(Please visit one of our advertisers)

No donations or subscriptions are required

   OR   
   
Subscription choices:
Board Karma = 40  (3456 positive of 3838 votes is 40 %pts higher than a neutral 50%)
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle   
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?


 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Sharing of Lessons Learned
 Riding in the fog
Member Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  

BadaBing
Male Advanced Member
1196 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage Classic 04
Peer Review:

Posted - 02/28/2005 :  8:43 PM                       Like
I usually do not ride if a fog is around. However, I did leave for a ride early one morning and ran into a fog over a bridge. It was pretty dense. I was tempted to stop on the side butthere is a marginal shoulder and I was concerned that someone would hit me from behind.

I did slow down quite a bit and just used the white line on the extreme right side of the road as a guide. It was barely visible in the fog yet it did the trick.

As soon as I cleared the bridge that crosses the lake the coast was clear. What do you do when you are caught in a fog?

Ciao,

BadaBing

Jerry Godell
Male Senior Member
441 Posts


Kansas City, kansas
USA

Harley-Davidson

FXD SuperGlide

Posted - 02/28/2005 :  10:39 PM
Fog, Smoke. Real killers. Besides lack of visibility. Spatial Disorientation, Vertigo. Whatever you wan't to call it. It can happen real quick when you lose the horizon. You were lucky you still had the white line to see. Don't stradle the line. Keep it to one side.
Spatial Disorientation probably contributes to the over reporting of single motorcycle accidents at night on rural curving roads. Alcohol dosen't help in these situations either.
Go to Top of Page

Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1470 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  10:57 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  

Rocco,

Fog gives you all kinds of misinformation when you're riding: not only do you lose your horizon and become less certain how much lean angle you already have, or will need, but you also lose your normal 'radar' because sound changes with all the molecules of water.

Jim and I rode out of Marshall, Texas, early one morning and into a rather bad patch of fog. We slowed down from 70 to 40 or so. We talked about stopping, but the fog would come and go. Before too long, we came upon a small box truck that was going the same way we were. He was following an 18-wheeler, which I figured was probably sweeping anything of size on the road ahead of us out of the way. All of us were pretty much creeping along, but the tail-lights gave me something to use as a judge of road dynamics and lane position.

My biggest fear (when I relive that ride in memory) was that something was going to turn onto the highway in front of us, without seeing our headlights, or would come at us from the side and pull out. We could see side roads and turn-ins only when we were right upon them, and the headlights from cars that were 90 degrees to our path were impossible to see.

I think it was over in about 20 minutes, but while it was going on, it was pretty hairy. We were in low hills so that the valleys were foggy and the hills relatively clear, so it was in and out. This causes an additional problem in that you can't wear sunglasses, as the light is very different moving from one condition to the other and inside a 'cloud' it can seem very dark indeed. I was definitely glad to see steady sunshine.

One other problem that comes up in fog is that you get lots of water droplets on your windscreen (both sides) and visor (inside, for sure) as the humidity goes up. I try to talk myself through any jitters about that: "Look between the raindrops" is one mantra; and "Don't do anything sudden, just keep doing everything right" is another.

Since foggy conditions also mean wet streets (but not downpours that clean them), the usual 'starting to rain' cautions about road surfaces apply.

If you choose to stop because of fog, see if you can get completely off the main road and turn into a driveway or parking lot. Divide up your group rather than let the back riders park out on the road. I think that's safer than stopping on a shoulder.

For group riding, when we've been able to see that a cloud was on the ground up ahead, I'd signal the group to slow down (both on CB and also using a BIG hand signal, to be passed back); and I might call for us to ride single-file except for the last two bikes. The drag should be tapping on his brake, the next to last rider also using a little brake to show that the lane is occupied all the way across. I'd put the rest in single-file so that we could reduce the chance of running over something unseen while we try to scan the lane ahead.

The rule of thumb I've heard is that if you can't see at least two (maybe three) full stripes ahead of you, the fog is too thick and you should get off the road. I've had a sudden fog cloud descend where we couldn't see to the end of the next stripe! but we had no choice except to keep moving as there was no exit for another mile or so. It kinda makes the drag bike wear out his pucker-string, so it's well to thank him for being back there, after the ride is done.

Good topic to raise.


Cash
Go to Top of Page

Indiana Randy
Moderator
2118 Posts
[Mentor]


Fort Wayne, Indiana
USA

Honda

2000 Magna V4 750

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  8:28 AM
BadaBing, that white line on the right side of the road is called the 'fog line'.
Go to Top of Page

htdb33
Standard Member
167 Posts


somerville, al
USA

Triumph

Trophy 1200

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  9:30 AM

First of all let me preface my statements that what we are talking about here is really thick pea soup type fog. Mildly annoying fog is best dealt with by keeping enough speed so you can turn your head to the side from time to time and let the wind blow the droplets of water off your face shield. If conditions are so bad that you cant go at least that fast you should exit the roadway completely and stop. One of the biggest dangers is being hit from behind by going too slowly because your face shield is fogged up but the cages drives can see relativly fine by using their windshield wipers.

When I say exit completely I mean exit into a rest area, driveway, parking lot or similiar area as was mentioned before. The side of the road is not good enough. Other drivers are going to be hugging the "fog line" and you could end up underneath them. If you are forced to stop along the side of the road. Leave the bike with its lights on and get further away from the road on foot. You are harder to replace than the bike and there is nothing you can do to help the situation by staying next to the bike.

I dont agree with putting a group of riders into single file in such a circumstance. For basically the same reasons you ride staggered in good weather you should continue your staggered fomation in bad. You may have to decrease the trailing distance in the fog so you can keep the bike in front of you in sight. If you are riding directly behind that bike instead of staggered to the side you reduce the available stopping distance on that wet road by half. Also, the person in the other lane just ahead of you can help you to spot obsticles in your lane by pointing them out as they pass them.

yankee dog

Go to Top of Page

Cash Anthony
Female Administrator
1470 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, Texas
USA

Honda

Magna 750

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  5:50 PM Follow poster on Twitter  Join poster on Facebook as Friend  

The kind of fog I was referring to precluded anyone using hand signals once we were "in" the ground cloud.

My reason for noting that I might ask for a single-file formation was that it was also very hard to see the ground, and anything in the roadway would not be visible until the last second -- the lights from our headlamps were too bright to give us much help (not because they were on high-beam - they weren't - but because of the reflective quality of the water molecules).

Having the bikes follow one track might reduce stopping distance if our intervals stayed the same (though I think my groups usually stretch out a little bit, and definitely slow down, whenever we are riding single-file), but it also would reduce the risk factors from unknown, invisible road hazards, except those right in the path the group takes.

And as for those, at least the lead bike has a chance to encounter them first and announce them.

Either way, single-file or staggered, the point was to get us all off the road safely and park for a while until the fog lifted. Which is what we did. I suspect many a piece of pie has been sold at that Brookshire truck stop on foggy mornings...


Cash
Go to Top of Page

BadaBing
Male Advanced Member
1196 Posts
[Mentor]


Houston, TX
USA

Harley-Davidson

Heritage Classic 04

Posted - 03/04/2005 :  7:07 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Indiana Randy

BadaBing, that white line on the right side of the road is called the 'fog line'.



Hey Indiana Randy,

Thanks. I must be the only rider around who didn't know that.

But I am learning.

Ciao,

BadaBing
Go to Top of Page

md2lgyk
Male Standard Member
228 Posts


Harpers Ferry, WV
USA

Honda

Shadow VLX

Posted - 03/04/2005 :  9:45 AM
Don't feel bad. I used to be a cop and I didn't know that's what the line was called.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Discussion Topic Next Topic  
Jump To:
All Things (Safety Oriented) Motorcycle © Master Strategy Group Go To Top Of Page
  This page was generated in 0.27 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05