The prospect of driving in fog is particularly intimidating for new drivers. Fog brings limited visibility for everyone, whether it’s pedestrians or those who have to make their daily commute in their car. Many people have no option but to go out and drive, regardless of the conditions. If you want to stay in control on the roads, here are the best tips for driving in fog.
1. Turn on your fog lights
The most important thing you can do when you are driving in fog is to ensure that your fog lights are turned on. These low-down lights make sure that you are visible to other drivers on the road. It means that anyone coming towards you, waiting at a junction or pulling out of a driveway will not be surprised by the sight of your car.
2. Turn on your low beams
If you do not feel safe with just your fog lights on, then turning on your low beams is one of the best ways to stay visible. It adds extra visible brightness to the front of your vehicle so both drivers and pedestrians can see you coming. Dipped headlights can be useful for helping visibility but do not, under any circumstances, use your full or high-beams. These will not only do you no benefit in terms of visibility, but they will also dazzle other drivers.
3. Reduce speed
Alongside turning your fog lamps on, reducing your speed is perhaps one of the most important methods of staying safe in the fog. As a result of visibility being low, your reactions will not be as quick or precise. Slowing down also protects you from other reckless drivers who may not be staying safe in the fog.
4. Stay calm
When driving in fog, you should always keep a calm and level head. Panicking and making rash decisions while the outside visibility is low is likely to cause errors and maybe even an accident. It may also be that you experience less than desirable behavior from other drivers, or witness some unfortunate driving practices. If this causes temporary road rage or panic, do attempt to safely pull over and calm down. Being spooked by risky driving is perfectly normal, just be sure not to let your own driving be affected by it.
5. Keep a safe distance
When driving in fog, your focus should be on prevention. While you may be a careful driver, others may not be as cautious. Important, too, is the fact that you are not infallible. Keeping a safe braking distance from other vehicles allows for error to be far less damaging. It is therefore crucial that when you don’t tailgate any other drivers or drive at your usual driving distance. Make room for extra slowing and stopping space while your visibility is temporarily impaired.
6. Check mirrors
Before you head out into the fog, always check that you can see clearly out of both your rear-view and wing mirrors. It’s crucial that you do this before setting off for a safe departure, and also during your time out on the road. Doing so will improve your awareness while the clarity outside the car is limited.
7. Skip loud music
For many people, listening to music is one of the best parts of driving. However, on a day when you need to be extra attentive to what’s going on around you, you may wish to skip the loud music for a change. Extra loud music can hinder our ability to concentrate on a clear day, let alone on a foggy one. Turning off your music for one day may be less fun, but it may be invaluable to your safety.
8. Do you need to drive?
One question that’s worth asking yourself on a foggy day is whether it’s worth venturing out at all. Of course, picking up our kids and going to work are unavoidable and necessary journeys, but trips to the grocery store could perhaps be postponed. There might be a chance that the fog will clear in a few hours, meaning that you could hang tight until the weather changes. Ultimately, however, if your journey isn’t 100% necessary, you may wish to wait until the weather becomes safer.
Fog is an intimidating prospect for many drivers and for good reasons. Low visibility can be incredibly dangerous if you are not cautious on the roads. If you want to take preventative measures, why not make a checklist before you leave? That way, you can be sure you’ve done all that you can.