Fog makes for dangerous commute this morning; tips for safe driving

Posted: Updated:

VALLEYWIDE -- Patchy dense fog is hovering over the south-central portion of Arizona this morning. A Dense Fog Advisory that includes the Phoenix Metro area was extended until 10 a.m. Friday. It was originally set to expire at 9 a.m., but the fog was not burning off. In fact, it some areas, it was getting worse.

Visibility was down to less than 1/4 of a mile in some places.

Drivers should reduce their speed and leave plenty of space for vehicles ahead of them to brake.

Make sure that you do have your headlights on because they are the only part of your car other drivers will be able to see.

While you should use your fog lights, be sure your high beams are off. High beams direct light up into the fog, which will make it even harder for you to see. Low beams direct light down, which will help oncoming drivers see you.

If you need to pull off the road, do not stop on the roadway. Make sure you pull as far as possible onto the shoulder. Turn off your lights and take your foot off the brake pedal so people won't mistake your brake lights for tail lights.

Use the right side of the road as a guide rather than the center lane. This will keep you from driving into oncoming traffic.

Roll down your window a little bit and listen for traffic. You will likely be able to hear what you might not be able to see.

Keep an eye on your speedometer. Fog can create the illusion of slow motion, which makes it extremely easy to speed without your realizing it.

Use your wipers and defroster as needed to keep your windows as clear as possible.

Above all, be patient. Do not try to pass lines of traffic and be extra careful when changing lanes.

In addition to the visibility issues inherent with fog, drivers also need to be aware that the streets can be very slick.

The fog is thickest in the outlying areas, including the far east and far west portions of the Valley, as well as the more rural areas.