Driving on a clear day is ideal. However, we can not always predict or control the weather we are going to be driving in, Rain, fog, snow, smoke and darkness all can make it more difficult to see when you are driving. The less you can see ahead of you, the higher your risk for an accident is. While it is not ideal to drive when you are unable to see very far ahead of you, there are steps you can take to make sure you get to your destination safely. Remember these tips for how to drive safely in low-visibility conditions.
How-to Drive Safely in Low-Visibility Conditions (AACC- A)
Adjust Your Driving
In order to drive safely in low-visibility conditions, you will need to adjust the way that you drive. First, you will want to reduce your speed. When you can not see very far ahead, you never know what you could come out of nowhere. A stopped vehicle, debris, or even a large animal like a deer could be in the middle of the road. When you are driving slower, you will be able to react and slow down or stop in a shorter period of time.
In the same way, give yourself more space between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Since you will not be able to see far in the distance, you may not see something that the car ahead of you does. If they have to slam on their brakes, the extra following distance will give you more time to react as well.
Increase Your Visibility
While you can’t control the weather, there are some things you can control to help you drive safely in low-visibility conditions. Start by keeping your windshield, windows and mirrors clean. If these things are dirty, you will already have a more difficult seeing out. This, compounded with bad weather can cause a hazard. Keep your headlights and taillights clean too. If they’re covered in grime, they will not be as effective at lighting the way. Plus, other vehicles will have a harder time seeing you.
In fog or bad conditions, avoid using your high beams. High beams will actually reflect off of the fog, smoke or precipitation to further reduce visibility. Instead, opt for driving with your fog lights on. If you do not think your current lights are bright enough in low beam mode, consider replacing your headlights.