14 Nov 10 Tips for Driving Safely in the Fog
Have you ever been driving along and seen dense fog set in? You may feel a sense of anxiety about the unfavorable conditions or maybe you are comfortable as you have driven in them many times before. However, fog can be very dangerous and has been the culprit in many large accidents in the past. Being so, it’s critical that new and experienced truck drivers alike, drive in fog with caution. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind.
#1 First, Slow Down
Sounds simple, but this is the single most effective way to protect yourself while driving in fog. Driving slowly gives you more time to react to unexpected obstacles obscured by the fog.
#2 Do Not Use Your High Beam Headlights
High Beams will dazzle other drivers and blind them further in already low visibility conditions. This poses a danger to both you and other drivers. Instead, use low beam headlights, fog lights, and hazard lights to help you navigate.
#3 Stay Connected With Your CB
Drivers on the same route ahead of you can inform you of any conditions or obstructions coming up, so stay connected with your CB and listen for any warnings.
#4 Be Mindful of Street Reflectors
Keep an eye on the street reflectors and let the right edge of the road guide you. Whatever you do, don’t follow another drivers tail lights. Drivers have been known to be lead right off the road doing so. Following the road markers will keep you on the road.
#5 Beware of Hydroplaning
Fog usually brings on wet roads. This could increase the chances of hydroplaning, which is when your ability to steer and brake effectively decreases, due to water building up in front of your tire faster than your vehicle’s weight to push it away. If you feel any signs of losing control, pull off and let the conditions pass.
#6 Turn off Distractions
You may need to react quickly to unexpected obstacles like cars stopped on the side of the road. It’s best to focus completely on the road ahead of you, so that you can slow down or brake suddenly if needed. This means putting aside mobile devices and any other distractions. The text or call can wait.
#7 Beware of Other Drivers
There may be drivers who have not turned their lights on, so beware of this possibility and drive with extreme caution. It’s recommended to drive defensively and not assume that other drivers are practicing safe driving.
#8 Don’t Navigate Based on Tail Lights in Front of You
Again, tail lights ahead of you are not a good gauge of distance or speed. Some cars may have stopped on the side of the road and their lights will not accurately reflect distance.
#9 Don’t Stop on the Side of the Road
Unless totally unavoidable, do not pull over on the side of the road. Your lights may mislead other drivers to believe that it is another lane for them to drive on causing potential accidents.
#10 Use Extreme Caution
Practice safety first. Use your best judgement to discern whether or not it’s safe to continue driving. When conditions are bad, stop safely at a truck stop and wait until the weather clears up.
Especially for drivers of commercial vehicles, there is a duty of “extreme caution” during inclement weather conditions, including fog, snow, rain, smoke, ice and other conditions. The Commercial Drivers License Manual (CDL) states that wet roads can increase stopping distance by 100%, so slowing down to a third of your usual speed is recommended. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Fog is one of the most difficult weather conditions to navigate in. It’s important to heed all warnings. Don’t allow the pressure to make deliveries on time to cause you to take unnecessary risks. In doing so, you, your boss and your family can be happy with the job being completed successfully and your return home.