Saturday, 14 December 2013

Driving in Fog: Top Tips

Cold and wet weather occasionally brings fog to our roads and the reduced visibility makes fog one of the most dangerous weather conditions for driving.

It's not always possible to avoid journeys on foggy roads, so we recommend reading our tips and advice to help you stay safe.

Check your car

During the winter months and especially when setting off on a journey in fog, it's important to check all your lights are working. You will often need to use your windscreen wipers and demisters while driving through fog for the best visibility, so check these are working too. For more advice on preparing for travelling by car in winter, make sure to read our winter driving tips.

Slow down and use caution

It may sound obvious but slowing down is the most effective method of avoiding an accident. Fog compromises your ability to anticipate what's happening on the road ahead of you and the amount of road you can see may change in an instant. Driving slowly and leaving more space between you and the car in front gives you more time to react to cars or events that may take you by surprise.

Dipped headlights and fog lights

Always use dipped headlights in fog, as it makes it easier for other drivers to see you on the road. If the fog is very thick and you can see less than 100 metres of the road ahead, you can also use fog lights – but it's important to remember to turn them off when visibility improves. It might also feel instinctive to use your headlights on full beam but this will only direct light into the fog, which could dazzle you and compromise your view of the road ahead.
Be aware that other drivers may not have remembered to switch on their headlights, which will make them more difficult for you and other drivers to spot.

Junctions in the fog

Thick fog will sometimes make a decision at a junction very difficult. You can help decide whether it's safe to pull out by winding down your window and listening for the sound of traffic. Once you’re sure it's safe, pull out decisively to minimise the amount of time your car spends in the path of cars approaching the junction from other directions.

Freezing fog and black ice

As well as poor visibility, fog can also make the road surface dangerous. Black ice can form very quickly when freezing fog settles on the road, so watch out for this when temperatures are low.


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