Tips for driving in Fog

What is fog?

Fog is basically cloud that is on the ground. Rather than looking up at them, when it is foggy we are in them rather than beneath them. There is something called a ‘dew point’ which is when the temperature drops to a point where the air becomes saturated and fog forms.

Fog can limit visibility to less than a 1/4 of a mile, a distance you will cover in around 10 seconds when driving at 60mph. Needless to say, drivers should limit their speed to reflect this reduction in visibility.

As with any adverse weather conditions, it is always advisable to postpone your journey if at all possible as most fog will usually not last more than a morning. If you can’t, then the following tips should help you get where you’re going safely.

1)  Drive with your lights on low beam. You will only succeed in blinding yourself and anyone driving towards you if you use your high beams  in fog. As fog is white, it will reflect your lights right back at you.

2)  Keep an eye on your speed. When driving in fog, you can get a false impression of your speed as the conditions create a slow motion effect. It doesn’t alter your speedometer, so use it to gauge your speed.

3)  It might be an idea when driving in these conditions to refrain from to listening to music in your car. This will help you to listen out for traffic you may not be able to see. Wind down your window and keep an ear out for other cars.

4)  Don’t let visibility problems you can control affect your ability to see. Use your wipers when you need to and if it happens to be freezing fog, then top up your winter windscreen wash and properly defrost all of your windows before you set off.

5)  Use visible road markings as a guide and to where you should be going. Don’t use the rear lights of other vehicles in front to guide your direction as there is no guarantee that the lights you can see belong to car that is actually moving. It could be a stranded car. By the time you realise the car isn’t moving, you may not have the time to avoid it.

6)  If you break down in this sort of scenario, you must turn off your lights to avoid confusing others and if possible to do so safely, move away  from your car before making your calls to whichever recovery service you belong to.

7)  Don’t use your fog lights unnecessarily. If you drive for long enough, you will see a lot of people putting on their fog lights at the first hint of fog. A fog light should only be used when the fog is dense enough to need it. It will cause an effect similar to blinding someone with main-beam headlights.

8)  Remember that fog has precisely the same effect on the road that rain does and the the moisture present on the tarmac will mean greater stopping distances to be taking into account.

9)  It may feel natural to accelerate away from a car behind you that is driving too close to you, but you must refrain from doing so. When it is safe, you should do what you can to remove yourself from the situation by perhaps pulling over in a layby and letting them past.

10) If you appear to have made it through the fog and are in relative good visibility, don’t turn off to the fact that you could be just be in a good spot and the fog could return at any moment.

We hope that these tips help you get where you’re going to safely and in one piece.