Highway driving is quite a bit different from city driving. Come winters, the biggest threat to safe driving is fog. Here are a number of tips and tricks to avoid hazards and get to your destination safely
The basic three aspects of good high-speed driving are ideal conditions, alertness of the driver and good roads. While the latter are the factors that can be controlled, in a country like India, ideal conditions are something that are not theoretically ‘ideal’. So, while winters means getting the camp gear out and head out of the city, have a bonfire and sit with friends, it also means, you have to prepare yourself as well as your car for the weather. Here is a how-to list while driving in foggy weather on the highway.
1. Hazard off and Danger on: At all times, even if you have front and rear fog lamps in your car, keep your hazard warning lamps on. Its not a just in case, but, helps other travelers know your position even better. This will also give them an idea of how far you actually are as the fog on highways is thicker.
2. Group is good, Solo is bad: Even if you are a group of people traveling in one car, never travel solo in fog on the highway, since, speeds are relatively higher, fog is thicker than the city and concentration levels are much higher. Find another car on way and stick with it – not literally.
3. While at it, switch places: As concentration levels required are higher, so are the stress levels, talk to the fellow cars and make one car the leader of the pack. However, not to stress the lead car driver out, it is best to split leadership and move back and forth after a certain distance. Decide on the distance say 20 kilometres, one car would lead and the next 20 the other car would. And when more in number, keep swapping the lead position.
4. Don’t push it: As the stress levels are higher, if you do not feel up to the mark, take a breather and park your car aside. Make sure that while parking, you are in a well lit area like a fuel station or a restaurant for other cars to make out.
5. Keep warm: Keep mist off all your screens, and for the same the best way to do so is by turning on your car heater. You may feel hotter because of all the winter clothes, but, try to keep the inside of your car to a temperature at which mist does not accumulate. And while your car is parked and switched off, turn on your car for a while before moving on.
While these are the basic tricks to tackle fog on highways, human instinct should be kept on top priority. If you feel that driving would be a really bad idea, skip it and relax.