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Safety tips for driving in fog

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Baby, it’s foggy outside. This inversion blanketing Boise and the Treasure Valley has been hanging around for a while, and it’s going to be here a while longer. Doesn’t that song say, “Then one foggy Christmas Eve,” not “Then one foggy mid-December week”? Sure, the trees and bushes have that fairy tale, winter wonderland look, but whether you’re commuting to work, getting kids to school, or just out doing some holiday shopping, chances are you’ve got to drive in this fog. And it can be a little unnerving if you’re not used to it. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on the roads. Be sure to check out the video for more tips to keep you safe driving in fog or other adverse conditions.

Drive with your low beams on. Never use high beams in fog. They reflect off the fog and create a white wall effect. Keep them on throughout your trip. While it may be clear in some areas, you can land in a pocket of deep fog in other areas.

Keep your headlights clean. All that road grime, mixed with snow and rain, makes a yucky film over your headlights. A quick wipe down will make a big difference.

Slow down. Roads are still icy and snowy anyway, and we’ve got more snow on the way. With limited visibility, the smart thing to do is go a little slower, giving yourself and others plenty of reaction time. Furthermore, being surrounded by fog can give the illusion that we’re traveling slower we really are, so check your speed.

Beware of icy patches. Especially over bridges and in low spots in parking lots or coming out of a subdivision, that freezing fog can create slick roadways that make stopping a little dicey.

Avoid crossing traffic lanes when you can. Keep lane changes to a minimum to avoid collisions with other motorists you can’t see.

Crack a window. Consider driving with your windows slightly open so that you can hear traffic you might not otherwise be able to see.

Use extra caution if your car is disabled. If you run out of gas or have other mechanical issues, be sure to pull well off the road, and exit the car from the passenger side.

Above all, use common sense. If you’re having a hard time seeing other drivers, it’s a good bet that they’re having a hard time seeing you, too. So slow down and be cautious.

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