The fog comes on suddenly. You’re driving down the local road at 55 miles per hour when, in an instant, you’re in a huge bank of fog and you can’t see anything. Now what?
On one hand, your instinct is to slow down. There could be another car ahead of you — or a blind curve, a traffic crash, a pedestrian or many other hazards. You want to slow down because your reaction time is down to almost nothing with such a low level of visibility. The only way to increase it is to slow down.
On the other hand, if you do slow down, do you just risk getting hit from behind? Maybe the next driver to enter the fog doesn’t slow down nearly as much as you do, or maybe they keep going while you virtually come to a stop while you wait for it to clear. Isn’t that more risky for you and for them?
There are arguments to be made on both sides, but weather experts generally say that you do want to slow down so that you avoid hitting anyone else. If you can’t see at all and you want to stop, don’t do it in the road. Pull far off onto the shoulder or pull into a parking lot. Turn on the flashers. This gives you the best chance of avoiding an accident, even if someone else opts not to stop.
From a fault standpoint, it’s also better to slow down since the following driver is typically at fault. If they act recklessly, refusing to slow down and causing a crash, you may be able to seek financial compensation.