Driving in winter season is very different from driving at any other time of the year. Adverse weather conditions and dense fog makes driving dangerous. Foggy conditions are the cause of large multi car pile ups. This means we need to adapt the way we drive to ensure safety while travelling. Below are a few tips that will help you reduce the chances of accidents when driving in fog.
Make sure all car lights are working
Car lights are important and essential to safety when driving in fog, particularly the brake lights. Brake lights communicate your intentions to stop to the car behind you. Not only lights help the driver see where the car is headed but also ensures other drivers aware of the car's presence on the road. Therefore all lights should be in working conditions.
Use fog lights
If your vehicle is equipped with fog lights, use them as they can help shed light on the road and make your vehicle visible to other car drivers. Some cars have rear fog lights, which helps the drivers who are following you to see your car from a greater distance.
Use low-beam headlights
It's not a good idea to set your car's headlamp beam on high. Though it's a driver's natural tendency to activate high-beam when visibility is restricted. The light from high beam headlights will be reflected back by thick fog. Use the low-beam to pick out the edge of the road to ensure that you stay on the tarmac at all times. This will ensure that there is no white wall effect and you will be able to see relatively better.
Use the edge of the road
Stay on the left or right edge of the road when driving in fog as it helps you to know how the road is curving ahead. It keeps the driver well orientated in their chosen lanes in dense fog when visibility can be low and you can only see few metres past the car's bonnet.
Maintain a safe distance
Make sure you use indicators well in advance to signal your intentions. Most people follow tail lamps of the car in front in foggy conditions. Ensure that you're not braking late, because sometimes driver find it difficult to just the braking distance in fog. Therefore maintain a safe distance when driving.
Check the car wipers
If the rubber of the wipers in worn out, it is advisable to get new wipers so there is no obstruction to your vision while driving. If the wipers seem ineffective, then stop the car and use old newspapers and a little water to clean your windscreen to increase visibility.
Hazard warning lamps
Use the hazard warming lights as it warns people of a stationary vehicle by the side of the road. Using hazard warning lights when driving creates unnecessary confusion since the drivers behind will not have clear indication of whether the car is going to turn left or right. Use hazards only when parking. And avoid parking in the foggiest patch.
Do not stop on the road
When driving in fog, never stop on the road. It's a natural reaction to slow down or stop when you cannot see where you are going. For your own safety pull over to a safe place, which is far away from traffic and turn off your lights. If you leave your lights on it might cause other drivers to think that your taillights indicate the lane of travel, which can lead to an accident.
Reduce your speed and keep an eye on the speedometer as the foggy conditions are very deceptive and dangerous. Fog often occurs in patches and creates a visual illusion of slow motion when you may actually be speeding. It is advisable to maintain a safe and constant speed.
Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask your co-passengers to keep an eye out for oncoming cars and obstacles on the road. Leaving the driver’s side window open just a little bit will enable you to listen for traffic and other important noises.