It is always best to avoid driving in foggy conditions, but when fog approaches out of nowhere or when driving is unavoidable, drivers should be informed about the best ways to stay safe. Fog is common early in the morning, but it usually clears as the sun comes up. While there are other less predictable ways fog can appear, the best action for motorists to take is to avoid driving if possible. Listed below are some driving safety tips for foggy conditions.
The most important response is to slow down. Whenever a driver has difficulties seeing what lies ahead, it makes sense to slow down to provide some time to react to any possible danger ahead on the road, including other vehicles or dangerous road conditions. Drivers should accept that their trip is bound to take longer when fog is present and put safety ahead of making good time.
Drivers should attempt to make their vehicles visible to other motorists. This starts with using the car’s lights. Illuminated headlights and taillights allow vehicles to be more visible to one another. Foggy conditions call for the use of low-beam headlights or fog lights, not high-beams. Although high-beam headlights create a brighter view up ahead under normal conditions, using them in fog actually causes glare as the light reflects off the vapor droplets in the air.
Make sure the windshield is clear by limiting moisture buildup using the car’s defrosters and windshield wipers. The defroster will combat high humidity levels that cause interior moisture to create condensation on the windows, making it difficult for the driver to see. Let the defrosters work without trying to speed up the process by wiping the inside of the windshield; this often causes smear marks and further reduces clarity.
When fog makes the road hard to see, drivers should look for reflective markers or follow the yellow strip along the right side of the road. It can be tempting to keep an eye on the taillights of the vehicle ahead, but drivers should keep their distance for safety, even if it means losing sight of the illuminated guide.
In addition to making sure visual focus is optimized, strict mental focus is also necessary in dangerous fog. Drivers should avoid anything that distracts them from the task at hand. The radio or smartphone can wait.
Drivers should look for a safe location to pull off the road. Pulling over onto the shoulder is better than driving when it is impossible to see well. If the only choice is to pull over to the roadside, try to find a place that is as far away as possible from the road. Once stopped, drivers should leave hazard lights flashing to notify any passing vehicles of their presence.
Even when drivers take all the right precautions to deal with fog, car accidents can still happen. It is important to call 9-1-1 to get a medical response team on the scene. A responding officer will make a police report. Drivers should exchange contact and insurance information. Finally, it can be useful to take notes, pictures, and gather eyewitness statements. Another important step is to contact a lawyer.
If you were hurt in a car accident that involved foggy conditions, you may have a case against the person whose negligence caused your accident. The Millsboro personal injury lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. can determine who is at fault. For more information and a free consultation, complete our online form or call us at 302-656-5445. We are located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, and we represent clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.