Top Tips When Driving in Fog
One of the conditions that drivers have to face in the winter months is driving in fog. Depending on how bad the fog is, this can be challenging and dangerous. Here are some tips for staying safe when driving in fog.
Turn on Your Headlights
Most safety experts say it is safer to have your headlights on all the time, but it becomes even more important when visibility is reduced because of fog. This is because headlights make it easier for other cars to see you. When visibility is down to less than 100 metres, you must turn your headlights on by law.
If your car has automatic lights, don’t rely on them coming on by themselves. In many situations, there is enough light to prevent automatic lights from coming on in the fog, even though visibility is poor. This particularly applies if you are driving in fog in the middle of the day.
Also, don’t rely on daytime running lights as they only turn on the front lights in some makes and model of car. It is important that your rear lights are on too, so you will have to switch them on manually.
Remember also to only use dipped headlights.
Use Fog Lights
You don’t have to use fog lights by law, but when visibility is particularly bad, it is the sensible thing to do. According to the AA, if you don’t use them and have an accident, you might end up in difficulty with your insurer.
Fog lights increase the visibility of your vehicle more than your headlights do. They don’t necessarily make it easier for you to see, but the high levels of brightness mean your fog lights are more likely to penetrate the fog so other drivers can see you.
The brightness of the light means it is important that fog lights are switched off again once visibility levels improve.
When it is foggy outside it is even more important to keep your windscreen clear of mist and water. You should, therefore, use your windscreen wipers and demisters.
In fog, you can’t see other vehicles until you are close to them, and you can’t see the road either. This makes it much harder to anticipate problems, know when to brake or know when to turn.
You have to compensate for this by slowing down. Slowing down will give you more time to react to other vehicles and the conditions on the road.
You should also leave extra space between you and the car in front. Sometimes it is tempting to drive close to the car in front, letting them lead the way through the poor visibility. This is dangerous, though. It might take more effort to hang back and then make your own way through, but it is safer.
Junctions can present significant problems in the fog because it is harder to see if anything is coming. One thing you can do is wind down your window to listen for cars. Only pull out when you are sure it is safe to do so. The AA also advises that when you do decide to pull out, do so confidently and without hesitation so that you are less likely to be in the path of oncoming vehicles.
Lights, slower speeds, and greater care are the secrets to driving in fog safely.