Safety Tips For Driving In The Fog


Here are a few safety tips for ‘modern survival’ while driving in the fog. No doubt that most of us have encountered this sometimes frightening situation where the fog can get so thick that you can barely see cars in front of you. I recall several instances while I was living in California and occasionally having to travel in the central valley and encountering the thickest fog I’ve ever experienced. There are several parts of the country that are geographically prone to frequent heavy fog, but the reality is that it can happen most anywhere.

So instead of doom and gloom, lets put out a few safety tips for driving in fog…

Unfortunately, many drivers tend to disregard these common sense tips while barreling through dense fog. I’ve seen it happen all too often and am amazed at the risks that these driving fools are taking as they fly down the road under these conditions.


Drive with lights on LOW beam. Do not use High beams which will reflect off the fog, creating a “white wall” effect.

If you have them, use your purposed fog lights (in addition to your LOW beams) as they are designed low to the ground which may help show the way in front of you.

REDUCE YOUR SPEED and glance at your speedometer. Fog creates an illusion of going slower than you actually are.

Keep your eyes on the road. It only takes a few seconds to suddenly come up on an unseen obstacle, which is another reason to adjust your speed for the conditions.

Avoid crossing traffic lanes.

Travel with the driver’s window partially open. Listen for traffic.

Use wipers AND defroster.

If your car is disabled or you cannot continue due to the conditions, pull well onto the shoulder and turn off lights (people may drive towards your lights in heavy fog thinking you are on the road). Move away from your vehicle.

Consider postponing your trip until the fog lifts.

If visibility diminishes to a point that you no longer feel safe driving, DO NOT STOP IN THE TRAFFIC LANES. Pull well off the road onto the shoulder.


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  1. Get some yellow (sun) glasses from an automotive or welding store. They sell as safety glasses.
    Do not try the orange ones or the “darker” yellow, you cannot use them during the night. They help for glare too when driving during the night.

  2. I live in the Central Valley of California. The fog here is known as ‘tule fog’. It gets so dense sometimes that you can’t see your hand in front of your face, and this is during the day. The only accident I ever had was in a fog like this traveling to work one morning. And I was only going about 15 mph with low beams, fog lights AND my window down to hear other cars. On foggy days I don’t get on the freeway, I use less traveled back roads.

    1. I can recall driving past Modesto during the tule fog years ago. The first time especially was a bit unnerving to say the least…

  3. I drove ambulance in the CA central valley for a few years around Fresno, Visalia and Stockton. Extremely dangerous conditions.
    All the advice was good. There is no such thing as being in a hurry in those conditions. I used to try to take a break at least once an hour or switch drivers. You can get dopey from the road (or partially hypnotized) by the monotony of the conditions. Similar to getting slightly dizzy if you stare through a spotting scope or rifle scope for extended periods of time.
    Bring along some of your favorite headache remedy ( ie. motrin or aspirin) because long spells of driving in these conditions can lead to a nasty muscle-tension headache at the end of the day.

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