Your Guide to Safe Driving in Fog
When it comes to driving in fog, there are several things that you need to consider to keep yourself and those around you safe. Using your lights correctly is just one of them, as they not only light up the road ahead, they also allow you to remain visible to other road users too.
However, a lot of people get the use of fog lights wrong . This leads to unnecessary accidents being caused, as well as fines from the police for not following the correct procedures as set out by the Highway Code.
Safe driving in fog is something that can challenge even the most experienced drivers. So, you’ll need to do everything in your power in order to ensure maximum safety in those conditions. This is even more true in the event that it is raining as well as being foggy.
The following article will look into everything that you need to know about safe driving in the fog. We provide all the essential tips you can put into practice the next time you find yourself driving in fog.
How to use your fog lights
It is always worth considering postponing your journey in the event you are faced with very foggy conditions. Depending on the situation, this should be your preferred option. However, it is understandable that it is not always possible to do this.
In the event you need to drive in fog, you should always check that your fog lights are switched on before you set off. You can do this by looking out for the fog light symbol on your dashboard. If you have switched them on and the symbol does not appear, then it is worth getting out of your vehicle to check if they are functioning correctly.
When visibility is seriously fog-reduced, you should always use dipped headlights and fog lights. Many people wrongly think that full beam headlights should be used. But, you’ll actually find that this can make visibility far worse as the fog reflects the light back at you.
Furthermore, don’t forget to switch your fog lights off when the fog has cleared. Otherwise, you can potentially dazzle other road users, and perhaps even receive a fine if you happen to get caught by the police.
When should you use fog lights?
This might seem pretty self-explanatory, but a lot of people get it wrong in terms of when to use fog lights. Incorrect use will not only put yourself and others in danger, you’ll also find that it is illegal too.
Rule 226 of the Highway Code states that fog lights should be only be used when it is foggy. If visibility is 100 metres (328 feet) or less, then you will need to switch your fog lights on in order for you to be seen by other road users.
If you fail to switch on your fog lights at the appropriate time, you could even invalidate your insurance if you are involved in an accident.
When shouldn’t you use fog lights?
Quite simply, you shouldn’t use your fog lights when it isn’t foggy. This includes instances when there is a light drizzle, when it is raining, and when it is clear at night time.
Using your fog lights inappropriately can put you and other drivers in danger. So, you should never consider switching them on unless visibility is heavily reduced. Otherwise, you could potentially dazzle other road users, and could receive a fine if you’re caught.
Checking your lights and bulbs
Maintaining your vehicle is of paramount importance when it comes to driving safely while out on the road. Otherwise, the safety of yourself and those around you is put at risk. Ensuring that your lights are working is certainly no exception, as having a bulb out is a sure-fire way to get stopped.
As front fog lights are dimmer than headlights, it is best to check your front fog lights when it is darker outside. In order to perform a test, simply switch on your fog lights, get out of your vehicle, and check if each bulb is functioning correctly and is of equal brightness. If not, then it is highly advisable that you get them replaced before taking your car out on the road again.
Fog lights and the law
Inappropriate use of your fog lights has the potential to get you into trouble with law enforcement. So, you’ll need to know exactly what to do to prevent yourself getting onto the wrong side of the law.
The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations Act 1989 states that the use of front and rear fog lights is strictly prohibited when visibility is not reduced or when the vehicle is parked. This is because it can potentially dazzle other road users which puts their safety at risk, as previously mentioned.
You should only ever switch on your fog lights in the event your visibility is heavily reduced during foggy conditions. At all other times including when there is a light drizzle or it is raining, you should ensure that your fog lights are fully switched off.
What else can you do?
In addition to these, there are other measures you can take for driving in fog. Always keep your speed down as much as possible and keep your distance from other drivers. In doing so, this will allow you to be much better prepared for any upcoming hazards on the road, such as drivers not using the correct lights or parked vehicles.
You are now equipped with the knowledge needed for safe driving in fog. By putting the tips covered into practice each and every time you drive in the fog, you can ensure that you remain on the right side of the law, while helping to prevent accidents.