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Driving in fog and strong winds
Driving in fog reduces your visibility enormously, and therefore it can be extremely dangerous. There are a number of precautions you can take to help keep you safer in foggy conditions:
Reduce your speed – By reducing your speed you will be more alert and aware of your surroundings. You will also be less likely to collide with other cars.
Headlights – These should be dipped at all times.
Fog lights– Ensure you know how to use your fog lights correctly before setting out. The Highway Code states that “you must use headlights when visibility is less than 100 metres”. Make sure your fog lights work correctly and use them accordingly!
Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front – This will increase your stopping distance.
Wind down windows – Sometimes it helps to be able to listen for oncoming traffic, especially if visibility is limited. This is advisable at junctions and crossroads. If conditions are really severe, it is recommended that you cease driving until conditions improve.
Another dangerous element to drive in is wind – which has been predicted to be bad this year in the UK due to the ‘weather bomb’ (see video). When the wind is strong it can make driving increasingly difficult. It is advisable to avoid driving on high, exposed bridges and to be extra wary of bicycles, anyone towing (or carrying something on their roof) and debris on the road.
Here are some other useful tips when driving in strong wind:
Drive slowly – As with driving in fog, driving slowly not only increases your awareness and allows you to look for hazards, it also allows you to cope with strong winds. A strong gust can affect the brakes etc of a car (as it gets under the car) and driving can become increasingly difficult, so hold the steering wheel tightly!
Be prepared – Knowing your route and the safest way to drive is essential. As well as this you should also be prepared when driving in exposed, clear areas as gusts of wind is more likely to affect you.
Only overtake when necessary– Overtaking becomes more dangerous in windy conditions and should only be done when necessary. When overtaking be wary of trailers and large vehicles as these are the most dangerous in such conditions.
Give room– Allow for extra space between you and the car in front and give extra room for vehicles, particularly bicycles, vans, lorries, trucks, trailers and buses.
Be vigilant- Keep an eye on what is going on around you (this will be easier to do if you are driving slower), if you see an unsteady vehicle KEEP CLEAR.