Weekly Comegetchu Tip 53

Tips to follow to ensure your safety in foggy conditions on the road

Winter is upon us and already temperatures within Gaborone have dropped and more fog and minimal visibility on the road is prevalent. It is a known fact that the density of fog is quite often unpredictable. In dense fog, a motorist literally cannot see anything beyond his own vehicle’s limits. In such conditions driving can prove to be quite a challenge unless appropriate precautions are enforced.

Here are some tips to stay safe while driving through dense fog.

  • Engage the headlights on low beam
    It is imperative to see and be seen on a foggy day when the visibility is already quite low. Setting the headlights to low beam can help make other motorists become aware of your presence. Using headlights on high-beam is inadvisable because the fog actually reflects the light back, hindering the driver’s vision.
    If the visibility drops below 100 meters, it is a good idea to turn on the car’s fog lamp (if your car is equipped with one).
  • Reduce your speed
    Since in these type of conditions, visibility is poor, it can get difficult to gauge your surroundings or react quickly enough to real-time road conditions if you are speeding. Driving at a reasonable speed allows you to react to the road and traffic and also to stop in time, if necessary. Sometimes it may seem that there is no car ahead and that its okay to speed. However, it is impossible to truly ascertain whether there is someone beyond the limit of visibility and not considering this could lead to collisions.
  • Listen for warning sounds outside
    One’s ears can be the greatest asset while driving in foggy conditions. While your visibility may be impaired during dense fog, the sounds of tyres and horns can help you estimate the distance from unseen vehicles and which direction they are. So, while driving through fog, keep your music off and listen to the sounds of the road.
  • Maintain your positioning – lane
    With low visibility while driving through fog, it is very difficult to figure out when someone is switching lanes , which means that other drivers can often get startled and this could lead to collisions. It is better to concentrate on one part of the road and stick to a particular lane.
  • Always use your indicators
    Once again, it is important to be seen on a foggy road and indicate one’s intentions to the other drivers. When making a turn, it is advisable to give an indication for at least ten seconds to allow vehicles behind some time to slow down.
  • Keep your windows clear
    Try and keep your vision as clear as possible. Clean your windscreen on the inside and the outside to ensure that there are no further distractions to your sight.
  • Turn on your heater
    The fog outside often causes condensation to build up on the inside of the vehicle, hampering one’s vision. This can easily be cleared by turning the heater on.
  • Do not overtake
    The key to driving during foggy conditions is patience and trying to overtake is highly highly inadvisable. Your efforts to overtake can be distracting for the driver in front and can also catch them unaware, not allowing them to slow down on time, and can lead to a collision.
  • Maintain a good distance between vehicles
    Keeping a sensible amount of space between you and the vehicle ahead is a best practise. This gives an individual just enough time to react, slow down and stop when required. Multiple bumper to bumper collisions are often caused by vehicles following each other too closely and unable to react when a situation goes south.
  • Stay focused on the road
    The most important thing while driving through fog is to stay vigilant and keep your eyes on the road. It takes a split second for something to go wrong which means that every driver has the responsibility to minimise all types of distractions and focus on the traffic and weather conditions without compromise.