IN­STI­TUTE OF AD­VANCED MO­TORISTS

Ki­ran Dev­gun, from the In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Mo­torists, shares some use­ful tips on driv­ing with us...

Stockport Times West - - INSTITUTE OF ADVANCED MOTORISTS -

KI­RAN Dev­gun, from the In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Mo­torists, (IAM) shares her ad­vice with mo­torists trav­el­ling in fog.

Here are her top tips on how driv­ers can make their jour­ney as safe as pos­si­ble.

CLEAN and clear The con­di­tions that cause fog also cause win­dows to mist up. Dirty win­dows mist more quickly than clean ones, so it is im­por­tant to keep your win­dows clean, and then use your wipers and the car heater (and air con­di­tion­ing if you have it) to clear them.

Be sure to clear your wing mir­rors too so you can see traf­fic in them, es­pe­cially in towns.

LIGHT and bright Switch on your dipped head­lights in misty or foggy con­di­tions.

Do not rely on the fact that the lights au­to­mat­i­cally come on with the en­gine, as this may not put the rear lights on – and they are equally im­por­tant. Only use your fog lights if vis­i­bil­ity is less than 100 me­tres, but don’t for­get to turn them off when vis­i­bil­ity im­proves. Do not use the full beam lights in fog as this will only ob­scure your vis­i­bil­ity fur­ther.

Sim­ply use your dipped head­lights to help you see fur­ther ahead and drive at a speed you can stop at within the dis­tance you can see.

WASH it off Fog can cause sprays of rain to sit on your wind­screen so make sure you use your wipers on the in­ter­mit­tent set­ting through­out your jour­ney. Keep your wind­screen washer topped up with screen wash to rinse off any de­bris. If the fog is freez­ing fog, do not use your wind­screen washer un­less you have non­freez­ing washer fluid in them, or the screen will be cov­ered in ice.

TAKE a brake Driv­ing at a steady pace will en­sure you can slow down or brake early enough for any haz­ards.

How­ever, if the ve­hi­cle be­hind you ap­pears closer than it needs to be, you should make sure you are go­ing slowly enough that you are able to slow down or stop with­out it be­ing sud­den.

This will al­low the car be­hind to not be caught out and run into you.

Keep an eye on your speed through­out and only in­crease your speed when the road sig­nif­i­cantly clears. Patches of fog will not al­ways be of the same den­sity – it may get thicker again, so be pre­pared for that and ready to slow down again.

SPOT them if you can Pedes­tri­ans and cy­clists are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult to see in fog, so take ex­tra cau­tion to en­sure you can cope with them.

Very of­ten they will be wear­ing dark cloth­ing as op­posed to high vis­i­bil­ity gear – mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult to spot them eas­ily. Keep your eyes peeled and make sure you re­duce your speed, giv­ing your­self enough time to spot them.

NOW you see me, now you don’t In traf­fic queues the move­ment of ve­hi­cles can cause the fog to clear to a de­gree within the queue. But, the driver at the head of the queue does not have that ben­e­fit – don’t be tempted to rush past other cars (es­pe­cially on the mo­tor­way) to then sud­denly find a wall of fog at the front of the queue.

If you have to stop, whether you’re wait­ing for help while you’re on the hard shoul­der or on a side road, you and your car should al­ways be vis­i­ble to other road users.

Have the car’s lights on, use the haz­ard warn­ing flash­ers, and wear a high vis­i­bil­ity jacket to help other ve­hi­cles pass­ing by iden­tify you. Dis­play a warn­ing tri­an­gle if you break down – but not on a mo­tor­way, where set­ting it out cre­ates a high risk, and it is likely to be blown over by pass­ing traf­fic.

With­out this equip­ment you might re­main un­seen and be in­volved in an ac­ci­dent.

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