Safety Tips for driving in the fog – a good reminder for younger drivers as well

With the recent numerous dense fog advisories we have had and will likely have more of, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office thinks it’s a perfect time to share our tips for driving in fog; especially heavy fog during winter. Fog makes driving difficult — and dangerous. There are more than 500 fatal car accidents related to fog each year nationwide.

**Please take a moment to review these tips, not only for yourselves, but discuss them with younger drivers in your family to help us all stay #siouxcountysafe

1. Leave plenty of distance between your car and the one in front of you. Decreased visibility means longer reaction and then longer braking times, so that added space is your friend. Coupled with icy roads, it’ll take longer to stop. Slow dow; being safer is worth it.

2. Use your windshield wipers and defrosters. Moisture and ice on your windshield creates glare, which makes it even more difficult to see. Give yourself the best view possible by clearing off your windshield.

3. About visibility: Using your lights appropriately is one of the pillars of safe driving in fog. Turn them on from manual mode because they won’t turn on if they detect lighter conditions. If your headlights have become dim, take the time to brighten things up with a headlight bulb replacement.

4. Resist a common urge of using the lights of any vehicles in front of you as a guide. This can actually cause you to focus too much on the narrow patch of landscape in front of you – causing you to miss much more important things or dangers.

5. Skip cruise control. Fog plus winter = surprise slick spots; it’s so important to maintain complete control of your car. Seconds count.

6. Follow the right-side line of the road to guide you. Don’t be afraid to slow down and drive cautiously along the right side of the roadway. Roadside reflectors can help guide you too.

7. Don’t accelerate if a car behind you is too close. It can be tempting to try creating distance from the vehicle who is closer than they should be; but that can actually make your own situation more dangerous. Stick to a safe, reasonable speed limit in the fog, even if other motorists don’t. Alternatively, consider safely pulling off and let them pass if is too much of a distraction for your own concentration.

8. Stay home when the fog is extremely bad. Consider changing your plans if at all possible.

9. Remember to check your mirrors before slowing down and gently apply your brakes. The earlier you can start to tap the brakes, the better off you will be. Your brake lights will alert drivers behind you that you are slowing down, and this is better than catching them by surprise with sudden stops.

10. If you need to pull over for any reason, pull your vehicle as far to the side of the road shoulder as possible. Once you’re stopped, turn on your hazard flashers.