It’s that time of the year again. The temperature is dropping, it’s raining pretty much constantly and you’re more likely to encounter that most dangerous of driving conditions – fog.
One minute you can be driving along with perfect visibility and the next you can barely be able to see beyond the end of your car’s bonnet.
The trick is to slow down so you’ve got plenty of time to react to any hazards; however, there are a number of other things you can do to make sure you stay safe. And, handily, the Institute of Advanced Motorists has released a list of things to do the next time you’re caught in fog or mist.
- Before setting off, make sure your windows and windscreen are clear and that your lights are working. Clean the inside of the screen as well — it can be hard to tell if your windows are misting up, as it looks just like the fog outside.
- Turn on the heater or air-con and leave them running to keep the inside of the glass clear. Air-con can make a massive difference.
- Put your windscreen wipers on he intermittent setting to keep the screen clear.
- Keep your headlights switched on, but stick to dipped beam as you’ll dazzle yourself on main beam. Don’t rely on your car’s daylight running lights – they only work on the front of your car.
- Use your fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres, but don’t forget to switch them off when visibility improves or if you’re in stop-start traffic. Remember that rear fog lights may mask your brake lights, increasing the chance of somebody driving into the back of you.
- Slow down and keep enough distance between yourself and the vehicle in front – make sure you can stop safely within the distance you can see clearly.
- Fog varies in density – the thicker it is, the slower you should go.
- Brake gently, and earlier than usual so your brake lights warn drivers behind that you’re there.
- Other vehicles may be travelling without their lights on, and pedestrians and cyclists will be hard to see anyway, so extra care and attention is needed.
- At junctions, wind the window down and listen for traffic. If you have electric windows, open the passenger one to listen that way as well.
- Driving through fog will quickly make you tired – take regular breaks.