Safety Charity Tips For Driving In Fog
Top tips for staying “as safe as possible” while driving in fog this winter have been revealed by a leading road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM).
The starting point is to clean the windows and mirrors. Why? Because dirt enables mist to form more easily which obscures the view. Furthermore, keep them clear via the wipers and heater. Switching on the air-con also minimising misting as it dehumidifies the cabin.
Maximise visibility by using the dipped headlights. Avoid main beam as this reflects back from the fog. Only use fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres (as required by the Highway Code). Drive at a speed that allows the car to stop in the illuminated distance.
Set the wipers to intermittent to remove spray. Further, keep the washer fluid topped-up so that debris can be removed. Use a non-freezing blend to stop it freezing on the glass.
Speed And Braking
Drive at a steady pace and leave room to react to any hazards (that might be concealed by the fog). If the vehicle behind is close, lose speed in a modest and predictable manner.
Pedestrians And Cyclists
Watch for pedestrians and cyclists that are extremely difficult to see in fog. They might be wearing dark clothing, rather than the preferable high visibility items. Travelling at a modest speed ensures there is more time to identify – and safety react to – any hazards.
Remember that fog can be patchy. It might, for example, be fairly light at the back of a queue of cars but heavy at the front. The IAM says: “do not be tempted to rush past other cars” (especially on the motorway) as there might be an unexpected wall of thicker fog.
If Forced To Park In Fog
Maximise visibility by switching on the headlights and hazard warning lights. Complement these by wearing a high visibility jacket. If the vehicle has broken down, set-up a warning triangle (except on motorways where it is likely to the blown over by fast moving traffic).