Safety Guide to Drive in UAE’s Foggy Weather
Fog is among the dangerous weather conditions for experienced and new drivers. It reduces visibility and makes it hard for drivers to spot hazards. Furthermore, it makes it hard for drivers to judge distance.
This unusual weather condition creates optical illusions, and drivers start misjudging their speed. They also find it hard to determine whether the cars behind them or in front of them are moving.
Fog is a form of a cloud that forms near the earth’s surface. It commonly forms near the coastline and lakes early in the morning and in the evening. Still, fog can form at other times of the day and in other places. So, check the weather forecast before you start driving.
If possible, avoid driving in foggy conditions. Light or dense fog is a leading cause of accidents around the globe. If you must drive in fog, here are some of the safety guide to drive you to require to ensure your safety.
Switch On the Fog Lights
While not every car comes with front fog lights, most modern cars boast rear fog lights. The lights are a legal requirement in the UAE. When driving in foggy weather, you have to keep the lights on until you drive out of the fog. You have to switch them off after the fog clears because they might dazzle the other motorists.
The switch of these lights is situated on the headlight knob or indicator stalk. Check your vehicle’s manual to know the exact location of this switch.
You have to pay careful attention to the surroundings when driving in fog weather. Turn off the radio, watch for obstacles, and ask the passengers to remain quiet. Many drivers drift out of their lanes when driving in fog, so watch the lines or move further to the side to ensure that you are on the safe side. Again, note the position of oncoming traffic.
Remember to open the windows and listen to the sounds coming from the outside. That will improve your awareness of the things close to your car. Be ready to stop fast because bikes and pedestrians can come from nowhere. Even more, animals may feel bolder in the foggy weather and enter the roadway.
To prevent moisture buildup on the windows and windshield, use defrosters and windshield wipers. Keep adjusting the settings as the weather conditions improve.
Fog will lower your visibility. For that reason, you might not see the objects until you are very close to them. So, increase the distance between you and the other road users and reduce your speed as a way of increasing your reaction time. Avoid following other cars closely and avoid using cruise control. Furthermore, you have to be ready to apply the brakes quickly.
Still, you have to check the speedometer more often because fog can create an illusion of driving slowly. That causes overspeeding in most cases, and therefore you have to be patient when driving. Driving slowly will give the other drivers a chance to react in case of anything. Turn the signal lights earlier and avoid passing other cars.
Use Dipped Headlights
When driving in fog, you have to keep the headlights on. However, you should ensure that they are normal (dipped). Driving with the main beams is dangerous to oncoming traffic. Main beams will dazzle the other motorists and cause problems.
If your vehicle has automatic headlights, keep them on and do not assume that they are automatic before checking. The main beams are denoted by a blue symbol on the dashboard.
Stop Your Vehicle at the Service Station
You might realize that it is hard to drive after starting your journey. At such times, you would not want to drive back to your home. So, slow down your car and park it at a service station. Wait until the fog has cleared to continue driving.
Your safety and that of other road users are important. Switch on your radio and listen to get traffic updates. Social media platforms are also helpful.
Never Drive With the Hazard Lights On
Some drivers keep the hazard lights on when driving in the fog to make themselves visible. The intention is good, but it is not wise, and you can cause an accident easily. The main purpose of hazard lights is to inform the other motorists that you are stationary and to warn them of other road hazards.
The motorists behind you will panic after seeing the hazard lights. They will think that you have stopped, and they will apply the brakes sharply. That may cause an accident. So, never keep the lights on when driving in foggy weather.
Avoid Changing Lanes
Never change lanes when driving in foggy weather unless you must. Stick to one lane, and do not hurry. The constant change of lanes is dangerous, and it can lead to an accident. Keep in mind that the motorists behind may not see you.
Furthermore, driving at 120 km/h in foggy weather is irresponsible and dangerous. Therefore, you have to reduce your speed to less than 50km/h and remain in the inside lane. If the fog is thicker, reduce the speed to 40km/h. You have to be extra careful.
Turn On the Heater
Keep the air conditioner on because it will prevent condensation in your car. With the heater on, there will be no need for wiping the windshield and side windows with your gloves, jacket sleeves, or mittens. Also, never recirculate.
Any air recirculated via the cabin will hold more moisture than the fresh air entering the car. That is for the reason that the occupants will be exhaling water vapour.
Crack open one window to clear the air. To ensure that the heat is getting beyond your seat, adjust the flow towards your feet. Also, tilt the top vents towards the roof so that more warm air can flow to the rear seats.
The above tips will help you drive safely in foggy weather. However, if the journey is not important or the fog is very thick, pull over. You can stay at home until the weather allows you to drive again. Driving in fog is dangerous, and it is among the leading causes of accidents in the UAE.