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Driving in heavy fog is like driving with a blindfold on.

Statistically it's the most dangerous driving hazard in existence. No matter how important the trip is, it's not worth gambling your life. By far the safest thing to do if you run into fog is to move well off the road and wait for the fog to lift. However, the simple and safe solution is not always the most practical, so read on to find out what driving procedures should be followed in fog.

driving in fog

What is fog?

Fog and mist are both made of tiny water droplets suspended in air. The difference between them is the density. Fog is denser so contains more water droplets than mist. For pilots, if you cannot see further than 1000 meters, then it is called fog. For most people including motorists though, visibility has to be less than 200 metres before it is classed as fog.

Take particular care when driving in fog, especially at night. Fog can be patchy, going from a light mist to a thick blanket in an instant. Obviously, the faster you drive in these conditions, the less time you will have to avoid danger.

As you enter fog, check your mirrors and slow down. Use your foot brake lightly so that your lights warn following drivers.

Use dipped headlights and fog lights if visibility is reduced so you can be seen. But remember it's an offence to use high-intensity rear foglights in clear conditions (that is, if visibility is greater than 100 metres). Make sure your main beams aren't turned on by accident. Main beams direct light up into the fog, making it difficult for you to see. Dipped headlights direct light down onto the road and help other drivers to see you.

Keep an eye on your speedometer because studies show that some drivers acclimate themselves to foggy conditions and unconsciously increase their speed over time. If you can see less than 12 metres (40 feet) ahead, your speed needs to be reduced to less than 20mph.

Use your windscreen wipers and demisters.
Beware of other drivers who are not using their headlights.

If you park your car on a main road, try and get your vehicle completely off the road. You could be rear-ended!

Safe driving from Real Motoring Tuition!


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Driving in heavy rain and flooding can be hazardous. Here are some useful hints and tips to help you prepare for wet weather.

Breakdown numbers always increase during periods of wet weather, as the damp causes problems with engines and electrical systems, particularly in older vehicles. If you must drive, there are a handful of steps you can take to reduce your chances of an accident or breakdown dramatically.

Many rain-related breakdowns are easily avoidable as they are often caused by people driving through deep standing water. While cars have improved significantly in technical terms in recent years they are still not waterproof and will break down if they are driven through deep water. This can lead to catastrophic engine failure which will be extremely expensive to put right.

A catastrophic flood-related engine damage incident is typically caused by water being sucked into the engine which causes the engine to lock up and can in turn damage important engine components including piston connecting rods and valves.

This inevitably means a new engine will have to be fitted, but what people generally don’t understand is that it is the owner who is likely to have foot the expensive garage bill unless they can demonstrate to their insurer – like any accident – that it was not their actions that caused the damage.

Before setting off:

Consider whether your journey is essential. If not, can it be delayed until after the rain has subsided?

Plan your journey in advance, taking care to avoid areas which are prone to flooding, and factoring in extra time to allow for slower speeds and potential congestion

Let relatives and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and where possible, travel with others

Check that your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional. If both front and back blades are not up to scratch, get them replaced
Make sure you fill up. Using your lights and heaters and being caught in traffic use more fuel than driving in normal conditions

Carry a mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey

On the road:

Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
Don’t use rear fog lights. They can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you

Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances – remember the two-second rule

Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility

Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts

If you break down in torrential rain keep the bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked

Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road. If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again

Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage

Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water

Driving In Flooded Areas

The following tips should always be followed for driving in flooded conditions:

Do not attempt to drive through water if you are unsure of the depth – the edge of the kerb is a good indicator

If you do go through water, drive on the highest section of the road

Drive steadily and slowly so as not to create a bow wave in front of the vehicle and allow oncoming traffic to pass first - make sure you have a clear route ahead so you do not have to stop in standing water

Driving at speed may be dangerous to other vehicles or pedestrians and could cause loss of control

Drive a safe distance from the vehicle in front
Never attempt to drive through fast flowing water – you could easily get swept away

Test your brakes after leaving flood water

If your engine cuts out after driving through deep water, do not attempt to restart as engine damage may occur – instead call for assistance and have the vehicle professionally examined.

Safe driving from Real Motoring Tuition!

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Too Many Teens Not Using Instructors

There has been a surge in the number of young learners turning to their mothers to learn how to drive. The number of mothers teaching their children to drive has trebled in the past 20 years, from 11% in 1994 to 30% today, a study has found.

This has led to a number of concerns that young drivers are not learning to drive properly by seeking to save money and gaining a lower standard of teaching. This is especially clear from a recent survey that found that 75% of parents believe they would fail the practical test if they were to retake it.

Taking lessons from parents rather than a DVSA approved instructor is in fact a hindrance and may be to blame for the fall in pass rates over the years. First time pass rates in the past 20 years have fallen from 48% to 41%.

What are your thoughts on this article?

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Drivers Over 50 Could Fail Retest Retest

A survey has found that one in five motorists over the age of 50 believe they would fail their driving test if they had to retake it today. Due to the ageing population in Britain, there are more older drivers on the road as ever before with the average older driving having taken their test 40 years ago. Nearly half of those are over 70 and passed their test more than half a century ago when road safety was not of as paramount importance as it is today.

There have been various stories of older drivers driving without glasses when they need them, keeping both feet on the brake and gas pedals and even falling asleep on the wheel.

Last year, controversial research by Auto Trader suggested the majority of drivers want a compulsory retest when people reach pension age. However, official statistics from the Department of Transport show those over 70 are safer drivers than young drivers.

A poll found that 16% of 60-69-year-olds believe that people should be forced to stop driving at the age of 80 with many drivers taking themselves off the road voluntarily. However, many elderly drivers do remain on the road with a lower standard of driving than that required by the modern-day driving test.

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Put The Fun Back Into Driving

For many of us, driving may not be a fun activity, particularly if your job involves being on the road a lot. Even a long commute will quickly lose it’s novelty aspect and you will begin to associate driving with being a necessary chore, rather than the enjoyable pastime than it should be regarded as.

For a lot of us, driving was much more fun in our younger years; The freedom of passing your driving test, and taking your friends out on long drives in the countryside, or picking your date up in your new motor may well have been an exciting period, however that can wear off as time goes by, and as you gradually get more used to being stuck in traffic and paying rising insurance costs, it is easy to see why driving a car can eventually lose it’s glamour.

However driving needn’t be a chore or a bore; many find driving a car a great stress relief (more so on Sunday afternoons than during Rush Hour!) and with a little thought, it can be as enjoyable as it used to be when you first got behind the wheel.

Safe driving from Real Motoring Tuition!
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