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Driving in Fog: Safety Tips from NYSC

NYSC Blog 2-21-15

New York City has an average of 131 days of fog each year, so knowing how to drive in foggy conditions is essential to being a New York driver. However, many drivers drive too fast, forget to flip their headlights on, and don't take extra precautions on foggy days.

To ensure that 2015 is a safe and productive year for you and your loved ones, here are some driving tips for navigating the roads in fog in New York.

Drive Defensively

Driving defensively is always a good idea, but especially during foggy and hazardous conditions. Make sure to leave more room between your vehicle and the vehicles around you so that you can maneuver with decreased visibility. Stay alert at all times in case other drivers begin to swerve into your lane.

Use Low Beam Headlights

Many drivers make the mistake of using their high beam headlights to try to see more clearly during foggy conditions. However, the light from high beams often reflects back at you and causes a glare. This glare can restrict your driving abilities and judgment even further. When fog conditions clear, you may begin to use your high beams again. It is never safe to drive with only your parking lights on during fog.

Watch for Lines on the Road

If you are having trouble seeing the traffic in front and behind you, keep an eye out for line markings on the road. Watch for solid white lines on the right side of the road to make sure that you are staying in your lane. When that solid line begins to veer to the right, you'll know that an exit ramp is coming up if you need to get off the highway.

Pack Your Patience

Almost all fog-related accidents are caused by drivers going too fast. When visibility is obscured, it's important to pack your patience and settle in for a longer commute than usual. Although you may be annoyed by the delay, that annoyance doesn't even begin to compare to the consequences of getting into an accident. Resist the temptation to pass slow-moving cars and change lanes unnecessarily.

Roll Down Your Window

Instead of guessing where the traffic is around you in a heavy fog, turn off your radio and roll down your windows. This way you can hear the traffic around you better and stay better informed about your surroundings. Even if nearby cars aren't blaring their horns, you'd be surprised at how much you can hear on the road when you minimize distractions and tune in.

Invest in Yellow Lens Sunglasses

If you struggle with driving in fog, you might consider investing in a pair of yellow-tinted sunglasses. These have helped some drivers see better in foggy, rainy, and snowy conditions and when driving at night as well. If you've never tried driving with yellow tinted lenses before, pick up an inexpensive pair to stash in your glove compartment and try them out next time you find yourself behind the wheel in foggy conditions.