Have you ever gone out to your vehicle in the early morning and seen fog everywhere around you? It can be difficult to see through it, which is why driving in fog can easily lead to motor vehicle accidents.
Fog occurs when humidity is high or when there is pollution in the air that causes clouds to form closer to the ground. For drivers, fog rolling in can make it dangerous to drive as visibility is greatly affected.
How does fog impact vision?
Fog impacts your vision in a few ways. To start with, your depth perception will be reduced. This is because fog is thick, and approaching vehicles or objects may not appear to be as close as they are.
You will also deal with reduced contrast. So, you may not be able to see dark objects against lighter objects on the road. The road itself may be hard to see, or you may not be able to differentiate between the gravel on the shoulder and the road itself.
Finally, remember that the way people see allows you to fixate on objects. When your visibility is weakened, you won’t be able to fix your focus on objects that are further away. Instead, your vision will rest around three feet away thanks to the Mandelbaum Effect.
How can you stay safer in the fog?
Usually, fog lessens after dawn or when the humidity falls, but if you can’t wait to drive you will need to consider ways to stay safe on the road.
Many people turn to using their vehicle’s lights, but this can be dangerous. Don’t use high beams, because these bright lights reflect off the water droplets in fog and can actually make it much harder to see. Instead, try to use low beams that are aimed at the ground or pavement. If your vehicle has fog lights, use those.
Remember, you should only drive as quickly as is safe. Slow down in fog and use the low-beams for the safest approach to traveling in these conditions. If you end up in a crash, turn on your hazard lights and try to get your vehicle to the side of the road.