8th Mar, 2022
Fog might look pretty atmospheric in photographs, but it can potentially be an absolute nightmare to drive through. Some of the worst road accidents in the history of the UK have been caused by fog – in 2013, 60 people were injured in a 130 car pile up on the Sheppey crossing in Kent. It’s a pretty extreme example, but one the neatly illustrates the risks, so before you find yourself needing to scrap your car in similar circumstances, here are a few top tips we’ve compiled to help keep you safe when fighting through the fog.
We won’t subject you a to full-on science lesson, but you don’t need a tonne of scientific knowledge to know that cold, foggy days can produce annoying misty patches on your windshield which can seriously reduce your visibility. You’ll need to get rid of these before you set off, so stick your heating on and gradually turn it up a couple of notches before you get moving. What this basically does is dry out the water vapour on your windows, removing the mist. It’s worth keeping in mind though that this isn’t an instant fix, as it needs to be done gradually for it to be efficient and effective – so be prepared to wait a few minutes while the heater works its magic.
Your car lights are designed to help in low visibility right? Well, yes, but different lights serve different purposes. As tempting as it’ll be to put the full beams on when the fog descends, they’re actually not the best choice for these conditions, because the intense light reflects off the fog due to the positioning of the beams.
As you can probably imagine, full beams reflected into your eyes isn’t ideal when you’re driving, so try your dipped headlights instead. Dipped headlights point lower into the road, onto the tarmac in front of you, reducing the risk of them reflecting off the fog.
If that’s not quite enough, you’ve always got your fog lights. These do exactly what they say on the tin – they’re positioned low to the ground so they won’t reflect off the fog and blind you, and they shoot a powerful beam of light that drastically improves your visibility in these conditions.
It’s really, really important to correctly choose the best lights to use in foggy conditions, as all the same usual rules apply. It’s illegal in the UK to drive in poor visibility, so choosing the wrong lights – and leaving your visibility unimproved as a result – means risking a hefty fine and your insurance claim being denied if you find yourself in an accident. Trust us, it’s not worth the risk.
Deciding on the right lights is helpful, but driving carefully is equally important, if not more so. Your stopping difference plays a significant role in foggy conditions – usually, you’d need to allow for a two second gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. However, in foggy conditions the roads are going to be damper, and therefore much more slippery, so we’d advise giving yourself at least a four second gap between you and the vehicle ahead to make up for this.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that you wont be the only one having to deal with the difficult weather, so try your best to give other road users as much room as possible to be unpredictable. The average stopping distance for car travelling at 70mph is 96m, which is doubled when it’s wet/damp, so expect the unexpected!
You’ll need to keep your wits about you if you want to navigate through these treacherous conditions successfully. Any significant distractions can be costly, and believe it or not, something as simple as turning down your radio down can greatly improve your concentration levels, and significantly reduce the risk of you making an error.
It might also be worth rolling down your windows if you come to a blind junction, so you can listen out for any oncoming traffic. It’ll be a bit colder for a moment, but it’s worth it!
Of course, the very best way you can ensure your safety in fog is not to drive at all. If you spot any fog warnings on the weather forecast, try and see if you can either delay or rearrange any plans to drive.
All that should give your car the best possible chance of avoiding a nasty collision on foggy roads. But however your car meets its end – whether that’s through a collision, a mechanical failure, or even just an MOT failure – rest assured that here at Scrap Car Network, we make it as easy as possible for you to scrap your car. We won’t be beaten on price and getting a quote is easy – just enter a few details about your vehicle on our homepage and you’ll get an instant price! Why not see how much your vehicle is worth?