The annual fog menace that claims dozens of lives in the most parts of the country due to road accidents has returned and made worst this year due to excess pollution too. Fog or Smog is one of the most dangerous driving scenarios that a motorist could face due to very low visibility and high levels of moisture that could cloud up the windscreen. Driving in fog, especially in India is also made worst due to bad roads, unplanned road works or diversions without adequate signage and of course, pedestrians and animals carelessly crossing the road. Make sure you and your loved ones are safe in the car.
Here are some safe fog and smog driving tips. Read on to know more!
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The first and most obvious fog or smog driving tip is to just drive slowly! Limited visibility means that your response times and stoppage times are drastically cut down and that means that your vehicle speeds need to be much lower in order to allow a faster reaction time. Driving slowly also means you get more time avoid obstacles or shift lanes in case someone ahead of you has already had a crash.
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Park and Wait
If visibility gets to a point where almost nothing is visible, the safest thing you can do is to find a secure spot slightly off the road or pathway and park the car. Remember to always put on your parking lights and hazard lights when you have parked the car. If by chance you are on the road when you have parked and haven’t found a safe place to park off the road, either stay in the car with the seat belts fastened or exit the car and find a safe place to stand just in case someone crashes into your car. Remember though, if these is excessive pollution, it is best to stay inside the car with the glasses up and the AC turned on.
NEVER USE YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS WHILE DRIVING
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. While hazard lights flashing usually mean that there is some sort of danger, they are only to be used while the car has stopped and never when the car is in motion. While it is not uncommon to see drivers in India using their hazard lights turned on while driving in rain, fog or even in tunnels, the fact that this happens is frankly ridiculous and needs to stop! So if you ever see your driver, friends or family members doing this, please do educate them about the dangers of doing so.
Also Read: India Takes Top Spot In Deaths Due To Pollution: Study
Use low beam headlamps and fog lamps
While driving in foggy or smoggy conditions that have been prevalent in Delhi due to excessive pollution, it is always advisable to use the low beam headlamps and not the high beams. This is because the fog will actually reflect the beams of light if the headlamps are used in the high position back to the driver impairing his visibility. If fitted, fog lamps or driving lamps can also be very very effective in low visibility conditions are they have a shorter throw as compared to the headlamps which gives you immediate illumination. Low visibility conditions are also the only acceptable time to use the rear fog lamps fitted to your car as they are the best way to warn cars behind you.
Keep one eye on the lane markers
If visibility drops to an almost undrivable level and you cannot find a spot to stop, the easiest way to make sure you don’t drive off the road is to use the lane markers as a reference point. In our case, since we drive on the left side of the road, use the left side marker on a single lane road so that you stay as far as possible from oncoming traffic.