Safety First, Driving in Fog and the biggest misunderstanding – front fog lights and their use

The legendary pea soupers of the 1950s and 1960s may be a thing of the past, but for Cannock road users who drive a lot during the winter months, there’s nothing romantic about a thick fog. Fog banks can be extremely dangerous and are common in low-altitude areas, so it’s worth taking some precautions to make sure that you are driving as safely as possible. 

One day, it’s likely we’ll have self-driving cars with similar capacity for ‘seeing in the dark’ as pilots have on planes, but in the meantime having a safety kit in your car boot helps you to be visible to others in case you break down. Equip yourself with a reflective vest and an emergency triangle to keep safe if you have to get out of your car – even more important if you’re driving in fog. 

Get your lights right

As we get into fog season, make sure the bulbs in your front and rear lights are working properly, including your indicators. If you have a problem with one light, it’s a good idea to replace the other at the same time to ensure an equal level of light brightness. 

Choosing more powerful options is also useful for a frequent winter driver – consider whiter lights, or bulbs that simulate Xenon light. It’s also a job for an expert; consult a car electrician to make sure that the light bulb you want is suitable for your car, and that the absorption rating won’t cause overheating or any drops in voltage. If you’re looking at LEDs or real Xenon headlights, these in particular need the input of a specialist car electrician, as replacing these bulbs may require a special procedure. Bring your car in to us at Premier Group, and we’ll do the rest. 

Windscreens (and your air conditioning!)

Another helpful adjustment for driving in fog is making sure your car air conditioning is working properly. This is because it reduces humidity in the passenger compartment, preventing the windows from misting up and reducing visibility further. Also, clean your windows; it seems obvious, but a once a month wipe-over to remove the film of dirt from both inside and out will make a huge difference. 

Your windscreen wipers will make a big difference to glazing safety too. Worn wipers will leave streaks, which can particularly affect night visibility. To check, run your fingertip along the blade – if it feels rough or bumpy, contact Premier Group to replace it. 

Check the washer system too – freezing weather means freezing water, so use a detergent which lowers freezing temperature as well as removing greasy deposits. 

Slow down

Driving in fog is one occasion where you really don’t want to be travelling in the slipstream of the car in front. It’s harder to judge distance and speed, and you need to be able to see the car in front’s rear lights for optimum safety. 

Front Fog Lights

Front fog lights should be used on their own, and not in conjunction with low-beam headlights; this can lead to dangerous glare from the fog moisture. Fog is made up of millions of droplets suspended in the air, so if you shed light on it, it is reflected like tiny little mirrors and you will be dazzled by the glare of your own light. The main beam headlights should only be used in the presence of weak fog. 

Safety First

Overtaking is also a bad idea in fog; aim for a low and steady speed and stick to it. Finally, use your common sense – if it feels like driving is just too dangerous, or visibility is too poor for road safety, get off the road as soon as you safely can and wait for the fog to ease a bit before you continue driving. 

Ensure your car is safe and ready for all road conditions with regular servicing from Premier Group. Call to book your car in for repairs and servicing of all types on Cannock (01543) 426378.