Here in the Philippines, getting used to riding through the scorching heat or the pouring rain is something most riders are accustomed to—whether that means having to ride through midday during summer or through a storm during the rainy season. Riding through foggy weather, however, is not something that is a regular occurrence for most riders. Foggy weather often only presents itself during the colder months of the year or on-road networks up in the mountains. As such, the intuition and reflexes for riding in foggy weather may not be every rider’s forte. Thankfully, riding in unfamiliar, foggy weather doesn’t have to be so intimidating or daunting—here are a few good tips you can take along with you during a ride out through foggy conditions.
The first and most important tip would be to make sure that you are riding calmly. When fog presents itself, don’t forget to watch your posture, loosen up, and breathe normally. A stiff and panicky rider is never a safe rider, so making sure you’re calm is the first thing you’ll need to manage. Do what you must to help calm yourself even if that means having to slow down in speed or pulling over if you have to. If you’re riding in a group, feel free to signal your group to pull over. While you might be comfortable riding through foggy weather, other members in the group might not be as comfortable doing so. It’s most important to get everyone on the same page when riding through unfamiliar weather conditions and road networks in order to maintain the safety of the pack.
Be extra attentive
After ensuring your calm, make sure you’re riding a bit more attentively than usual. Visibility is key. The first thing you’ll want to do is to use your normal headlight low beam for best visibility—high beam lights will only do the opposite by reflecting off water droplets at eye level. After setting up your lights properly, make sure to study your surroundings. Try to estimate how much visibility you have and distance yourself accordingly from motorists in your front and at your back. Less visibility also means having to protect your braking zones a bit more, therefore keeping your distance will help keep you safe.
On top of this, your eyes will need to trail the road in order to watch out for hazardous surfaces or sudden changes in the direction of the road. Foggy weather tends to hide obstacles on the road, from dirt patches, to small rocks, to wet or muddy roads, and even random pedestrians crossing the street. As such, it’s important to follow the road and pay attention to the surfaces and potential obstacles you will be riding through. Keep calm and loose and ride within your limits.
Pull over safely
If the foggy weather gets a bit too much to handle, the next best thing you might want to do is to pull over to the side of the road for your own safety and wait for the fog to clear out a bit. As much as pulling over seems as straightforward as it sounds, doing so in foggy weather can be a bit tricky. Make sure to only pull over in a safe and secure location a few meters away from the main road. Avoid pulling over too close to the road as motorists may not see your motorcycle through the fog, and avoid pulling over in corners in order to keep yourself extra safe from the dangers of overshooting motorists. If your battery permits, you may also want to keep your ignition turned on in order to keep your daytime running lights visible to other motorists for maximum safety.