Safe Driving in Fog

Mark Wasylyshyn, Wood County Sheriff, is asking all drivers to drive with their headlights on during foggy conditions.

Driving in fog is considered to be the most dangerous weather hazard, especially if it is exceptionally dense fog or combined with other adverse weather conditions. Foggy conditions are the number one cause of large multi-car pile ups. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of a crash.

Daytime running lights are not enough as they do not illuminate tail lights. Driving with your headlights on in fog is not necessarily for you to see better but for you to be seen! Several people I have come in contact with state they have automatic headlights and did not think they needed the headlights turned on! You must manually turn on the headlights! You essentially become a “ghost car” when you don’t have your headlights on.

You should never use your high beam headlights in foggy conditions. Your high beam headlights reflect off of the water vapor and actually decrease your visibility. You may feel that your low beam headlights are doing the same thing, but again, keep them on. It’s the best way for you to be seen.

A safe following distance is crucial in fog. Most drivers tend to “bunch up” during foggy conditions because they feel it’s easier to see. Driving in fog is scary, but now is not the time to follow too close. That’s one of the big reasons massive pile-up’s occur.
Sometimes, foggy conditions become too thick to drive safely. If you find that you’re exceeding your comfort zone, it might be best to stop until the fog lifts. Just remember – this is an extremely dangerous situation! If you can’t see, either can anyone else. Try to get as far off the road as possible. Pull into a driveway, parking lot, rest area, side street, or any other place where you can get away from heavy traffic flow. But if the roadway shoulder is your only option, pull way over. Go into the grass if necessary. If there’s a curb, drive over it and park on the other side of the curb. Stays buckled up and turn your lights off! If you leave your lights on, people might think you are driving on the roadway and rear-end you. Make sure your foot is off the brake pedal, and do not use your flashers. Keep all your lights off. If there is shelter nearby, try to get there quickly. Be safe!