Along with the cool breeze comes the fog – a kind of cloud that forms when the air near the ground cools down, turning water vapour into liquid or ice.
For many of us in the UAE, the winter season is a welcome reprieve from the scorching heat we endured for most of the year.
Fog is highly visible during the night extending to the early morning before sunrise, and in some instances, until noon.
The UAE is now experiencing this weather phenomenon prompting authorities to issue a warning to residents to ensure safety as visibility drops dramatically.
Weather forecasters for example have issued a fog alert over Ghiyathi in Al Dhafra or the Western Region after it was besieged by fog for several days already.
Motorists, meanwhile, were warned not to exceed 80 kph on Abu Dhabi’s main motorway to start the year as visibility dropped to 100m in some areas.
If you’re driving and run smack into foggy weather, here are some useful tips to remember from RoadSafety UAE. The tips below apply even in rain and sandstorm incidents:
- Increase the distance from the 3 seconds in good weather to a minimum of 5 seconds – you must be able to stop within the distance of visibility.
- Turn on the lights: low beam head lights, front and rear fog lights (no hazard lights).
- Consider longer braking distances due to wet or slippery road surface.
- In rain, reduce your speed to avoid aquaplaning.
- Use your windscreen wipers properly (and maintain them properly).
- Concentrate and do not get distracted by your passengers, your phone or other things.
- Listen to the radio for traffic updates.
- Care for others, especially for weaker traffic participants like motor cycle drivers, bicycle riders and pedestrians.
- Ask your passengers to help keep an eye out for oncoming cars and obstacles on the road.
- Stay in your lane and don’t drift – there’s a natural tendency to wander into the middle of the road when visibility gets bad.
- Use the right edge of the road as a guide – this can help you avoid running into oncoming traffic or being blinded by oncoming headlights.
- If you have no visibility, pull over to the side of the road and turning on your hazard lights alert other drivers of where you are, or pull into petrol stations or rest areas.
- Plan your trip properly and leave earlier or try not to be on the road at all, if possible.
Driving in foggy weather is undoubtedly challenging and even daunting. So always remember to be careful, alert and mindful to ensure safety at all times.
Drive safely everyone!