In the UK, fog can occur in any season, but it's most common during the autumn and winter months, especially from October to February. Longer nights in the winter allow more time for the ground to cool, increasing the chances of fog formation by morning.
These are our essential tips for safe driving in low visibility situations like fog or heavy rain:
Fog can severely limit visibility masking the presence of other vehicles, pedestrians, and potential hazards. Reducing your speed allows you more time to react to unexpected situations and obstacles.
Slowing down is one of the most effective ways to ensure your safety and the safety of others sharing the road.
Use dipped head beams. Always use your low beam headlights, even in the daytime. High beams can reflect off the fog and make visibility worse.
Use your fog lights. If your vehicle is equipped with fog lights, use them. They are designed to cut through fog and provide better visibility.
Increase your following distance from the vehicle in front of you. This gives you more time to react to sudden stops or obstacles.
Stopping distances can be significantly longer on wet and slippery roads often associated with foggy conditions. Slowing down ensures that you have ample room to come to a full stop if needed.
Increasing your following distance will also help avoid chain reaction collisions: multiple-vehicle collisions are a real risk in foggy conditions. By keeping a larger buffer zone, you reduce the chances of being part of a domino effect where one car's sudden stop triggers a series of rear-end collisions.
Tailgating, or following too closely behind another vehicle is dangerous in any weather condition but even more so in fog. Tailgating aggravates the already increased risks when driving in fog because you have even less room for error so do leave extra space between your car and the one in front.
Avoid changing lanes unless it's absolutely necessary. Staying in your lane helps you maintain your sense of direction and avoid collisions.
Make the most of the visibility you do have in foggy conditions by keeping your windscreen clear inside and out. Fog can create condensation on the windscreen, reducing visibility, so use your defrosters and wipers to get the best view possible.
Roll down your windows and listen for what’s happening around you, like the sound of approaching vehicles, the honking of a horn or the distant sound of sirens. Sometimes you can hear what’s happening before you see events unfolding.
Know when to pull over
If the fog becomes too dense and you can't see more than a few feet in front of your vehicle, consider pulling over to a safe location, like a rest area or parking lot. Turn on your hazard lights to make your vehicle more visible to others.
Remember that safety should always be your top priority when driving in foggy conditions. If the fog is extremely thick, it's best to delay your trip, move your meeting or meetup online if you can or find an alternative means of transportation.
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