Driving in fog is a major hazard due to the fact that you can’t see where you are going as well, making your planning and observation very hard if not impossible.
Remember the basics in fog: Use your lights. Use your windscreen wipers. Use de-misters. Use common sense! It’s easy really!
General Driver Errors in Fog
In fog most drivers slow down, become more cautious and generally adapt to the conditions. However, it is easy to fall into the trap of making potentially costly mistakes:
- Following the lights in front – Many drivers feel the need to follow the car lights in front, somehow thinking that if they lose sight of them they will lose their way! Although this sounds ridiculous you will be amazed how many do this, whether it is on a conscious or subconscious level.
To overcome this, fully understand that your own judgement will be impaired in the fog and that keeping a good distance is the safer option.
- Failing to judge speed – When waiting at a junction it can be easy to misjudge the speed of an approaching vehicle and pull out when normally you would not. Fog can distort your sense of speed and distance. Failing to judge speed can also be a cause of road rage for some.
To avoid this take an extra second or two to assess the speed of any approaching vehicles. It may be worth letting the vehicle pass, to fully make sure you are safe.
- Failing to notice your own speed – Over time drivers can become used to driving in fog, and as they do their speed increases, which is the last thing you want to do!
To overcome this take a quick glance at your speedo every now and then and be prepared to adjust your speed.
- Failing to notice other road users – Although most drivers light up in the fog some do not. Also some cyclists and even pedestrians take risks by not making themselves visible.
To ensure that you do not slip up here it is important to be aware of any kind of movement in the fog; often drivers report seeing something but are not sure what before hitting a pedestrian, cyclist or an unlit car. With this in mind it is important to look for anything moving in the fog and be prepared to react to it. Be extra careful when driving along a stretch of road where the path suddenly stops, as often people will have to use the roadside to walk. Exercise extreme caution when driving on motorways in fog, and especially if you suffer a motorway breakdown.
Remember that fog can be patchy so should you enter a foggy patch whilst driving, check your mirror and slow down. If needed use your rear fog lights, and if your vehicle is equipped with them, use the front fog lights. Once you are out of fog don’t forget to switch them off. The Highway Code states that you should only use fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres.
Learn driving tips in snow