Fog is one of those weather conditions that can be seen as harmless, but if it catches you unprepared when you’re behind the wheel, it can have severe consequence – as can anything that impairs your vision while driving.
Fog means that visibility can deteriorate dramatically in just seconds but drivers can combat this by switching on their fog lights. However, this can be a point of contention for drivers, as these strong lights also have the potential to be dazzling for other drivers on the roads.
It is better to be safe than sorry however – while there is no obligation to use fog lights, if you are involved in a road accident that was partially caused by fog, a lack of use of these lights could cause an insurer to query a claim.
Headlights, on the other hand, must be used in times of reduced visibility (when your vision doesn’t stretch for more than 100 metres).
So how can you stay safe when motoring in foggy conditions?
- Preparation! Make sure you know where your front and rear fog lights are in your car, as well as knowing how to turn them on and off. Figuring this out when you’re already on the road in foggy conditions is not only dangerous for you, but can be distracting to other drivers.
- Use dipped headlights. Even if your visibility is not impaired enough to warrant the use of fog lights, you should always use a minimum of dipped headlights in foggy conditions. Tip: if a road features street lights, you may not need your fog lights on.
- Be extra vigilant around other drivers. You should always be aware of what other drivers are doing on the road, but this is even more important when they’re difficult to see. Beware of drivers not using headlights, stay well back from the cars in front of you and don’t accelerate in order to move away from a vehicle that is too close behind you.
- Mirrors! Every time you slow down, speed up or in any way change your driving, you must check your mirrors before.
- Listen! When your vision is impaired, you need to use your other senses more than ever. At junctions with limited visibility, you must stop, wind down the window and listen for oncoming traffic.
Posted by Danielle Barge