Trials of the Road: 5 Facts Truck Drivers Should Keep in Mind About Fog and Low Visibility

Posted on 24 January 2019 by Tony Santos

Driving in an environment of low visibility and foggy conditions is dangerous to anyone on the road. But when you are in control of a vehicle as heavy as an 18-wheeler semi-truck, they become potentially fatal.

Even for confident and experienced drivers, fog can cause serious problems. In most instances, the safest solution is to pull over and wait for conditions to improve. But in the world of trucking, time is money, and this isn’t always possible.

These are five facts truck drivers should bear in mind when driving in fog and conditions of low visibility to avoid collisions. If you are involved in a truck accident, contact Keller and Keller to find out how they can help you with your case.

High Beams Make It Harder to See

It can be tempting to put your high beams on in fog, but this actually makes visibility worse. The light reflects off moisture droplets in the air, making it more difficult to see the road and obstacles ahead.

Instead, if you don’t have fog lights, use low beams for better visibility and have your tail lights and hazards to give drivers behind you the best possible chance of seeing you.

Moisture on the Windshield will Create Glare

In foggy conditions, any moisture or ice on your windscreen will reflect light back at you as glare, further restricting visibility. To preserve the best possible view, use your windscreen wipers to wipe away moisture, even if it isn’t raining.

Fog Occurs in High Humidity

Because of the weather conditions that yield fog, decreased visibility outside the vehicle will often coincide with decreased visibility on the inside in the form of steamed-up windows and a steamed-up windshield.

To combat this, use your car or trucks interior defrost function. It can be tempting to wipe the windscreen with your hand or sleeve, but this will likely only result in a smeared windscreen, further reducing your visibility.

Yellow Light Increases Visibility

Yellow light is not reflected back at you in foggy conditions. This is why many cars have fog lights, lights which have a yellow hue instead of bright white.

If your car doesn’t have fog lights, you can make your own with yellow cellophane. Keep a roll of yellow cellophane and some tape in your glove box, and in foggy conditions, you can tape it over your headlights and continue driving with full beams on with good results.

The Safest Distance Between You and the Vehicle in Front is 9-12 Seconds in Fog

In foggy conditions, stopping distances are greatly increased because you may not have the luxury of foresight. It is possible you will only discover potential obstacles and hazards when you are a few feet in front of them, causing you to slam on your brakes.

The optimal distance between you and the vehicle in front in dense fog is 9-12 seconds. This should give you ample time to bring your vehicle to a halt, should the vehicle in front be forced to make a sudden stop.

 

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