Winter is here and the possible daily foggy conditions as well. Every other day you might read or watch news related to prevailing fog condition. Fog is hazardous weather roadway condition and has caused loss of numerous precious lives across the country especially in the province of Punjab and KPK every year.
Its always recommended to stay away from road in low visibility unless its very urgent. There are few tips which everyone should follow to remain safe. Remember these are just tips and should not be taken as guarantee. Any unnecessary movement on the roads should be avoided at all cost. If in case you need to travel , make sure you ;
- Check up to date weather by following TV news and radio.
- For major highway and motorway conditions reported by NHMP; Click here > Travel Advisory
- Fog Update from National Weather Forecasting Centre , Click > Highways .
- Fog Update from National Weather Forecasting Centre, Click > Motorways
- Or dial 130, and get connected with National Highway Motorway Police for updates
- Avoid Distracted driving. Its dangerous in normal driving conditions, so in foggy weather it is just multiplying the danger. It’s a NO NO.
- Everyone in vehicle MUST restrain themselves using seat belts and that includes the rear seat passengers as well. Well this is MUST regardless of weather conditions.
- Try to avoid the travel in foggy conditions. Fog is not a fun situation, Its a serious weather condition. As you know it gets foggy in late evenings and early mornings, try planning your trip accordingly.
- The most neglected advice.. driving fast instead of being slow. Please drive slow. People think they are on motorway so the road is wide open. Yes sir the road is there wide open but you don’t have radars and auto pilot. This is the main reason every year you see serious accidents, multi vehicle pile ups.
- Make sure your car exterior lighting is in full working condition. Headlights, tail lights. Also if you have fog lights use it. FOG lights both at front and rear are recommended. Don’t use any light fixtures on the rear which has blinding effect for the following up vehicles. There is a nonsense behavior among certain individual who use HID at the rear end and cause problem to other drivers. Globally, the approved fog light color for rear end is bright RED and light intensity more than the regular brake light.
- Please drive with low beams. Driving with high beam will only blind you more as the lights reflects from fog.
- Again I will press on this fact that HID in your cars will further deteriorate your visibility as scattered light from your headlight will bounce in every other direction and getting reflected from fog and creating a white screen at front. Many people get extra smart and put HID in fog lights. If a HID bulb don’t belong in headlight it does not belong in fog light as well. Fog lights are below headlights and close to roadway and the purpose is the lit up the edge of the road. The fog lights have a cut off wide and low and one reason is to lit the area closer to the driver and on the edge of the car. The HID in fog completely kill the purpose of fog light. Please have some sense and respect other motorist.
- Use road markings to help guide you. As marking is more pronounced on motorways it will be easy to keep with edge of the road or center lane marking. Please be very vigilant and keep looking at front for any vehicle upfront . On urban roads, GT roads be very careful as every other moving thing is on road, rakhsha, taanga, bicycle, scooter and so on. So drive slow so that you have enough reaction time in case of an alien appearing from no where.
- Don’t tailgate.. means driving close bumper to bumper to other driver in front. Keep safe following distance and keep the next vehicle in your sight. No need to drive fast to catch him. You never know he might be slow or stopped ahead. Once you drive in fog, you lose orientation means you don’t know the surroundings so its very difficult to imagine how fast you are going.. Many pile up happens just because of this.
- Yes music is good, but the road and prevailing conditions need your attention. Keep the music low or best is to switch it OFF, so that you can judge your surroundings, listen to other vehicles or any horn from other cars.
- I know its freezing cold but your life is also very important. Open windows an inch, also keep the “Recirculating function”/ button on your heater/ climate control in OFF position. Reason is to eliminate the condensation and fog building up in the inside of your car. Once your window are closed and you press the Recirculate button, the temperature differential between in and out of car increase and condensation happens so you have fog outside as well as inside your car on your windows. wiping it off with tissue will only make it worse. So don’t let it happen at the first place.
- There is no need to overtake and do lane changes. Just drive slow and clear foggy area. Yes you think driving fast make you feel that you have made an achievement.. But you didn’t.. Its the careless behavior.
- Leave a safe braking distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Don’t stop in the middle of the road. If you feel difficulty in driving, try moving slowly towards the shoulder of the road. Watch out for other stopped or moving vehicles around you. Its always better to stop at petrol pump, or service area rather standing on side of the road.
- Sometime there are clear patches among foggy areas. Driver speed up but then caught up again in fog thus becoming cause of serious accidents. Please drive slow and carefully until you are completely out of foggy areas.
- Everywhere in the world it’s recommended to use Hazard light/ Double indicators , only when you are stopped. The purpose of hazard lights is to inform other drivers that your car has stopped. In many countries it’s inappropriate to use it while going through fog. In Pakistan it became a trend to use hazard lights while going through fog, which is a dangerous and a wrong trend. Driver education is needed in this respect. Follow Motorway/ Highway officials directions in this regard.
- If in case of an unfortunate event and you get into an accident, if possible leave the roadway immediately even away from shoulder and far from accident spot and your vehicle until the rescue arrives. This is important so, that you can remain safe from any chain reaction accident. If possible switch on hazard lights.
- Be patient and remain calm and cover the obstacle safely and not become part of another statistics and TV news.