With the many recent dense fog advisories we’ve had and probably will have more, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office believes that now is the 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 fog-related fatal car accidents each year across the country.
** Please take a moment to review these tips, not only for yourself, but also to discuss with the 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. Reduced visibility means longer reaction and then longer braking times, so extra space is your friend. Coupled with icy roads, it will take you longer to stop. Slow down; being safer is worth it.
2. Use your windshield wipers and defrosters. Moisture and ice on the windshield create a glare that makes it even more difficult to see. Get the best possible view by cleaning your windshield.
3. About visibility: The proper use of lights is one of the pillars of safe driving in fog. Turn them on from manual mode because they won’t turn on if they sense lighter conditions. If your headlights have dimmed, take the time to brighten things up with a headlight bulb replacement.
4. Resist the common impulse to use the lights of the vehicles in front of you as a guide. This can actually cause you to focus too much on the narrow strip of scenery in front of you, causing you to miss much more important things or dangers.
5. Bypass cruise control. Fog plus winter = surprise slippery spots; It is very important to keep complete control of your car. Seconds count.
6. Please follow the line on the right side of the road to guide you. Don’t be afraid to slow down and drive carefully on the right side of the road. Roadside reflectors can also help guide you.
7. Do not speed if a car behind you is too close. It can be tempting to try to distance yourself from a vehicle that is closer than it should be; but that can actually make your own situation more dangerous. Obey a safe and reasonable speed limit in fog, even if other motorists do not. Alternatively, consider booting safely and letting them through if it’s too much of a distraction for your own concentration.
8. Stay indoors when the fog is extremely strong. Consider changing your plans if possible.
9. Remember to check your mirrors before slowing down and gently apply the brakes. The sooner you can start hitting the brakes, the better off you’ll be. Your brake lights will alert drivers behind you that you are slowing down, and this is better than taking them by surprise with sudden stops.
10. If you need to stop for any reason, pull your vehicle as far off the shoulder of the road as possible. Once you are stopped, turn on your emergency flashers.