How to drive safely in fog – advice from those who’ve done it
Let’s start with a question. Which of your vehicle’s lights do you switch on when driving in fog? The options are – parking lights, front and rear fog lights, dipped headlights, all of these.
The correct answer is, of course, that you switch on all of these. The parking lights will come on automatically when you turn on the lights. If your vehicle is fitted with fog lamps, now is the time to switch them on. In the UAE, you can be fined and be awarded four black points for driving at night or in foggy weather without lights.
Now, let’s talk about what NOT to do with your lights during fog.
Do not use high beams.
This is for your own safety as they are likely to reflect back off the fog and affect visibility. Dipped lights are the way to go. Remember, fog lights are for fog. Your vehicle may have these low-mounted headlights, which provide a short, wide beam of light. Keep them off when there is no fog, so that you are considerate of other drivers who can be dazzled by them, either as oncoming traffic or on their rearview mirrors.
Do not switch on your blinkers or hazard lights.
These are for emergencies only, indicating that you’ve had to pull over for an emergency. It’s confusing for drivers behind you to see lights flashing on and off indicating that you’ve stopped, when in fact your vehicle is moving.
Do not overtake or change lanes unnecessarily.
At the best of times, with clear daylight, it’s not considered good driving etiquette and it’s punishable with a fine. On a foggy road there is all the more reason not to switch lanes. If you do need to, please remember to indicate.
Do not stop when traffic is moving.
Again, this is usually punishable with a fine, but when visibility is low, you could cause a multiple-vehicle collision.
Do not speed up all of a sudden
Even if you think the fog looks like it’s clearing.
Do not drive too close to the vehicle in front of you.
Do not tailgate. Don’t be that person that’s in such a rush they cause other drivers to panic. Don’t be that guy.
What is the best advice for driving in thick fog?
The best piece of advice is: don’t. If possible, reschedule the trip. If you do must drive, plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get there at a reasonable, weather-appropriate speed.
Reduce or increase speed gradually on a foggy road.
Stay on the inside (right side) lanes as much as possible. If the fog is too dense to drive, pull over on the side of the road and turn on the hazard lights while your vehicle is parked safely.
Turn on wipers and defrosters for maximum visibility.
Focus on the driving. It needs all your attention. Don’t multitask. That means give your smartphone a short holiday.
Safe driving practices in fog include many don’ts. Some of these are:
Following safe driving practices keeps us all safe. Now go ahead and quiz your friends on how many of these rules they know and follow.