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John Demas
John Demas
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It’s the Most Dangerous Time of the Year: Tips for Driving in Imperfect Weather Conditions

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The holiday season is a wonderful time, friends and family gathering close, presents and good food, what more could you want? The hard part is getting there. When driving to grandmother’s house this year remember to stay safe. The roads can be icy, windy, and worst of all foggy.

Fog is very dangerous because it severely limits your ability to see. People tend to either speed up in fog or slow way down. The CHP website has tips for driving in the fog. Some of the tips make sense, but others should be modified a bit.

The best tip they have is to drive with lights on LOW beam. High beams will reflect off the fog and create a “white wall” effect. But please do turn your lights on. The light can sometimes pierce through the fog and warn other drivers of your location.

Now the CHP says to reduce your speed, but if others on the same road are going much faster than you, there will be a problem. So watch your speedometer, choose a reasonable speed and try to keep it steady.

Avoid crossing traffic and drive with a window partially open if you can. Listen for traffic if possible. CHP cars will be on the road in really bad conditions, they are called pace cars and will guide you. If you see one, try to travel with it.

Now here is a scary part, the CHP says that if your car is disabled or you can’t continue to pull well onto the shoulder. Don’t do that. If at all possible, get off the highway. It is extremely dangerous to be on the side of the freeway anytime, but when it’s foggy and people can’t see anything it is the worst time to be out there.

Accidents happen all the time because of obscured views. Just last week a bicyclist was killed after being hit by a woman who couldn’t see out her windshield because of dew. If your car has dew or frost on it, the first thing you should use is your defogger or defroster. It is recommended before scraping or using windshield wipers.

If all else fails…stop. Pull off into a McDonald’s or spend the night in a hotel. If you are uncomfortable driving than get off the road, for your safety and the safety of other drivers. Remember, it is better to arrive late than not arrive at all.