Driving in fog is risky. The impact on visibility is massive so during periods of dense fog, the best way to stay safe is to avoid driving completely. If you absolutely need to drive in foggy conditions, there are a few things you can do to try prevent accidents.
It’s important to keep your wits about you at all times in adverse weather conditions. If you’re driving along a road with a ‘Fog’ sign displayed, yet the road appears clear, The Highway Code encourages drivers to stay vigilant as there might be drifting, patchy fog ahead. Pay attention, it might seem to be clearing out but you could suddenly be back in an area of dense fog with visibility worsening quickly.
With regards to using fog lights, use a common sense approach. It’s important to understand how to turn your front and rear fog lights on and off for areas of seriously low visibility. There’s no obligation to use them, but you’re better safe than sorry. It’s vital to switch them off when visibility improves though, as they can blind other drivers and obscure your brake lights.
Top tips for driving in fog
Working brake lights are vital during foggy weather, as they warn other drivers when you’re slowing down. Rule 235 of The Highway Code also suggests that you should:
- Keep a safe distance behind the vehicle in front.
- Drive slow enough to stop safely, well within the distance that you can clearly see. This is particularly important on motorways and dual carriageways.
- Avoid accelerating in order to get away from a vehicle that’s too close behind you.
- Turn off your music and maybe wind down your windows too so you can hear oncoming hazards.
- Stop in the correct position at a junction with limited visibility and listen for traffic. When you’re sure it’s safe to emerge, don’t hesitate in a position that puts you directly in the path of approaching vehicles.
As well as making sure you take necessary precautions when driving in foggy conditions, it’s also important to be aware of those around you. Take extra care when looking in mirrors, and be aware of other drivers not using their headlights.
Also watch out for cyclists, parked cars, pedestrians crossing the road, and animals running out in front of you. Always stay alert and anticipate any potential hazards. Acknowledge that you might need to stop suddenly and make sure you’re driving slowly enough to be able to do this.
Allowing for additional journey time, especially when driving on unfamiliar roads, can prevent you from a situation that could potentially create unnecessary stress and danger.