Driving in the fog is a very tricky act for almost 99 percent of the drivers. So how do you tackle such a situation, and what would you need to know especially if it's dark?
Here are some life saving tips to drive in the fog:
1. Use Low Beam
First and foremost — switch to low beam and leave it. We Indians have this fixed thought in our head that high beam means more light. That is not true; focused light is better light. When the headlight beam in on high while driving through fog, light disperses, making visibility zero for the driver as well as the oncoming driver. Leave it in low beam and use the fog lamps as well.
2. Use Hazard Warning Light
Make sure you turn on the hazard lights, regardless if you are driving in the day or night. Hazard warning lights will get other road users to know about your presence on the road, as well as the breadth of your car, which is crucial.
3. Drive Slow
Do not drive fast, even if you know the road from the back of your head. One little mis judgement is enough to cause a severe accident, and also, driving slow will give you enough reaction time needed in case the oncoming vehicle has overshot the corner and you need to steer away.
4. Follow Road Markings
Another crucial step to be followed is to follow road markings. Roads have markings on the centre and on the side — follow the left side marking. This is the most efficient way of making through thick fog, and this procedure of following the left marking on the road will also keep you clear of venturing out to the other side (right lane) of the road.
5. Use Defogger
Yes, sometimes the windshield fogs up and it may look like the fog outside has become worse. Use the defogger, which will keep your windshield clear, thus helping in better visibility. Also, make sure you have have enough windshield washing liquid, and the glasses, including the rear glass of the car is clean from the outside.
6. Turn Down Music Volume
You will need maximum concentration to make it through foggy conditions, which means you will also have to use your ears to listen to what's going on outside. Turn down the music in your car and concentrate. Sometimes, the smallest details your ears pick up could save your life, for example screeching tyres that could warn you that a car has lost control, or people on the side of the road trying to get your attention about something important.
7. Avoid Driving After Drinking
Driving under the influence of alcohol is bad enough on regular conditions, let alone in the fog where reaction time and concentration has to be 10 times faster and better.
8. Signal Out To Car Behind
If you want to make a turn or stop and there is a vehicle behind, make sure you signal out properly before making the move. Cars running into vehicles from behind are very common in the fog, and in most situations, it is due to lack of proper signalling.
9. Maintain Enough Space From Car Ahead
Do not tailgate. Let there be enough space between your vehicle and the car ahead. Like the above mentioned point, cars rear ending vehicles in the fog is common. Give it enough space so that you have the car ahead's tail lamp in your sight, which would help you know if the vehicle is making a turn or stopping. This practice will also help give you enough space to react if there is a mishap.
10. Make Sure Both Headlights Work
Never venture out if one of your headlights is not working. It can mislead oncoming vehicles to think your car is a two-wheeler, which can end up in a nasty crash. Oncoming vehicles will not realise till the last second and by the time vehicles notice, it will be too late. Make sure both headlights, and both fog lamps (if equipped) are working properly.