Seeing through the mist

Schools have broken up for the winter holidays and drivers may be preparing for trips to warmer weather in Durban, a break in Cape Town or to visit family across South Africa.

As it is winter, one is more likely to encounter misty conditions which can significantly impact visibility and therefore road safety.

MasterDrive recommends following these tips when driving in misty conditions:

  • If weather reports are warning about misty and dangerous conditions, take an alternate route if possible.
  • Avoid leaving too early when you are more likely to encounter misty conditions.
  • Ensure your windows are always clean on the inside as well as outside as dirty windows reduce visibility significantly.
  • Do not put your lights on bright. Light reflects off the mist making it even more difficult to see.
  • Rather use the fog lights. Fog lights with a blue hue, however, reduce visibility.
  • Avoid using your emergency lights unnecessarily as other drivers may not be able to distinguish if you are stationary or still moving.
  • Adjust your speed for the conditions.
  • Keep a larger following distance, of at least 12 seconds, between yourself and the vehicle ahead.
  • Opening windows slightly will one hear what is going on outside and reactions.
  • Use the sides of the road as a guide to avoid vehicles too close to the centre line or whose headlights may blind you.
  • Avoid sudden lane changes or erratic driving.
  • Avoid aggressive driving. Remain patient and calm.
  • Do not pull over unless you can get well off the road. Drivers may not see that you are stationary.
  • If the fog becomes extremely thick do not stop in the road, find a safe place, right off the road, to pull over.
  • Signal early and start braking well before time.

While important at all times, avoid any form of distracted driving, particularly in mist.