Imagine waking up in the morning with a heavy, crisp air tempting you to stay under warm covers, even for just a few more minutes. Unfortunately, you know you need to hit the road. As you climb down your bunk ladder, you look out the window and see a thick, vast blanket of white suspended in the air. Wanting to warm up your body, you get down from your truck to go inside the truck stop, which is now difficult to make out in the eerie scene. Your senses seem to be on high alert, and you feel someone is near. It must be the sound of a stranger’s feet kicking through the gravel, as he too, makes his way in to grab a cup of Joe. You arrive at the door and instantly smell the aroma of warm baked doughnuts and freshly brewed coffee. The chatting inside is the same no matter what corner you turn to. Strangers start to feel like family, and everyone wishes their fellow truckers a safe drive through the blurred jungle of fog outside.
Even though this scene seems rather idyllic, once you get behind the wheel and start driving, the ride through fog can actually be quite dangerous. Fortunately, if you take the proper precautions, you can help prevent yourself and others around you from getting into an accident. Three main tips to remember when driving in foggy weather conditions are to use low beam headlights and fog lights, utilize your wipers and defrosters, and watch for vehicles parked on the side of the highway. It can be scary not knowing what lies ahead on roadways that you will be encompassing in seconds, so it is important to utilize as many safety tools as possible when you are in this situation.
Use Low-Beam Headlights and Fog Lights:
In foggy conditions, you might be driving on a desolate highway or the road might be crowded with numerous people making their way to work. No matter the situation, in fog, what lies ahead is a mystery. Utilizing the proper lights on your truck can contribute significantly to your safety and the safety of others around you. According to the National Weather Service, “Never use your high-beam lights. Using high-beam lights causes glare, making it more difficult for you to see what’s ahead of you on the road.” Using your low-beam headlights and fog lights will not only help you see well, but it will also help others on the road spot your truck sooner.
Utilize Your Wipers and Defrosters
Using your wipers and defrosters while driving in the fog will help maximize your visibility. Fog typically occurs in high humidity. Therefore, using your truck’s interior defrost function will help dry off the inside of your truck’s windshield. Effectively using your wipers as needed, will help eliminate any wet residue from your exterior windshield, widening visibility.
Be Alert for Parked Vehicles on the Highway
Lastly, if fog is really dense, there might be vehicles parked along the highway. Beware when you see a vehicle’s taillights. This doesn’t always mean the vehicle is in a lane of traveling traffic. It could have just pulled over until the fog clears up. If you have to pull off the side of the road because of your inability to see, be leery of where you park. If there is not a parking lot to pull into, pull your truck off the side of the road as far as possible. Once you fully stop, remember to keep your hazards on, set the emergency brake and take your foot off of the brake pedal. Taking your foot off the brake pedal makes sure the tail lights are not illuminated, so that other drivers don’t mistakenly run into your truck and trailer thinking you are in a lane of traffic.
Driving in the fog will sometimes be inevitable. Knowing the right procedures to follow when you find yourself in this situation will help combat the fear of uncertainty in what lies ahead. The next time you encounter fog, remember to use your low-beam headlights and fog lights, utilize your wipers and defrosters and watch for vehicles on the side of the highway. Safe travels!
*For more safety tips, feel free to call Continental Express’ Safety Department at 800-497-2100.
* If you are interested in driving opportunities with Continental Express, call to speak with a Recruiter at 800-497-2100.