Slow down on foggy roads

I was really surprised at the speed of drivers going past me, some I estimated at 130 km/h plus...

“I drove the Inland Island Highway from Campbell River southbound and I encountered heavy fog until approximately Parksville.

“Driving within my visible stopping distance meant going about 80 km/h, less at times, with maybe 200 m of visibility. I was really surprised at the speed of drivers going past me, some I estimated at 130 km/h plus. Many were pickups and SUVs.”

I received this comment by e-mail. The author is commenting on something we see every day on our highways in many different kinds of weather.

Fog requires reduced speed, and you need to keep an eye on your speedometer to overcome a tendency to speed back up again as you become acclimatized to the fog.

The four-second following rule is a good guide in this situation.

If you pass roadside features fewer than four seconds after they enter your view, you are probably driving too fast for the conditions and need to slow further.

Make sure that you can be seen by turning your lights on. Use low-beam headlights and front fog lights, even in the daytime.

Never rely on parking lights alone to identify yourself to other drivers under these conditions. Beware of other drivers who might not have turned their lights on.

Never under any circumstances stop on the travelled portion of the highway. If you must stop, move as far off of the roadway as you are able to.

Turn off all lights except for your hazard flashers so that other drivers don’t think you are still driving on the road.

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Thursdays.

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