in. It is the one driving condition that professional drivers are the most uncomfortable with.
We asked our panel of experienced professional drivers to provide their best tips for driving
in such visually impaired and difficult conditions.
‘Read the weather forecast before heading off.’
If you are aware that there will be the possibility of fog on the run you should
be aware that your concentration levels will be working at their maximum
therefore it is important that you plan additional rest breaks and have access
to appropriate food and drinks.
‘Driving in Fog places more demand on your levels of concentration’
Clean your mirrors, clean your windows and windscreen inside and out. An extra
five minutes doing this will reduce the strain on your eyes during the course of the
trip. Cleaning will clear off any residue or moisture which may affect your visibility.
You will be using your window washer more than normal so ensure that it is full before heading off.
Also it is important to have window wash that has antifreeze contained in the formulation.
Check to see if your heated mirrors are operating correctly. It could be as simple as replacing a fuse if they are not working.
‘Remember is as important that you can be seen by our road relations as it is that you can see them.’
that all of your reflective markings and lights are cleaned. Be prepared to pull over
and repeat the cleaning of glass and reflective surfaces during your journey.
with dipped headlights, front and rear fog lights if visibility is less than 100
metres, but remember to switch them off when visibility improves – leaving fog
lights on when dipped lights would be adequate is an offence. It is very
important to be considerate and switch off front and rear fog lights in good
the heater on and leave it running to keep the inside of the
glass clear. Keep your heated mirrors switched on.
‘Know Your Safe Stopping Distance’
and keep enough distance between yourself and the vehicle in front – make sure you
can stop safely within the distance you can see to be clear. In such conditions
visibility can be reduced in seconds so be prepared for vehicles which suddenly
stop in the carriageway due to the fright of not being able to see. It is a
natural reaction for drivers to panic and stop as they cannot see to the front
or the side. As a HGV or Coach Driver you will have a better understanding of
the road profile and you will have to be aware of what evasive options you have
in the event that you come across a vehicle stopped in the carriageway.
Fog Can Be Mentally Draining…Stay Focused It Could
Save Your Life’
on what’s going on around you. Turn down the radio, avoid taking
calls on your hands free, stay focused Visibility will change as
you make progress through dense fog it may get thicker, so slow down if it
users tend to follow behind larger vehicles as they can be beneficial because
they are easier to see and they will feel safer behind you.
behind in advance of braking by tipping the brake light switch on the brake
pedal. This will give them a chance to reach in time.
‘Remember Cyclists are Deadly Quiet’
If you can’t
see well at a junction or a roundabout, wind the window down and listen out for
the traffic before pulling out. Cyclists and motorcyclists are very vulnerable
road relations in conditions of poor visibility. THINK BIKE! AND THEN THINK BIKE AGAIN!
‘FOG FEEDS FATIGUE’
underestimate the effect fog has on your visibility and the stress it places on
your ability to stay alert. You will be mentally drained from driving in such
conditions so watch out for the signs of fatigue. You biological clock acts the
same in the fog as it does on any other afternoon or night shift. Extra care
should be taken in conditions of poor visibility, there is no room to err….micro
sleep and it may be forever!
‘Know Where You Are’
In the event
of a collision or a medical emergency you are going to have to call the
services, you have to know where you are. With our poor motorway and national
route signage it is difficult to know but in fog it can be impossible. So
concentration on your location and recording mileage readings will always help.
‘Know Your Job’
to have your hi-viz on or at hand. Be very careful alighting your vehicle
you will be entering the dead zone. Take all necessary precautions to ensure the
safety of yourself, your passengers and your load.
There are many
situations that you could find yourself in as a tanker driver, coach driver with
a load of party passengers, abnormal load, livestock or loaded with hazardous
chemicals. You are going to need to know what and what not to do. It could be
the middle of the night or day it could be freezing and wet. You need to know
what to do…your road relations could be depending on you. Know your load and
know what to do in extreme circumstances.
If you are
having difficulty getting information on managing emergencies specific to your
type of freight contact EPDA support with your request and one of our
professional driver support panellists will contact you in strictest confidence
and provide you with the answers to your questions.
Professional drivers lead by example, road users are depending on you to know your job.
Members Click here For Professional Driver Support.
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