Fog in Canada: What you can do

Fog reduces visibility to less than 1,000 metres.*

Did you know? The difference between fog and mist comes down to how far you can see. Fog limits your visibility to less than 1 km. If you can see beyond that, the condition is known as mist. Even for experienced drivers, fog can present a hazard.

What should you do before there’s fog?

Before you set out in your car, it's always a good idea to check the weather report. If fog is in the forecast, you should stay off the roads. Sometimes, though, you can find yourself in fog without warning. If that happens, following the tips below will help keep you and your passengers safe.

What can you do during fog?

Do not stop on the road. Though stopping is a natural reaction when you can’t see what’s ahead, it could cause you to become the first link in a chain-reaction crash. If you’re not able to continue driving safely, pull off to the side of the road, and turn on your four-way flashers. Wait until conditions improve before you get back on the road.

Slow down. In foggy conditions, normal driving speeds are unsafe. Slower speeds give you more time to react if hazards appear, or if the traffic ahead of you stops suddenly.

Stay in your lane. Be patient and avoid changing lanes or overtaking other vehicles. If you are pulling off the road, use your turn signal sooner than you normally would so that any driver following you has as much warning as possible.

Avoid sudden acceleration. You might want to get away from a driver who’s following too closely, but make sure you keep enough distance between yourself and the car ahead. It’s best to stay at a slow and consistent speed.

Slow down gradually. Before slowing down, check your mirrors for any traffic behind you. Tap your brakes gently to let other drivers know what you’re doing.

Use your speedometer as your guide. Thick fog masks visual indicators of speed, thus making you less aware of how fast you’re going. Turn off your cruise control, and increase the distance between yourself and the vehicle ahead of you.

Give driving your full attention. Driving safely in fog takes even more focus than normal. Turn off your radio, put away your cellphone and don’t engage in conversation with your passengers. Rather, ask them to help you keep an eye out for danger. Consider rolling down your window so that you can hear other sounds on the road.

Have the right lights on. Turn on your low-beam headlights so that other drivers can see you. If your vehicle has fog lights, turn those on as well. But don’t use your high beams; the tiny water droplets in fog will reflect that bright light, thus making it even harder for you to see what’s ahead.

Watch out for condensation. Foggy conditions will cause moisture to collect on your windshield, making your visibility even worse. Keep your defroster on, and be ready to use your windshield wipers.

Watch out for freezing fog. When fog rolls in near the freezing point, the collected moisture might create black ice on the roads. These conditions call for even more caution — and even slower speeds.

Use the right-side edge of the road as your guide. Don’t use the centre line of the road, as that will draw you closer to other vehicles. And don’t use the vehicle ahead as your guide; doing so will narrow your field of vision, making you less aware of your surroundings.

Look out for wildlife. Animals — moose and deer in particular — are bolder in fog, and much harder to see.

If there has been a collision.

If your car has been involved in a collision or otherwise damaged, there are important next steps to follow for your safety:

  •   Pull over to the side of the road, turn on your four-way flashers and stay in your car as much as possible for your own safety.
  •   Call 911 if anyone is injured or if the damage is serious.
  •   For more detailed advice about what to do after a collision, please click here.

Readying an insurance claim or just looking for solutions after fog? We’re ready to talk to you.

You can reach one of our helpful TD Insurance Claims Advisors by dialing 1-866-848-9744, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Depending on the circumstances and subject to your policy's coverage, we may be able to dispatch emergency services to provide solutions to mitigate further damage and put your safety first.

Our TD Insurance Customer Advice Centers are also available to answer your insurance coverage questions. For existing TD MyInsurance customers, click here to login and chat securely with one of our Advisors.

Alternatively, you can call us at 1-877-777-7136, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

*Fog. Government of Canada. Retrieved from https://climate.weather.gc.ca/glossary_e.html