Tips for Driving in the Fog

By Lesley Green
Driving in foggy weather on a quiet road

Driving in the fog can be stressful, it can unnerve even the most experienced drivers. And at this time of year, when the cool autumn nights cause the air near the ground to chill, fog is almost unavoidable in the mornings.

Delaying your trip until the fog clears, however, isn’t always possible and with this in mind, would like to share a few tips for driving safely in the fog as detailed in Ontario’s driver’s handbook.

Driving safely in fog

Fog is a thin layer of cloud resting on the ground and can reduce visibility for drivers, resulting in difficult driving conditions. To minimize the risks that come with driving in the fog:

  • Slow down and drive at a speed that suits the conditions. And, if the fog appears to be lifting don’t suddenly speed up; you may find yourself back in thick fog in the blink of an eye.
  • Make sure your vehicle's full lighting system is on so you can see better ahead of you, and those behind you can see you too.
  • Use your low beam headlights. High beams reflect off the moisture droplets in the fog, making it harder to see.
  • If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, along with your low beams.
  • Keep an eye on your speedometer. Use your speedometer as a guide to regulate your speed, because thick fog can hide how fast you are really moving.
  • Be patient. Do not change lanes or pass other vehicles.
  • Use pavement markings to help guide you. Use the right edge of the road as a guide, rather than the centre line.
  • Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to ensure you can safely brake to avoid a potential hazard.
  • Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Your full attention, as always, is required.
  • Keep looking as far ahead as possible.
  • Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Use your defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.

If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road—never stop on the road—and position your vehicle in a safe parking area. Turn on your emergency flashers, in addition to keeping your low beam headlights on.

Did you know? It’s a common misconception that if a collision happens as a result of inclement weather, no one is at fault. This isn’t necessarily true. You’re expected to take safety precautions when driving that take into account the weather conditions. For example, if you are unable to stop safely in time to avoid a collision, then you may be at least partly at-fault. Your following distance should allow enough time to avoid an accident, and failing to do so could result in an increase in your auto insurance premium.

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