders taking care of an existing crash. While you may not experience such a severe accident, you have the potential to sustain a serious injury in even minor collisions. To stay safe in dense fog, consider the following three driving tips:
- Reduce your speed
Posted speed limit signs tell motorists how fast to drive during normal conditions. When the weather deteriorates, regular speed limits may become dangerous for motorists. As such, if you have decreased visibility due to fog, rain, sleet or snow, you should reduce your speed. Doing so gives you more time both to see obstacles in front of your vehicle and to react to them.
- Maintain focus
Distracted driving is always a bad idea. If you divert your attention from the road during a foggy commute, you may become a hazard to yourself and others. Therefore, do what you can to maintain focus. Stowing your cellphone, limiting conversations and muting the radio may help.
- Turn your headlights on
Your car probably has daytime-running headlights. Unfortunately, though, these lights are often less bright than when you turn on your low beams. Furthermore, your car’s daytime-running feature probably does not engage its taillights. Therefore, you should always turn on your low-beam headlights. Using your bright beams, however, is apt to decrease your visibility.
As the catastrophic Texas crash makes clear, driving in dense fog can be extremely dangerous. By understanding how to drive in foggy conditions, you increase your chances of arriving at your destination safely.