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How To Drive Safely in Fog

Over 38,700 crashes occur annually during foggy weather, according to the US Department of Transportation. Fog occurs when clouds loaded with water droplets descend close to the ground. As a result, you could experience reduced visibility as you drive, which can affect your safety. If you must drive in fog, consider these tips to help increase your safety on the road.

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Leave Early

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Then, you can slow down or pull over, if necessary, without feeling pressure to speed through fog.

Minimize Distractions

Put away your cell phone, turn down the radio, secure your pets in a harness, and ask your passengers to stop talking. With fewer distractions, you can focus better on the road.

Reduce Your Speed

To compensate for the reduced visibility, slow down. The posted speed limit applies when the weather conditions are ideal. During foggy weather you should reduce your speed to help create a cushion between you and other drivers. Plus, you're better able to see road signs and markers if you're driving at a speed that's reasonable for the conditions.

Turn on Your Headlights

Increase visibility when you turn on your low-beam headlights and fog lights. In addition to helping you see the road and other vehicles, these lights help other drivers see you. Never turn on your high beams since they cause glare and make it more difficult for you to see the road.

If you must drive slow, turn on your hazard lights or four-way flashers. These lights alert other drivers to your presence and can help prevent an accident.

Clear the Windshield

Turn on your wipers to remove exterior dampness and possible dirt and grime that could hinder your view. Set the defroster to cold or turn on the air conditioner to clear condensation from the interior windshield. Slowly increase the temperature as the moisture evaporates from your car.

Check the Mirrors

In addition to looking at the road, keep an eye on your mirrors. Be aware of the location of other vehicles so you know if you need to adjust your speed in order to avoid a collision during inclement weather.

Increase Following Distance

Create a following distance cushion of at least five car lengths. You'll be grateful for the extra room if you need to brake or otherwise adjust to traffic pattern changes.

Brake Cautiously

If you need to slow down, hit the brakes slowly and carefully. Resist the urge to slam on the brakes. Sudden stopping could cause your vehicle to slide on wet roads or allow the vehicle behind you to slam into your car.

Pull Over

If you wish to stop driving entirely during extreme fog, pull off the road and wait until the weather clears. Find a parking lot or move onto the road's shoulder as far as possible. If you decide to park, turn on your hazard lights, set your emergency brake, and pull your foot off the brake to extinguish your tail lights. With these steps, other drivers can see that you're parked and hopefully avoid driving into you.

Exercise Caution on Every Drive

Fog can be dangerous and might pop up randomly as you drive. Be prepared to practice safe driving tips every time you get behind the wheel. Also, ensure your auto insurance is up to date to help gain additional peace of mind.

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