Road accidents happen quite often in the UAE which is heightened by the foggy weather which is experienced yearly – most commonly during the winter season. This is because, as explained by Dr. Diana Francis, head of the Environmental and Geophysical Sciences (ENGEOS) Lab at Khalifa University, the fog that forms over the UAE is known as radiation fog and is caused by the rapid cooling of the desert surface at night during the winter.
Therefore, winter season is also a call for precautions and safety awareness in the road.
Driving Safely Through Poor Road Visibility
Always stay updated with weather updates. This should be easy as you can access the latest news wherever you are – using your mobile, computer, radio, or newspaper.
Drive When Needed
Do not drive if not necessary, postponed your outdoor activity when needed, and do not drive when visibility is lower than 100 meters. Take the metro or walk to work.
Mind the Distance
Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you – at least two cars from the vehicle in front of you – all the time
Drive slower and always follow the speed limit on highways.
Use the Fog Light
Use the front fog lights if possible. Turn off your fog lights only if the fog is gone and do this immediately as they will dazzle other motorist.
Use Dipper Lights
Use dipper lights and do not use a full beam as that condenses the fog further dispersing the dust particles and diffusing the light.
Use the lane marks or the right edge of the road as a guide – this can help you avoid running into oncoming traffic or being blinded by oncoming headlights.
Do not use hazards because the drivers behind you may not see you clearly. This can cause for them to brake sharply as they may assume that you have stopped which will result to accident.
Turn your heater on as this can help your windows clear during condensation build up caused by the cold temperature.
Do not get distracted with your phone or other things. Focus on the road at all times as weaker traffic participants like pedestrians and bikers are everywhere.
Pull Over Safely
If you need to stop for whatever reason, pull over to a safe location – like a service station – and not just the side of the road.
Winter is a great time to go out and enjoy. However, you need to plan your trips ahead of time and wisely. To do this you need to stay aware of the weather condition and always have a plan B since your trips could be postponed in case a sudden weather change occurs.
Fogs are a direct indication that winter is coming, but is especially a warning that you should be more alert and ready for road emergencies. Stay aware, equip your vehicle with an emergency warning sign, and always keep a complete motor/vehicle first aid and breakdown kit so you can immediately treat a minor injury – be it yourself or a family member – or prevent worsening it whenever needed.