Readers in the North West of England are likely to have noticed the abundance of thick fog that covered our Towns and Cities this weekend, casting a dense blanket of visibility reducing mist over road and motorways.
While instances of thick, long-lasting fog are fairly rare, it’s always a good idea to be well prepared for any eventuality when getting behind the wheel, that’s why we’ve put together a list of top tips for driving in fog!
Firstly, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on local weather reports and forecasts, especially during winter. If you are preparing to head out in the car (especially on a lengthy drive) then a quick check of the local weather report will give you a good idea of what conditions to expect on the road. Modern smartphones are able to quickly report on weather conditions in your area, making the task even easier!
If you find weather conditions in your area or the area you are driving to will bring heavily reduced visibility, consider delaying the trip if possible.
Keep Your Distance
Much like driving in wet or frosty conditions, you can greatly reduce the chances of being involved in a collision by increasing the distance you keep between your own vehicle and the vehicle in front.
Increase the count distance to 5 seconds from the usual 2 seconds. This will give you more than double the distance and time to stop should the vehicle in front suddenly brake. Rushing or speeding to get out of the fog is a bad idea, as you cannot see any possible obstacles in the road until they are near.
Keep Windows Clear
Even if there is no rain, thick fog brings a lot of excess moisture into the air, meaning windshields can become harder to see through without the use of windscreen wipers.
Be sure to use windscreen wipers and your vehicle’s defroster fan setting as needed to keep the windshield clear.
Also be weary that vehicles with tinted windows will likely be harder to navigate in reduced visibility conditions, so reserve tinted cars for the warmer summer months!
Use Lights Properly
If your vehicle has fog lights, these are a great way of lighting up the road ahead of you and increasing your visibility to a degree.
A common mistake that many people make is using their ‘high beam’ lights to light their way during thick fog conditions, not realising that in thick fog high beams can reflected back and actually further reduce the driver’s visibility.
If you are without fog lights, only use low beam headlights to light your way and make other road users aware of your position.