Expert Tips for Safely Driving in Dense Fog Across Washington State Roads

I was coming down 395 in Kennewick this morning and the morning fog was thick as pea soup.

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A Guide on Driving Through Thick Fog in Washington State

Thick fog can reduce road visibility to almost zero, making it extremely difficult to navigate especially if you are not used to driving in it.

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I recall working in Bakersfield years ago and it would get thick in the morning but I always made the joke, that's not fog, that's smog.

I thought I'd give a few tips for driving in the morning especially if you are driving in Washington State:

1. Slow down

One of the most effective ways to stay safe while driving in thick fog is to slow down. Driving at a high speed in foggy conditions can be extremely dangerous since you can't see what's ahead of you until it's too late. When driving in dense fog, reduce your speed and allow yourself enough space to stop in case of sudden obstacles or other vehicles on the road. It's also advisable to increase the distance between you and the car in front of you to avoid rear-end accidents.

2. Use your headlights and fog lights

When driving in foggy conditions, always make sure your headlights are on. Turn on both low and high beams to cut through the fog and increase your visibility. In addition, using fog lights can help illuminate the road surface and make it easier to see. However, switch off your high beams when you see an oncoming car to avoid blinding the driver.

Bright headlights of a car driving on foggy winter road
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3. Use the painted road lines as a guide

In thick fog, it's easy for drivers to lose their sense of direction and end up driving off the road. However, you can use the painted road lines as a guide to stay on track. Stick to one side of the road and keep your eyes clearly fixed on the corresponding line.

4. Listen for other vehicles

In foggy conditions, your hearing can become a valuable sense for detecting other vehicles on the road. Listen for the sound of approaching cars or other vehicles and try to stay alert to any sounds that suggest they are coming closer. Keep your windows partially open to hear any honks or warnings from other drivers.

5. Consider pulling over

If the fog becomes too dense and you feel it's too difficult to drive safely, consider pulling over and waiting it out.

As you tackle the roads this morning, take a few of these tips to heart for a safe commute.

Washington City Nicknames

There's nothing more personal than a nickname, and even cities and suburbs can end up with special nicknames. Sometimes it's something tongue-in-cheek from its residents or rivals, and sometimes it's an official "motto" meant to promote the city through tourism.

We've compiled dozens of Washington city nicknames to offer you a virtual tour of the weird and wacky names we've given our favorite local areas in the Evergreen state. How many of them have you heard?

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

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