Over 5,891,000 vehicle crashes occur yearly, and 21% of those crashes occur due to weather conditions. One condition that makes it particularly difficult for drivers is fog, which impedes the view of the road ahead.
Fleet managers can teach drivers how to drive in fog and other weather conditions by using simulation-based training with various scenarios and weather situations. This guide to learning to drive large vehicles in the fog can also help as you train fleet drivers.
8 Tips to Drive in Fog in a Commercial Truck
Here are eight tips all fleet managers should give drivers when driving in foggy conditions.
1. Give Space to the Vehicle in Front of You
When driving through fog, it’s essential to consider other drivers. If visibility is poor for one driver, it’s poor for all drivers, so truck drivers must leave a more expansive space between themselves and the driver in front of them. The correct amount of space should be where a truck driver can see the car's lights in front of them but still has enough space to brake when the vehicle ahead slows down.
2. Use the Right Side of the Road as a Guide
It’s essential to train your drivers to follow the right side of the road when driving through fog rather than relying on the position of the car in front of them or the center line. The white line on the right reflects light, making it easier to see in all conditions.
This line also remains in one place, while other vehicles can move all over the road. Following the right line can prevent a driver from getting too close to another car when trying to follow the center line.
3. Don’t Use High Beams
Sometimes a driver’s instinct encourages turning on their high beams to see better when the fog rolls in, but this is a dangerous mistake. High beams create a glare by reflecting off wet surfaces. When instructing how to drive in fog, night or day, emphasize the importance of using low beams.
4. Defrost the Windows
Most drivers already know to use their windshield wipers during wet or foggy weather, but do they know to use the vehicle’s defroster? Moisture from the fog can cause condensation, resulting in glare on the front and rear glass.
5. Turn on Emergency Flashers
While typically used in emergencies, your hazard lights (also called emergency or four-way flashers) can alert approaching drivers of a truck’s position on the road. Turning these lights on may reduce the risk of an accident, as other drivers will have better visibility of the truck and can slow down sooner.
6. Avoid Changing Lanes as Much as Possible
Changing lanes while driving a commercial truck is already dangerous when the weather is good, but it could be deadly in foggy conditions. It takes longer for a trailer to cross the road than the tractor, and the lack of visibility for all drivers may cause a collision between a vehicle and the side of the trailer while the lane change occurs.
7. Don’t Slam on the Brakes
Drivers often have the bad habit of hitting the brakes when they hit a patch of fog or experience other conditions that impact visibility. But the problem with doing that is if any other drivers are behind them, it may cause a rear-end accident or multi-car pile-up. If a driver needs to slow down, encourage them to do so gradually to provide ample time for other drivers to react to the change in speed.
8. Take a Break
Whenever possible, encourage your fleet drivers to avoid driving in fog altogether. It’s easier said than done, but if the fog is too bad, establish a policy of taking a break until it clears. Although such a policy will throw off a trucker’s schedule, it’s certainly better than getting injured or causing injuries to others.
Prepare Your Fleet for Weather Conditions with L3Harris Driving Simulators
Create the experience of navigating through heavy rain, fog and winter flurries, even when it’s sunny outside, with a driving simulator. L3Harris driving simulators, TranSim and DeliverySim, mimic the feeling of driving a commercial truck without getting behind the wheel. Each simulator also has a library of preloaded weather conditions and the option to create custom experiences.
Allow trainees to feel the tension of harsh weather without real-life consequences by offering simulation-based training. If they make a mistake, the instructor operating system (IOS) allows trainers to show the exact moment something went wrong, creating a teaching moment.
Contact us today to learn more about our driving simulators and how they can benefit your fleet.