Winter Tips: How to Drive Safely in Fog
Fog makes it challenging to see the road while you’re driving. In conditions where there is poor visibility, you might get more anxious or even panic. 😫 Even with the safety systems in our vehicles today, it’s still scary to drive when you can’t see the cars or road in front of you. So, what are the steps to make driving in fog easier so you can arrive at your destination safely?
Maintain a Slow Speed
With limited visibility, you won’t have a lot of time to react. You might be approaching a bend or getting closer to another vehicle so you need enough time to adjust your driving accordingly.
Drive at a comfortable speed so you can avoid any accidents or risks. But don’t slow down abruptly when driving in fog. Instead, do so gradually so that the vehicles behind you will also have time to adjust their speed. Otherwise, they might slam into the back of your car.
Keep a Safe Distance
In good driving conditions, it is recommended to have a two-second gap between your vehicle and the car in front. But when driving in fog, you need to ideally increase that gap to three seconds so that you’ll have a safer distance from the other vehicle. You’ll have sufficient time to react in case the car stops or moves suddenly.
Use the Fog Lights
As a standard, all vehicles have fog lights found on the rear. Check if you have front fog lights as well. If you’re not familiar with the light switches in your car, take time to know where the foglight switches are before setting out on a long drive or a road trip in the countryside.
When you see fog on the road, turn on the fog lights immediately so that your car will be visible to other road users. Technically, the visibility has to be below 100 metres before you use the fog lights. But not using these lights when driving in fog can invalidate your insurance in case you get into an accident.
Switch on Dipped Beam Headlights
Of course, this one might seem too obvious. However, more and more cars have automatic headlights that only work when the light outside falls below a certain level. It might not turn on automatically when you’re driving in fog during the daytime.
So, don’t rely on your automatic headlight system, instead, make sure that you have the headlights switched on. Also, avoid using full-beam headlights because the light will bounce back to you, making it more difficult to see the road. Use dipped beam headlights when there is fog.
Keep the Windows Clear
Fog can cause condensation on your windows, both inside and out. For the outer side, use the windscreen wipers. To keep your windows clear from the inside, set the heater of your car to de-mist. This will prevent condensation from building up on your windows. Also, keep your heater in a warm setting so that the de-mist function can work better.
Open Windows and Listen to Traffic
If it’s hard to see the traffic ahead, it’s important to listen to what’s happening on the road to help you in driving. It’s best to turn off your radio or music when driving in fog. Roll down your windows so you can hear the traffic. It will allow you to judge if there are vehicles nearby and adjust your speed accordingly.
Don’t Depend on Another Car’s Tail Lights
When there’s thick fog on the road, you might only be able to see the tail lights of the car in front of you. It’s tempting to depend on those lights to navigate the road. However, this is not a good idea.
If the car in front of you makes a wrong move and you’ve been hanging onto their tail lights as you’re driving, then you’re going to end up doing the same mistake. This is dangerous. Focus on what you’re seeing and hearing so you can make a good call in case you need to make adjustments in your driving.
Re-schedule Your Journey
Check the weather forecast. If it says that the weather could be foggy, try to reschedule your journey. Only proceed if you absolutely have to, otherwise, everything else can wait. It’s better to delay an appointment or road trip than have a risky journey.
But what if you’re already on the road? Well, in this case, try to find a coffee shop or somewhere you can stay for a while until the fog lifts and the road is clearer. If it’s taking a long time and the fog is really dense, then it might be even better to find a hotel to spend the night in and continue on your journey the next day.
Don’t Forget to Turn Off Fog Lights
As soon as the weather conditions are better and there’s no more fog, switch off your fog lights. Remember that it’s an offence to use them in good weather because the lights could dazzle other drivers. When caught by the police, you could face a fine. So, don’t forget this one!
It’s scary to drive when you can’t see what’s in front of you. If you have to go to your destination and you encounter fog on the road, don’t panic. Reduce your speed gradually, turn on your dipped beam headlights and fog lights, roll down your window and listen to traffic. If the weather gets worse, stop at a safe place and wait for the fog to lift. It’s better to be late in arriving at your destination than risk getting into an accident. 👍