How To Drive In Dense Fog

Don’t be caught unprepared. Follow these extreme weather driving tips.

By Jordan Mendoza

Dense fog can form almost anywhere in the U.S., drastically reducing visibility to a quarter of a mile or less. This makes driving hazardous—sometimes causing pileups—so it’s best to be prepared. Here’s how to drive in dense fog.

SLOW DOWN
Slow down. With visibility reduced, it’s important to allow for increased reaction time and not rush.

KEEP A LARGER DISTANCE
Allow more distance between your vehicle and other cars—especially if the road is wet. You may be tempted to drive more closely to the car in front of you to keep it in sight, but this can increase your risk of collision.

SEE AND BE SEEN
Turn on your low-beam headlamps. High beams can cause light to reflect back off water droplets in the air, further obscuring your view.

USE FOG LIGHTS
If your vehicle has fog lights, turn them on—they further illuminate the road when it’s foggy and make your car more visible to other drivers.

TURN ON THE WIPERS AND DEFROSTERS
Always use your windshield wipers and defrosters in fog to help you see and reduce glare from the headlamps of oncoming vehicles.

ROLL DOWN THE WINDOWS
If you roll down the windows, you will be able to hear what’s happening around you, which is important when your visibility is reduced. If you hear any suspicious noises—such as squealing or crunching—safely brake and pull to the side of the road.

FOLLOW THE RIGHT-SIDE PAVEMENT LINE
When visibility is reduced, use the white line on the right-hand side of the road to guide you. This is safer than using the center line, which will bring your car closer to oncoming traffic.

DON’T STOP ON THE ROAD
If visibility is reduced to the point where continuing to drive would be unsafe, you might be tempted to stop on the road. Don’t—this could cause an accident. Instead, pull over to a safe area, completely off the road.

TURN ON YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS
Once you’re off the road, turn on the emergency flashers, or hazard lights, so other drivers will know you are parked and won’t try to follow you. Avoid using your hazard lights when moving (this is illegal in many states).

MONITOR THE FORECAST
As always, stay on top of the weather forecast and make sure no advisories have been issued before you head out on the road. Stay safe!

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