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Guide to driving in fog

December 12, 2017

Foggy conditions can dramatically reduce visibility and make driving more difficult and dangerous. Ideally, you should postpone or re-route your journey if you know you’re likely to hit heavy fog, just to be on the safe side. However, if the fog is unavoidable, it’s important you take appropriate action to reduce the risks.

Before you set off

  • Check the local weather forecast so you know when and where to expect fog.
  • Make a quick check of your dipped beams and lights to make sure they’re all working.
  • Pack a fully-charged mobile phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Make sure your fuel tank is full.

Before entering fog

  • First, check your mirrors and start slowing down by using the foot brake gently to give the drivers behind enough warning.
  • Stay vigilant if a roadside signal warns you of fog ahead. Even if the road seems clear, fog may be lingering just out of view and could descend on you unexpectedly.

Driving in fog

  • The Highway Code states that headlights must be used when visibility drops below 100 metres. Using your dipped beams will improve your vision of the road ahead and will make you more visible to other motorists. Don’t use full-beam headlights as this will direct light up into the fog and worsen your vision.
  • Front fog lights can give you even more vision of the road ahead, while rear fog lights can help warn other motorists of your presence. However, to avoid dazzling other drivers, you should only use fog lights in thick fog and should switch them off as soon as visibility improves.
  • Use your windscreen wipers and demisters to fight off condensation.
  • Keep an ear out for other vehicles. Switching off the radio and opening the windows can help you hear other vehicles before you see them.
  • Maintain at least a three-second distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Don’t use the rear lights of the vehicle in front as a guide. Doing so can give you a false sense of security, leaving you without enough space to stop in time.
  • Beware of other drivers who haven’t switched on their headlights.
  • Do not accelerate away if the vehicle behind you seems too close.
  • When emerging from a junction in foggy conditions, don’t hesitate in a position that leaves you in the path of oncoming traffic.