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Haven't the foggiest? Tips for surviving the fog


The past few mornings during our commute to Autodealer HQ, we have experienced fog, not just a light smattering either, we’re talking about thick, dense, low-visibility stuff here. This got us thinking, what does one do in these situations? There were times where we felt those nervous stomach-churning moments of uncertainty. The fact that other road users panic too doesn’t help. Here are a few tips that may help you the next time you encounter fog.

What is fog and mist?

In very basic terms, (we’re not experts on this topic so it must be a basic explanation) fog is very low cloud cover, or to be more specific, a mass of water droplets or ice crystals which form a low-lying suspended cloud. These masses usually occur near bodies of water but can also be as a result of moist ground or marshes. Fog is defined as fog when it causes impaired visibility (of less than 100 meters). Mist is a thinner version of fog, caused mostly by warm air suddenly cooling, meaning that visibility in mist is better (up to one kilometre).

Turn those low-beams on-By putting your lights on fully, at low-beam, you’re immediately improving your ability to see both the road in front and behind your vehicle. The lights also allow other road users to locate you through the treacherous cloud. If your vehicle has fog lights (usually located low on the vehicle’s bumper) activate these as they help tremendously.

Be liberal with the hazard lights- If ever there was a time to use that button with the orange triangular symbol in your centre console, it is during fog. You’ll see patches when it thins out,  where you may speed up however, when it gets thicker and you climb on the anchors the person behind you may not see, which would cause an accident. Therefore; any rapid acceleration or deceleration during a fog situation should mean that you activate those hazard lights.

Driver slower- It goes without saying, but we have seen some people just drive normally through fog. The facts are that your visibility is drastically reduced and therefore the time in which you have to react to a road situation is far less. Therefore, the slower that you drive the more chance you have of reacting in the best possible way to a situation. Be sure that when slowing down for fog that you do so gradually and with warning for potential drivers behind you.

Use your defroster and windscreen wipers-Activating your front and rear demister from you air ventilation or climate control system will ensure that your windows remain as clear as possible while those wiper blades will remove any condensation on your window.

Use signs and road markings- Try to use the road markings on the left-hand side of the road, to keep your vehicle from straying over the centre line in to oncoming traffic. Also check those LED highways sign boards and other road signs for warnings of potential fog and mist.

Drive predictably- The more calm and predictable you are as a driver during foggy conditions, the easier it will be for you and other road users to navigate your way through these tricky conditions. So keep a consistently low speed, don’t overtake, avoid heavy braking and accelerating and most importantly make sure that you are fixated on the road at all times.

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