Poor visibility caused by fog can make it difficult for you to drive. If you’re not careful, it may even lead to an accident. in the UK fog can appear quite suddenly and unexpectedly, even in summer. So, how do you drive in the fog and arrive at your destination safely? Here are five tips you can use if you find yourself driving in the fog.
Plan Your Trip First
Before hitting the road, it’s best to check the latest weather updates first. You want to know what the weather conditions will be during your trip. If the forecast tells you to expect fog in your area, you might want to consider postponing your journey if it’s not that important or urgent.
Roads can often be foggy in the mornings, especially in winter, so you may plan your drive a little later in the day when it gets a bit warmer and the fog has lifted. But often the work commute can't wait. And what do you do when you’re already on the road? In severe cases, where visibility is really limited, you may want to stop somewhere safe and wait for visibility to improve.
Know How to Use Fog Lights
Vehicles have rear fog lights and most models now have front fog lights as well. It would help you a great deal if you know in advance where the right switch is for them on your car. It could be on the steering wheel stalk, dashboard, or next to the other light controls. In foggy conditions you don't want to have to take your eyes of the road to locate it!
Fog lights usually have a symbol which is a lamp that points to three straight lines with a wavy line that cuts through them. For the front fog lights, it would be the green sign with the lamp that points to your left with lines that point downward. The rear fog lights have an amber symbol pointing to the right and the lines are horizontal.
Learn the Law About Using Fog Lights
You can only use the fog lights when the visibility drops to 100 meters or 328 feet. Fog lights don’t help in improving visibility, rather it’s meant to make your vehicle visible to other road users.
Remember not to use either your front or rear fog lights during other times because they can dazzle other drivers and pedestrians. Fog lights can also make it difficult to see your brake lights. As soon as visibility improves, turn off the fog lights.
If you ever use your fog lights when it’s raining or during the night, you would be breaking the law and you will get a fixed penalty notice. On the other hand, if you don’t use your fog lights and you get into an accident, it’s possible that your insurance claim would be invalidated.
Use the Dipped Beams
Some drivers think that it’s a good idea to switch the full beam on while driving in the fog so that they will be able to see further. However, if you've ever tried it you will know that the opposite is true. It can actually impair one’s vision. With full beams, the lights are angled high so what happens is that the light will be bouncing off on the fog and back to you. This also happens during snowy and rainy conditions.
Use the dipped or low beams when driving on a foggy road. This way, the lights are angled downwards, and along with your fog lights, you’ll be able to see the road better. It’s also worth noting that you shouldn’t rely on the lights to be switched on automatically.
Don’t Drive Fast
When you’re driving in the fog, you won’t be able to react as fast as you normally would in good weather because of the limited visibility. If you ever find yourself in dense fog, don’t stop immediately because there might be a vehicle behind you. The better thing to do would be to slow down gradually and make sure you use the brake lights to warn the next driver that you’re reducing your speed.
Driving in the fog can be difficult for any driver, even if you're experienced. If you can take your trip on another day or even just delay it until it gets warmer and the fog lifts, then that would make the journey safer for you.
However, if you really have to go somewhere and the road is foggy, take note of these tips and use them as you’re driving to your destination. You may also want to give yourself extra time for the trip so that you don’t have to go too fast as you’re driving. Remember to stay alert, check the road signs, and know how to use your lights. 👍