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Driving in Foggy Weather
Engr Iqbal Ahmed Khan

Everyone has seen situations where drivers rush headlong on a foggy road,
convinced that they know what is ahead. And everyone has read about multiple
car pileups that have occurred during foggy weather, which bring the
often-repeated warning: "In fog, slow down and drive defensively"!
Driving in the fog is a dangerous challenge. Fog reduces your ability to see
the road, other vehicles, pedestrians, buildings, and signs on the road. You
must learn to anticipate fog hazards and be prepared to react safely to the
mistakes other drivers commonly make during these conditions.
Avoid an accident by following these defensive driving tips when it's foggy:
¨ Avoid driving in heavy fog if possible. If you encounter foggy or misty
conditions, find a safe place to park the vehicle and wait until visibility
improves before driving again.
¨ If you must drive in fog, drive slowly. Maintain a safe stopping distance
during reduced visibility, by reducing speed so you can stop safely within
the distance you can see. Remember that the road surface may be wet, which
will increase the distance needed to stop.
¨ Turn on the defroster and fan to eliminate condensation on the inside of
your windows.
¨ Use low-beam lights. In fog, high beams reflect back to the driver,
actually reducing visibility further. Never drive with your hazard lights on
as they indicate that you have actually stopped.
¨ Compensate for diminished visual information by relying more on sound.
Turn off the radio and set the blower motor on the lowest level that keeps
the windshield clear. If possible, roll down the window so you can hear
other vehicles.
¨ Watch for the vehicle ahead of you, so you can respond safely if you see
its brake lights come on. Increase your following distance from two seconds
to four, or even six seconds.
¨ Avoid sudden stops and turns. Remember, the driver behind you cannot see
well, either. Pump the brakes well ahead of where you plan to stop and if
turning, put on your turn signals early so drivers behind you have ample
warning of your intentions. Sudden braking can result in skidding that may
cause an accident.
¨ If visibility is extremely poor, you must pull off the road and park in an
area as far away from traffic as possible. Turn off your headlights and turn
on your 4-way flashers. If there is a secure spot nearby, leave your vehicle
and go there. If you choose to stay in the car, keep your seat belt fastened
for protection in case another vehicle strikes your car.

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