fog traffic
Avoid changing lanes unless absolutely necessary. Erratic lane changes can be highly dangerous in foggy conditions. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

During the cooler months in the UAE, foggy mornings and evenings can pose a challenge for drivers. Reduced visibility significantly increases the risk of accidents.

Here are nine essential tips to navigate UAE roads safely during foggy conditions:

1. Plan ahead: Be weather-wise

Before hitting the road, check the latest weather updates. The UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) and police authorities issue timely alerts for low visibility conditions. Knowing what to expect can help you plan your journey accordingly.

2. Prioritise safety: Delay if necessary

If you know that foggy conditions have been reported, call in to work and inform your manager that you may be late. Once you are not stressed out about reporting late to work, you would be in a better position to drive more carefully and attentively.

3. Use fog lights strategically

Most cars have rear fog lights, and some even have front fog lights. Locate the switch on your dashboard and use them when visibility is significantly reduced. However, remember to turn them off when the fog clears to avoid blinding other drivers.

4. Maximise visibility – how to defog windscreen

Fog can cause condensation to build up on your windshield. Use your wipers regularly and turn on the defogger to maintain clear visibility. Additionally, activate your car heater to prevent condensation from accumulating on the inside of your windows.

5. Pull over safely when necessary

If the fog intensifies and driving becomes excessively challenging, gradually slow down and find a safe place to pull over. It is safer to stop at a petrol station or service road, instead on the side of highways.

6. Slow down and maintain distance: A timeless safety rule

A regular, frequent advice by police authorities across the UAE is to drive slowly when visibility is poor. When judging a safe distance while driving, consider longer braking distances due to wet or slippery road surface.

7. Use dipped headlights: See and be seen clearly

Always use your headlights when driving in fog, but ensure they are on dipped beam. This is the default setting that projects the light downwards, preventing glare for oncoming traffic. Avoid using high beams as they reflect off fog, hindering your own vision and potentially blinding others.

8. Hazard lights: For emergencies only

Using hazard lights while driving is a dangerous practice. They are meant solely to indicate sudden stops due to an immediate hazard ahead. With hazard lights on, you cannot signal lane changes, creating confusion and potential accidents. Remember, using hazard lights while driving in fog can lead to a fine and black points on your licence.

9. Stay in your lane: Minimise unnecessary movements

Avoid changing lanes unless absolutely necessary. Erratic lane changes can be highly dangerous in foggy conditions, as other drivers might not see your signal or have difficulty judging your position. Remember, patience is key during foggy commutes.

By following these simple yet crucial tips, you can navigate UAE roads safely even during foggy weather conditions. Arrive at your destination stress-free, prioritising your safety and the safety of others on the road.