Clearing the Air – How to Drive Safely in Super Fog Conditions

Surya Yadav

Fog is always dangerous on highways and roadways, but ‘super fog’ — which can result in visibility as low as ten feet — can be particularly hazardous. It has been the cause of several large multi-vehicle pileups.

Be prepared for this weather condition by avoiding distractions and driving safely. Use the right side of the road to keep your vehicle visible to drivers behind you.

Drive Slowly

The National Weather Service describes super fog as “a fog that forms when smoke and moisture released from damp, smoldering organic material (like brush, trees, or leaves) mixes with colder is already saturated.” This fog can reduce visibility to less than 10 feet, which is not enough distance to stop your vehicle if another car or obstacle appears in front of you. The dangers of super fog include blinding drivers, leading to a deadly chain reaction crash. When driving in fog, slow down and use your low beams to decrease the glare from other vehicles’ headlights. Avoid stations by turning down the misleading, putting your phone away, and leaving extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Stay on the Right Side of the Road

Fog is a danger many drivers forget until they get stuck in the middle. Fog reduces your ability to see what’s around you, making it essential that your attention is entirely focused on the road. That means eliminating anything that might distract you, including the radio and passengers. Roll down your windows to hear exterior sounds, which can help alert you to approaching cars or obstacles. If you’re driving in fog, stay on the right side of the road to make it easier to follow the white-painted lines. It’s also easier to avoid drifting into oncoming traffic if you hug the right edge of the roadway. Pull over the lot or designated area instead of simply stopping in the middle of the road if necessary.

Listen to the Sound of the Road

As the weather worsens, you should turn your windows down so that you can hear other drivers on the road. The sound of slamming brake tires hitting a puddle or even another car’s engine nearby can alert you to dangers you may not see in the fog. Fog is a natural phenomenon when heat absorbed during the day is released at night, causing the air to cool and become dense. This differs from smog, formed when smoke from human-made pollutants mixes with the cooler, saturated air. If you were involved in a crash caused by impaired driving conditions, such as fog, contact a car accident lawyer for help filing a compensation claim.

Don’t Stop in the Middle of the Road

If you find yourself in a position where you cannot continue driving safely, pull over into a safe area of the road, such as a service station or parking lot, and turn on your hazards. It is essential to avoid stopping in the middle of the road, as you may be rear-ended by another driver who can’t see you. Regular fog disperses quickly, but super fog can last for hours and has been responsible for multiple fatal crashes in recent years. Fog is a natural phenomenon, but it can be dangerous for drivers who don’t take the proper precautions. 

Keep Your Eyes Open

Foggy conditions can cause drivers to misjudge their speed and distance, especially when crossing junctions. Therefore, leaving at least two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you is advisable, even if you run late for work or need to get the kids to school. When driving in fog, always use your low-beam headlights, as using the high setting will reflect off the fog and reduce visibility. Keep your eyes on the road, and don’t be tempted to look at your phone or music player. If visibility is near zero, it is best to pull over in a safe place off the roadway. This will help other vehicles see you and not be tempted to pass you.

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