Be Ready for Springtime Fog

460Fog can occur at any time of year, but it tends to occur more frequently in the early spring in many parts of the country. Fog on highways can pose an extremely dangerous and often deadly hazard. The hazard is magnified when drivers fail to cautiously reduce their speed when driving in foggy conditions. California’s central valley highways have been the site of many multi-vehicle, multiple fatality, and fog-related collisions during the spring season each year. Tennessee has some very bad sections where severe accidents have occurred due to fog. Many of these crashes were the result of drivers using excessive speed in heavy fog where visibility was reduced to near zero.


As a professional driver you should always check weather forecasts for your route before starting a trip. However, fog is often unpredictable and unexpected.  Although weather forecasts may alert you to the possibility of fog formation, they are not sufficiently accurate, comprehensive or timely to predict if or when fog will form in a specific area. You should always be on the watch for foggy conditions, be ready to reduce speed, and adjust driving immediately when encountering fog on the highway. Fog can become very thick in a short amount of time without any advance warning. Many times thicker fog cannot be determined until you have to get substantially closer to vehicles or objects to accurately see them.

In addition, you need to be extremely cautious when entering a road or highway from a ramp, side road or driveway during foggy conditions. Other motorists on the highway may not be able to see your vehicle entering the highway as soon as they would under normal weather conditions and, therefore, may not be able to take evasive action by slowing down or changing to another lane in time to avoid a collision.


Review the following tips for avoiding problems in foggy weather driving:

·         Take all fog-related weather warnings seriously.

·         Fog will make objects and approaching vehicles seem farther away then they really are.

·         Slow down and watch your speedometer. Fog creates a visualillusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. Even if you know the road very well, you should still slow down. The fog may be “covering up” a collision or other obstacle on the road in front of you, which will prevent you from having adequate time to properly react in a controlled manner.

·         Use LOW-beam headlights and fog lights for best visibility. High beams will reflect off the fog, creating a “white wall” effect. You are to run with your headlights on at all times so even in daytime fog with lights on you should be able to be seen more adequately. But you will have to be alert for drivers that do not turn their lights on.

·         Turn on your four-way flashers if necessary to give traffic behind you adequate warning.

·         Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to determine how the road may curve ahead of you.

·         Do not pass other vehicles, especially on two-lane roads. Be patient!

·         Brake cautiously, since heavy moisture can make roads slick.

·         Listen for traffic you cannot see. Travel with the driver’s window partially open so that you can hear road traffic better.

·         Be on the look-out for vehicles on the side of the roadway. Seeing taillights or headlights in front of you may not be a true indication of where the road is ahead of you. The vehicle’s driver may be disoriented by the fog, and the vehicle may not be on the road at all and may be stopped.

·         If you need to pull off the road, drivecautiously until you find a safe way to get off the road and a safe location.

·         The best advice for driving in a very dense or thick fog is – don’t do it. Fog is very deceiving and makes it easy for you to misjudge distances and objects.