With the onset of the cold season, fog is forming more often and is increasingly appearing in weather warnings to drivers. The small water particles that make up fog are formed by condensation of water in the air as temperatures drop and remain suspended in the air in sufficient density to obstruct visibility.
If you encounter a foggy area during a car journey, do not risk your own life or the lives of other passengers, but choose to drive with caution by following the tips below to reach your destination safely.
Tips for driving in foggy weather
- Do not start your journey unless absolutely necessary. It’s the best advice and unless it’s an emergency, take note of fog weather warnings and postpone leaving until weather conditions improve and the fog clears.
- Make sure you have the widest and best field of vision when driving and the car is as visible as possible to other drivers. Switch on your fog lights, along with your low beam. Don’t use high beam, because, especially at night, the light reflects off the fog mass and reduces visibility. Rear fog lights are essential so that your car can be seen from a distance, but if there is already someone driving behind you, it would be a good idea to think about the eyes of the person behind the wheel and turn them off.
- Adapt your speed to the road conditions. Correlate speed with the maximum distance you can see: the shorter the distance, the more you need to reduce speed. When you have reached an optimum speed and a distance from the car in front that allows you to brake safely, avoid accelerating or braking suddenly.
- Stay in the lane, avoid overtaking. You can use the markings or signs on the right-hand side of the road as a guide. At the same time, overcome the natural tendency to move closer to the centre of the road. Don’t follow the lights of the car in front, you might leave the road with it at some point!
- The windscreen and other glass surfaces of the car should be clean. For the windscreen, it is essential to use suitable, wear-free windscreen wipers that do not leave marks.
- Take extra care at the roadside. Pedestrians, parked cars or animals may appear unexpectedly from the fog. By driving carefully and cautiously at low speed you can avoid impact with these obstacles.
- Breathe and blink. Breathe deeply occasionally: the extra oxygen you breathe in will sharpen your senses, and blinking clears and lubricates the eye.
If the fog is very thick and you have to break your journey, try pulling into a car park or petrol station. If you can’t do this, park as far away from the roadside as possible and put on your hazard lights.
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