Driving safely in fog

Driving safely in fog

A surprising number of motorists are uncertain about best practice when it comes to the use of lights in foggy conditions so IAM Roadsmart’s all-encompassing advice about this motoring hazard is timely.

In general, if you can see the car in front’s rear lights you don’t need fog lights and by using them unnecessarily you can blind others which defeats the object (see tips 3 & 4).

  1. Give your car windows a good clean, including the section beneath the windscreen wipers. Dust, tar, tree sap and grime build up fast, particularly at this time of year.
  2. Keep your windscreen washer topped up with screen wash to rinse off any debris while you are driving – dirty windows tend to mist up quickly, making it more difficult to see.
  3. Remember to switch on your dipped headlights and don’t rely on them switching on automatically.
  4. If visibility is less than 100 metres, switch on your fog lights, but turn them off once visibility improves.
  5. Always drive so you can stop on your own side of the road and within the distance you can see to be clear. Patches of fog will not always be of the same density and may get thicker again – be prepared to slow down.
  6. At junctions stop and listen to get as much extra information as possible about oncoming vehicles, but remember that thick fog can deaden sound and make judging speed even more difficult.
  7. A combination of fog and darkness can make it extremely difficult to see. Keep an eye out for vulnerable road users including pedestrians and cyclists, particularly on side roads and other areas of poor visibility.

Mark Lewis, Director of Standards, said: “If you experience a breakdown when visibility is poor and you’re on the hard-shoulder or a side road, make sure you and your car are always as obvious as possible to other road users. Keep the dipped headlights switched on and wear a high-visibility jacket to help other vehicles spot you while you wait for help.

If weather conditions are extremely bad simply avoid driving where you can.

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