Driving in foggy weather is like driving while you are blindfolded. That is why it is considered to be one of the most dangerous road hazards especially for occupational drivers such as those who make deliveries for supply chains.
However, no matter how important the deliveries are, they do not have priority over your life. Here are some things you can do to reduce risks of accidents on a foggy road:
Do not drive fast on a road that is so fogged up that you cannot see the road. Use your speedometer to maintain a slow speed. Since the fog will hide the road, you will not be able to gauge how fast you are driving without an indicator.
Dim the headlights
If visibility is limited, do not make the same mistake other drivers do and turn on the high beams. This will do nothing but impair vision further since the light will just reflect off the fog and back at your vehicle. It may even blind you which can lead to a fatal accident.
Use fog lights
Special fog lights do not act like regular headlights. They illuminate the road and make your vehicle more visible to other drivers so they can keep their distance. Have rear ones installed as well if you are part of a fleet of delivery trucks. The rear lights will help them follow you at a safe distance you can all make your deliveries on time.
Use the right pavement
The pavement on the right hand side of the road has a thick white line painted on it as a guide for drivers. Use it rather than the ones in the middle of the road to keep your vehicle steady in the fog. That way you won’t veer close to other drivers who are facing the same issue.
Do not stop in the middle of the road
If you come across fog on the road your first instinct will be to slam on the brakes. However, that is the worst thing you can do since there may be others behind you driving at the same speed. Pull up on the side of the road rather than in the middle to assess your surroundings and to keep the road clear for other vehicles.
What to do if you have no choice
While you should refrain from driving on roads that are thick with fog, you may not have a choice especially if you have to complete deliveries. Here are some things you can do to keep yourself and your cargo safe from accidents in limited visibility:
- Listen to weather forecasts before heading out on your journey and alter your route if you have to.
- Stick to as many main routes as possible
- Allow extra time for the trip so you don’t waste time during a mishap
- Tell someone where you are going and your estimated ETA so that they can raise the alarm in case you don’t show up. This can be your supervisor or a fellow colleague.
- Turn all of the lights of your vehicle on so that you are visible to other drivers.
- Wear sunglasses or prescription glasses if the sun is low in the sky
- Drive according to the weather by adjusting your speed and maintain larger stopping distances so that you can account for skid.
- Avoid accelerating or braking harshly and remain calm if conditions are foggy
- Inform your supervisor in case you feel that the conditions are too dangerous for you to attempt a delivery.
Vehicle safety check list
- Ensure that your vehicle is in good working condition by checking the following:
- Tires should be in good condition and inflated to the appropriate pressure
- You should have extra fuel for the journey
- Make sure that the wipers and defrosters work correctly
- Take an ice scraper or de-icer t get rid of frost on your windshield.
- Take extra warm clothing such as a wool hat, gloves, an extra jacket etc in case you get wet.
You can avoid serious accidents as an occupational driver by signing up for DOT training via 360Training. The course has everything you need to know to remain in compliance with the US Department of Transportation./ This includes how to remain safe on the road and how to transport hazardous substances. Sign up today.