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Fog Kills

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Fog Kills

Tim HillerbyMorgan
15 September 2009


I am sorry to be so blunt about it, but fog is a killer. If I were more accurate, the way people drive in the fog gets them killed. Every time there is fog on the freeway, there is a crash. It need not be like this.

Fog is a dense formation of water droplets near the ground. It is, in effect, a cloud on the ground. The ground absorbs heat during the day. It releases the heat at night. This causes the moisture in the air to form water droplets. If there are enough water droplets in the air, a fog forms. You are most likely to find fog in valleys and near rivers.

The problem with fog is that it reduces the distance that you can see. I have experienced fog where I could only see the end of the car. I slowed right down and pulled off the road as soon as I could.

The golden rule of a good driver is "I will be able to stop safely in the distance that I can see to be clear. This is the key to your fog routine. The fog routine works on all types of roads.

It will take you longer to get to work or school in the fog. You have to reduce your speed if you are to keep a safe distance from the car in front. So, you need to leave earlier in the fog.

Before you leave, you must check that all your car lights work and the windscreens are clean. Fog reduces the distance that you can see. You need to make your car more visible to other drivers.

You need to make sure that you can see. That is why you need clean windscreens in fog. It is also, why you must keep your screens demisted. You car will be warm, the air outside will be cold. Your windscreens will mist up.

As you approach the fog, turn on your headlights. Turn them onto dipped beam - side lights are neither use nor ornament. Do not turn your lights onto main beam. The moisture in the air will break up the light and create a whiteout in front of your car.

If the distance you can see drops to about 110 yards, you must turn on your fog lights. 110 yards is about the length of a soccer pitch. These intense lights to the front and rear of your car will help make you visible. You must turn the fog lights off as soon as you can. Rear fog lights are painful to look at.

Slow down and increase the distance between you and the car in front. If you can see their lights then you are too close. You are in great danger if you can clearly make out the car in front.


The Drivers Ed Company is working to improve driving standards in america and the UK. Its chief instructor Tim Hillerby - Morgan recently published The Student Driver Manual. You can download the manual at http://www.driversedcompany.com/studentdriver . Tim is a UK government approved driving instructor. He has driven in the police and in the customs service. Tim specializes in student drivers and American drivers in the UK.

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