Fog is perhaps one of the most dangerous weather conditions to drive in. Not only does the fog impair the driver’s ability to see potential road hazards, but it can form quickly, change in thickness, and create wet road conditions. Commercial drivers have a duty to use “extreme caution” during inclement weather conditions. Read on to learn how to stay safe while driving through fog.
If you notice that a road is foggy, start to reduce your speed immediately. Many commercial drivers travel on unfamiliar roads with unexpected twists and turns. Also keep in mind that fog also brings moisture, therefore, the roads are probably wet and provide less traction. Don’t drive faster than you can see ahead because there could be potential hazards awaiting you.
Be sure to turn on your hazard lights so that oncoming vehicles are alerted of your presence. It is a good idea to turn these lights on anytime you are going slower than the speed limit so that other drivers know to start slowing down. Although you might be tempted to turn on your high beams, don’t. Instead, use your low beams or fog lights because they will penetrate through the thick fog better.
Watch for Others:
Some drivers may choose to pull off to the side of the road. This can be a potential hazard if you cannot see them or if they are not pulled completely off of the main road. Remember that not all drivers will think to turn on their hazard lights, so really try to remain aware of your surroundings. Always maintain a safe distance between you and other vehicles just in case they need to brake suddenly.
Never try to pass another vehicle in the fog. Not only can that disorient the car in front of you, but you are also putting yourself at risk of not being seen and collided into. Just accept that you will be going slow until the fog lifts.
Try using the reflective lines on the road to steer straight. Doing so may also help you indicate which direction the road is going next.
Wait it Out:
Sometimes the conditions are just too dangerous and you’ll need to pull off and stop for a bit. Your safety along with that of the other drivers around you should always be your top priority as a commercial driver. Keep in contact with other nearby drivers on the CB radio and check in with dispatch from time to time. If your gut is telling you to stop, then listen to it!
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