Drive Safely In The Mist or Fog
Drive safely in the mist or fog
With outbreaks of fog and mist expected throughout the winter, travelling can get extremely difficult at times. Follow the Institute Of Advanced Motorists’ top tips to make your journey as safe as possible.
- Clean and clear – the conditions that cause fog also cause windows to mist up. Dirty windows mist more quickly than clean ones, so make sure you keep them clean. Then use your wipers and car heater (plus air-conditioning if you have it) to clear them. Be sure to clear your wing mirrors too.
- Light and bright – switch on your dipped headlights in misty or foggy conditions. Don’t rely on the fact that the lights automatically come on with the engine, as this may not put the rear lights on – and they are just as important. Only use your fog lights if visibility is less than 100 metres, and don’t forget to turn them off when visibility improves. Don’t use the full beam in fog as this will obscure your visibility further.
- Wash it off – fog can cause sprays of rain to sit on your windscreen, so use your wipers on the ‘intermittent’ setting throughout your journey. Keep your screen wash topped up so you can rinse off any debris. When driving in freezing fog, only use your windscreen washer if you have non-freezing fluid or the screen will be covered in ice.
- Take a brake – driving at a steady pace will ensure you can slow down or brake early enough for any hazards. However, if the vehicle behind you appears closer than it needs to be, make sure you are going slowly enough that you are able to slow down or stop without it being sudden. Keep an eye on your speed and only increase it when the road significantly clears. Patches of fog will not always be of the same density – it may get thicker again, so be prepared for that and be ready to slow down again.
Spot them if you can – pedestrians and cyclists are hard to see in fog, and very often they will be wearing dark clothing rather than high-visibility gear.