Mist is somehow romantic, evocative, a hazy enveloping thing that harks of fireplaces and confectionery. Fog is not. It’s dense, damp, sounds like a swearword and very bad to drive in. The best way to drive in fog is to not. But sometimes you have to, so here are a few tips.
You cannot see properly in fog, so make sure you are as visible as possible by turning on your lights. But do not go to high-beam. Fog is literally a cloud on the ground, so your brights will bounce back and blind you. Use low beam, and your taillights will be visible as well.
If the visibility suddenly drops or you have to slow down or stop next to the road, turn on your hazards. The on/off amber light will be more easily seen.
I once drove over Sir Lowry’s Pass and it was foggy, but okay. Suddenly at the top of the pass, the visibility dropped from about 100m to zero in a split second. It is, at this point, very important to keep at the same speed, or if you have to slow down, do so gradually. You have to assume that the driver in front of you will not suddenly brake, but it is safer to assume he or she is not that clever. And you know the car behind will not speed up, so if you maintain your speed, the most likely danger is in front of you.
Fog is a cloud on the ground, so you get wet without the interesting splatter of rain. The road will be wet, so drive as you would in rain. Your windows, front, back and sides, will get wet and reduce your visibility, as well as that of other drivers. Braking will take that few extra metres because of the wet road, but because you cannot see that well, you will have less time to react and stop.
After a while, you will get tunnel vision, your eyes fixing on the cone of light in front of you. Avoid this. Make a point checking your rear-view mirror every few seconds, and glancing to the sides of the road as well. As mentioned before, not all other drivers are as clever as you, and one may just decide to join the road you are on from a side road.
Driving in fog is dangerous. If you can avoid it, rather wait. If you have to, be super alert. If you like this article, please keep up with our blog for more driving and car maintenance tips.