Fog is one of the scariest things to drive in. Driving in fog is in fact regarded as one of the most dangerous activities, especially if the fog is very dense and is coupled with other adverse weather conditions. This is one of the most popular reasons behind vehicle pile-ups. Even the most seasoned drivers face trouble driving in the fog since it brings down visibility level substantially.
Driving in mist and fog requires extra attention. Assumed one of the worst of all environmental road hazards, you need to be vigilant while sharing the road in fog as the conditions may deteriorate in a matter of a few seconds.
Driving in fog needs adoption of special driving strategies to help you stay safe.
Why are so Many Accidents Caused Due to Fog?
It is dangerous to drive in fog as it increases the number of accidents substantially. The factors that contribute to high accident rates include
- Reduced visibility
- Failure of the drivers to change driving habits along with changes in weather conditions
- Insufficient distance between vehicles as the vehicles follow each other closely
- Driving at inconsistent speed
- Failure on the part of traffic authorities to close the roads covered in thick fog
Before Starting the Journey
As already discussed, driving in fog is extremely risky. You can take a few steps before embarking on the trip.
- Check road reports and weather forecasts
- If there is a weather warning, delay your trip till the conditions improve
- Only drive in the fog if you have to. If you can delay the trip, please do
- Avoid driving in fog at night. Fog at night is harder to handle
- Check the windscreen to ensure it is clear and assures maximum visibility
- Use the air conditioner to reduce humidity and moisture collecting on window
- Be familiar with the rear and the front fog lights and know how to switch them on and off.
Precautions to Take while Driving in a Fog
- Fight the Subconscious
During dense fog, quite a scary thing takes place. People speed up unknowingly while driving. We are well aware of the fact that speeding up in fog is the worst thing to do. Fog creates an optical illusion and the drivers feels that they are going very slow. As most people get nervous in the fog, they don't take a look at the speedometer either. They start going faster. This is dangerous. Check the speedometer every now and then. There is a high chance that you are speeding up unknowingly.
- Make your Presence Known
Keep the headlights on while driving in fog. The headlights are not here to help you see better but to help others see you. If you have fog lights, make use of them. Remember that while driving in fog, it's vital to remain visible to others.
- Observe Caution
Moisture in air may collect on the windshield continually, making it harder to see. Adjust your defroster and the windshield wiper speed.
- Use Fog or Driving Lights
Most vehicles have fog or driving lights installed. These lights are mounted low, below or on the front bumper. The fog lights are different from the driving lights.. The fog lights come with yellow or clear lenses. The beam of light created by fog lights is flat and wide. The driving lights are lights designed to pierce night darkness further as compared to the regular headlights. No doubt, the fog lights are better to use in fog, but both the fog and the driving lights perform better than the regular headlights in fog.
- Use Low Beams
Visibility in front of you will decrease in fog. Use the low beam lights of the vehicle if you don't have driving or fog lights. Light from the high beam headlights will be reflected by thick fog. As the fog thins, the high beams acquire better efficiency. Check continually to find out whether the fog has thinned enough for you to use the high beams.
Dense fog is temporary in normal weather conditions. You will encounter small patches of it on peaks, mountain valleys, open fields and water bodies like rivers, lakes and streams. During night or in the early hours of the morning, you may find dense fog spanning across a few miles.
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