Driving in fog can be dangerous to motorists. Louisiana residents are all too familiar with fog on the roadways and how it affects their driving. Occasionally it can ruin our mornings when trying to get to work. Driving in fog, however, can be more than just an inconvenience. Driving in fog can be a dangerous, or even deadly combination.
Sometimes fog can cause us to be late for work. Last week, fog covered the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway and fog restrictions were put in place. Fog restrictions included southbound traffic being convoyed across the bridge by authorities. Northbound traffic was restricted to 45 miles per hour, and drivers were only allowed in the right lane. Motorcycles were prohibited.
There are ways to remain safe while driving in fog. Here are some tips to avoid accidents:
1. Put your lights on low beam. This is the normal setting for your headlights. High beams can reflect more light in low visibility and actually impair your vision more.
2. Drive slowly. When driving in fog, it is important to slow down. Even if you are late or are in a hurry, safety is always most important. Driving in fog can create an optical illusion of slow motion, when in fact you may be speeding. Monitor your speedometer closely.
3. Minimize Distractions. It is important to limit the use of cell phones, loud music or any other distraction while driving in fog.
4. Use your windshield wipers and defroster. Your wipers can push moisture from your view. The defroster setting on your air vents can reduce condensation build up on the windshield. Using both while driving in fog can greatly improve visibility.
5. If you find it unsafe to continue driving, pull over into a parking lot or rest area. Do not stop on the side of the road or the shoulder of an interstate or a heavily traveled road. If the road is not heavily traveled, it may be okay to merge onto the right shoulder. Follow the painted lines on the right side of the road. If your car becomes disabled, turn the lights off and take your foot off of the brake pedal. This is because, people driving in fog tend to follow tail lights. They may see the brake lights and assume it is okay to merge behind you. After you have pulled off the road, find a safe place to wait for help to arrive.
Following these tips while driving in fog will help you stay safe and avoid accidents.