Posted on Leave a comment

Critical Safety talk of the Day HOW TO DRIVE IN THE FOG Breath and Blink Safety

For most of us, and usually because  of where  we  live FOG is not a front page safety topic, but it does happen and like all journey management topic we need to have CLEAR SAFETY Direction in the haze before the incident may occur. Driving is a visual activity, so driving when visibility is reduced is one of the most dangerous situations you can encounter behind the wheel. And few conditions restrict visibility more than dense fog. Don’t rely on the tail-lights of the car ahead to lead the way. If it goes off the road you’ll follow it and keeping those lights in sight might also entice you to follow it too closely for safety. Breathe and blink. Take a deep breath occasionally and the extra oxygen you take in will sharpen your vision temporarily and help you relax. Blinking keeps the surface of the eye clean and lubricated and works the muscles of the eye.

Fog is comprised of tiny particles of moisture suspended in the air in sufficient density to impede vision – in effect it’s a cloud that forms at ground level when the temperature falls far enough for the air to become saturated and water vapour in the air condenses to form suspended water droplets.

Visibility can be even worse when it’s dark as the water particles reflect the light from headlights, and street lights, creating glare.

RULE NUMBER ONE—— Slow the heck to down and Light ONE , ALL LIGHTS ONE!

And yes someone needs to remind you!!!!! Only drive if you have to

If you wake up to a thick blanket of fog then the best thing to do is send a text message (even a picture message) to your boss telling them that you are going to be late in. Any boss who has a problem with this isn’t worth working for. Your safety is the most important thing, so wait for the fog to clear before you set off.

Fog is a thin layer of cloud resting on the ground. Fog can reduce visibility for drivers, resulting in difficult driving conditions. Use the right-side pavement line as a guide. In thick fog, use the white line painted on the right side of the road as a guide. Do not use the center pavement markings, because doing so will guide you to move closer to oncoming vehicles, which are also driven by people having trouble seeing where they are going.

Do NOT drive with your hazard lights on

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to driving with your hazard lights on in fog. Some people do it to make themselves more visible, which is a good intention, but not wise and can cause an accident.

Hazard lights are designed to warn other motorists that you arestationary, or to warn other motorists of a road hazard.

If a motorist behind you spots your hazard lights are on, he may panic thinking that you have stopped (don’t forget that visibility will be poor) and he may brake sharply. This could cause an accident, especially with the motorist who is behind him, and so on.

The best thing to do is to avoid driving in fog. Check weather forecasts and if there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. If that is not possible or you get caught driving in fog, there are a number of safe driving tips you should follow. If visibility is decreasing rapidly, move off the road and into a safe parking area to wait for the fog to lift. Turn your heater on

If it’s foggy then it is likely going to be cool, which means that condensation may build up on the inside of your car. This will retard your visibility more so. The heater will help keep your windows clear.   Listen   Turn your radio off and open your window a little. Listen carefully to your environment outside of the car. You may hear another vehicle that you can’t see, or you may hear something or someone warning you to stop. You’ll be driving at a reduced speed so wind noise won’t be too much of a problem with the window down.

Tips for driving safely in fog

Before you drive — and during your trip — check weather forecasts. If there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. If you are caught driving in fog, follow these safe-driving tips:

DO:

  • Use your low-beam headlights. Highbeams reflect off the moisture droplets in the fog, making it harder to see.
  • If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, in addition to your lowbeams.
  • Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic.
  • Use pavement markings to help guide you. Use the right edge of the road as a guide, rather than the centre line.
  • Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to brake safely.
  • Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead.
  • Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. For example, turn off the cell phone. Your full attention is required.
  • Watch for any electronically operated warning signs.
  • Keep looking as far ahead as possible.
  • Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Use your defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.
  • If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road and try to position your vehicle in a safe parking area. Turn on your emergency flashers, in addition to keeping on your low-beam headlights.

DON’T:

  • Don’t stop on the travelled portion of the road. You could become the first link in a chain-reaction collision.
  • Don’t speed up suddenly, even if the fog seems to be clearing. You could find yourself suddenly back in fog.
  • Don’t speed up to pass a vehicle moving slowly or to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.

REMEMBER:

  • Watch your speed. You may be going faster than you think. If so, reduce speed gradually.
  • Leave a safe braking distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • Remain calm and patient. Don’t pass other vehicles or speed up suddenly.
  • Don’t stop on the road. If visibility is decreasing rapidly, pull off the road into a safe parking area and wait for the fog to lift.
  • Use your low-beam lights.

 

In places like the UK where fog is like a second cousin

All cars come with rear fog lamps – it’s a legal requirement – so yours does have them fitted. Do you know how to turn them on and off? If not, make sure you find out at the earliest possible opportunity. You don’t want to be scrabbling around trying to find a switch just as the fog thickens up.

Remember that they will only work with the dipped beam headlights turned on, so make sure you do that first.

Don’t turn your rear fog lights on any earlier than you need to, either, or you could be dazzling the drivers behind you. The Highway Code says that you should only use your fog lamps when the visibility drops below 100m.

If you’re not sure when that is, a good rule of thumb is to work out whether you can see the tail lights of the car in front of you. If you can’t, you (and they) should probably be using rear fog lamps. However, if you can, you probably don’t need them.

Terry Penney

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.