Expert Tips For Safely Driving In Fog

Regardless of where you are or what car you have, driving in fog can be exceptionally dangerous. It reduces visibility which makes it harder to see hazards and reduces your ability to accurately judge distances on the road. 

This common but unusual weather condition can create optical illusions where drivers often misjudge their own speed. It can also make it increasingly difficult to determine whether other cars are moving. To help keep you safe on the road, here are some expert tips for safely driving in fog.

10 Point Safety Check For Driving In Fog

While cars today are more advanced with more automated safety systems, they make it easier to forget the simple steps for keeping safe. Follow our top 10 tips to protect you and your car when driving in fog. 

Slow Down When Driving In Fog

When road visibility is compromised, you have less time to react to other vehicles or pedestrians, especially when approaching corners. The first thing you need to do is slow down to a sensible speed to allow you more reaction time. 

Don’t slam on brakes if come across a thick patch of fog and rather reduce speed gently. This will give you more control and give traffic behind you time to react so they don’t drive into the back of your car. Remember to turn on your indicators early to provide plenty of notice and avoid overtaking other cars as the road is more obscured.

Related: How To Drive Safely In Winter

Use Your Foglights Or Low Beams

Today, all cars are fitted with at least one rear foglight as standard while some also have front foglights or daytime running lights. If the weather is bad, make sure to switch them on before setting off on a journey or turn them on as soon as you encounter fog. 

While foglights should only be used when visibility drops below 100 metres, if you don’t use them in fog and have an accident, your insurance could be invalidated. If your car doesn’t have any foglights, make sure to only use your low beams and never the high beams as it doesn’t help with visibility and may blind oncoming drivers. 

Turn Off Your Foglights Once The Fog Has Cleared 

It’s important to turn off your foglights as soon as the weather conditions improve as it’s an offence to dazzle other drivers. You could even receive a fine for not doing so as foglights can cause problems for oncoming cars if the weather isn’t bad or if your car is parked. For more information, refer to the Highway Code in the UK.

Keep Your Headlights On 

It may sound like a silly tip but you’d be surprised how many people don’t switch on their headlights. With more cars being fitted with automatic headlights, you may simply leave it on the auto setting which means the lights will only come on when visibility dips below a set level. The downside is that may not come on if you are driving in fog during the day. 

Keep A Safe Following Distance

When driving in fog, you should leave a bigger following distance than the usual two-second gap between your car and the one in front. When driving through a foggy patch, leave at least a three-second gap to allow yourself more time to react if the drive in front suddenly slows down or makes a sudden move.

Avoid Using Another Car’s Tail Lights As A Guide

Using the rear lights of the car in front may sound like a smart way of staying on track but it really isn’t. Not only does it stop you from concentrating on what else is going on around you but it could also be extremely dangerous. What happens if the car in front makes a mistake and comes off the road? If you are using their lights as a guide and lose concentration, you could follow in their tracks.

Clear And Demist Your Windows

Driving in fog can cause condensation which can build up on the inside and outside of your car’s windows. To ensure you have a clear vision of the road ahead, use your windscreen wipers and set the car’s heater (or air con) to demist. Keep the heater on a warm setting as it will help demist your windows faster.

Use Other Senses And Listen For Traffic

If visibility is limited, open your window and listen for other traffic before pulling out of your driveway or road junctions. It could also help improve concentration levels when driving with the radio turned down on the motorway.

Delay Your Journey If Necessary

Driving in fog can be very unpredictable as it could quickly get thicker without warning. If visibility gets too low, rather find a safe spot to pull over and wait for the conditions to improve. If there’s no driveway or safe location, drive as far off the shoulder of the road as you can or onto a grassy area. Stay a reasonable distance away from the main roadway and keep your hazard lights on but switch off the headlights. 

Always Pay Attention When Driving In Fog

Indeed, you always need to pay attention to the road but even more so when driving in fog. Minimise all distractions by turning off the radio, ask your passengers to be quiet and keep a close eye on obstacles in the road.

When driving in fog, it’s easy to drift out of your lane so watch the lines carefully and stay on the right side of the road to ensure you remain in your lane. As far as possible, do not change lanes or pass other cars and be careful when judging the position of oncoming traffic.

Stay Safe When Driving In Fog With Elite Garages

It’s almost always best to avoid driving in dangerous weather but sometimes it is unavoidable. When you are driving in fog, and it becomes worse, do not continue to drive until visibility improves. Try to find shelter away from your car but if you can’t, stay inside your car and keep your seatbelt on at all times.

If you are going away on holiday or taking a long road trip, there’s always the possibility of driving in fog. To ensure you stay safe, follow this guide and book a free vehicle safety check at any of our Elite Garages branches nationwide. We provide top quality workmanship and a wide range of services so contact us today if you have any questions or would like more information.