Monday, 23 October 2017 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
Fog usually occurs in the morning or the evening unexpectedly; reducing your visibility on the road very quickly. This sudden change in weather can make it one of the most hazardous conditions to drive in particularly in the dark.
As providers of commercial vehicle insurance, we understand that driving in the fog can be a daunting and tricky task. With that in mind, we’ve put together some safety tips to help you tackle driving in the fog.
What is fog?
Did you know that there is more than one type of fog? Check out this short video explaining what each type of fog is.
How to prepare your vehicle for the fog
First of all, only consider driving if it’s absolutely necessary. However, if this is unavoidable then it’s vital that you and your vehicle are prepared before you set off. Here is what you can do:
- Check the weather forecast online or on the TV
- Listen to the local traffic news on the radio for any delays or road closures
- Wipe any damp off your windows and wing mirrors
- Switch your heater and demisters on to clear any condensation
- Make sure you know where to locate your headlights and fog light switches
What does the Highway Code say about driving in the fog?
By law, you must switch on your headlights when visibility has been reduced and you can’t see for more than 100 metres. This is about the same length as a football pitch to put this distance into perspective. You can also use your front or rear fog lights but when visibility improves you must switch them off.
How to approach driving in the fog
It’s reasonable to expect there to be delays due to road users driving slower. To help you get to your destination on time, try leaving earlier to reduce the chances of you getting there late. Here are some tips on how you can improve your safety whilst driving in the fog:
- Move off slowly with care
- Keep a lookout for any motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists
- Approach any junctions with your window down to listen for oncoming traffic
- Allow a 4-second gap between you and the vehicle in front
- Beware of other road users not using their headlights
- Use your windscreen wipers to clear any damp
- Remember to check your mirrors before slowing down
What you shouldn't do when driving in the fog
Driving slowly in the fog can be a frustrating experience especially if you’re pressed for time. It’s important to remain composed and to prioritise yours and other road user’s safety first. Here are some examples of what driving behaviours you need to avoid:
- Don’t tailgate the vehicle in front
- Resist the temptation to speed up if you’ve a vehicle driving closely behind you
- Avoid drifting from between the road markings
What if you breakdown in the fog?
Breaking down can be dangerous, so we’ve put together these tips so you’ll know what to do:
- Stop in a safe place i.e. a service station, off-road or pull up on the hard shoulder if you’re on a motorway
- Switch your hazard lights on and keep your sidelights on as well in the fog
- If you’ve a reflective jacket make sure you put it on
- Call a breakdown provider and inform them of your details, vehicle and location
- Stay clear of any moving traffic, exit your vehicle and stand behind a barrier until your breakdown provider arrives
If you don’t have breakdown insurance then we can get the cover you need. So, in the event of a breakdown, whether it’s in the fog or at any time you’ll have that extra peace of mind.