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Safe Driving in the Fog and Mist

Foggy and Misty conditions? How to navigate safely through it.

When visibility is lowered by fog and mist the road can become an even more hazardous place. However, these special driving tips and precautions can help any motorist stay safe even when the conditions aren’t.

Fog and mist occur when a cloud comes into contact with the ground, this happens when the temperature of the air drops below dew point. Fog often occurs in cold temperatures and in the early mornings, often in low-lying areas or near a water source.

Besides reduced visibility, drivers tend to drive too fast, or with erratic speeds to try get through the fog as quickly as possible. However staying at a slow speed and maintaining a safe following distance is the best way to overcome foggy roads.

Ensuring that a few basic things are in place with your vehicle prior to driving will ensure that should you encounter hazardous conditions, your vehicle has the means to safely get through them. Firstly, a clean window is paramount to ensuring your vision doesn’t have any further obstructions on top of the foggy conditions. Secondly, make sure your fog lights work well and that you know how to defrost your windscreen.

On top of driving slowly and with a safe following distance, having your lights on will increase your visibility to other vehicles on the road. However, your “brights” reflection on the fog will actually worsen visibility as your cars lights bounce straight back towards you, rather use your low beam lights in this instance. Do not use hazard lights when unnecessary as this can be distracting from brake and indicator lights, only use them when slowing down rapidly.

When visibility is really bad, use the emergency lanes lines or edge of the road to guide you. This will aid in keeping you away from drifting into oncoming traffic. Also do not attempt to overtake in foggy conditions; this is about the most dangerous manoeuvre you can attempt in this situation.

If you feel that visibility is to bad to continue, pull over to the side of the road, out of the way of other cars. Ensure that you turn your lights off but put your hazard lights on as this will alert other motorists that you are pulled over. Always remember that safety comes before getting somewhere in good time and that “I could not see” is not an excuse for any sort of accident.