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Old 26th January 2013, 22:52   #31
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post
I can understand if the above is for the rear fog-lamps. What harm is caused by the front fog lamps? They help me by lighting the potholes, which are missed with only the headlamps in operation. Also, they are placed so low that they never can hurt the oncoming traffic.
1. More the number of lights on the front of your car that the oncoming driver faces, the more the glare.
2. On a rainy (but clear) night, the reflection of the fog lamp off the wet road into the eyes of the oncoming driver is dazzling.
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Thanks for the awesome Safe Driving Article SS Da It is as comprehensive as it can be.
Thank you Sheel. It was a pleasure to compress 25+ years of fog driving experience into this article.
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
...switch the fogs only (with parking of-course) and see how they illuminate the sides?
Try not to use foglamps alone.
1. On the highway in clear weather, their range is too short to illuminate anything ahead at speeds over 30-40 km/h.
2. In fog, their beams are hardly visible to the oncoming driver. The dipped main headlamps are more clearly visible, and MUST be switched on even if fog lamps are on.

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
My Car doesn't have rear fog-lamps equipped. Going to the local electrician to see what can be done.
Look at what I did - an LED high-mount stop lamp was wired up as my rear fog lamp. I wanted two, but couldn't get both. Now, I'll either have to remove this and install 2 more lights of a different design, or live with this. I'm lazy, and this is not a car that minds being butted in the rear mildly (remember the tow ball on the rear of 4wd Scorps? )

ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG-rearfoglight.jpg
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Old 27th January 2013, 11:44   #32
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

I'd like to add one more point to the discussion - on the colour choice for the cars. Personally, I've felt that cars with bright shades like red and blue were much more visible than the most commonly sold shades like black, white and silver during foggy conditions. For vehicles that frequently travel in foggy conditions, would it be safer to opt for brighter shades if it could potentially prevent you from getting rear ended by giving more braking distance to the car behind? Just a thought.

I don't drive extensively in foggy conditions and hence these are based on what I felt during my limited experience. Someone who has driven more can probably comment on the visibility of different shades. I know colour is a personal choice but if some shades give you more safety, there would be folks who might be willing to compromise the favourite colour for safety if they are aware of it while purchasing.

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
On a rainy (but clear) night, the reflection of the fog lamp off the wet road into the eyes of the oncoming driver is dazzling.
Thanks for the wonderful article. Most importantly, I've learned a lot of new don'ts, some of which I was actually practicing during my occasional drives in fog, like hazard lights while driving in fog.

For the use of front fog lamps during clear weather, its again a debatable topic I guess, thanks to road conditions in India. In roads with no street lighting and filled pot holes that are not illuminated by high beams and potential for someone to cross the road at any point which wouldn't be illuminted by low beam till it is too late, I've felt it high beam + fog lamps combination to be giving max visibility with switching to low beams whenever a vehicle comes from opposite direction. Front fog lamps have enough points to side track this topic. I guess it would be best to reserve the discussion to another thread.

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
is it considered safe to drive with the window's rolled down?
I've felt fitting door visors can help here as it would allow the windows to be rolled down enough to hear the horns and sounds outside without the chilled air entering the car.
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Old 27th January 2013, 19:27   #33
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Try not to use foglamps alone.
1. On the highway in clear weather, their range is too short to illuminate anything ahead at speeds over 30-40 km/h.
2. In fog, their beams are hardly visible to the oncoming driver. The dipped main headlamps are more clearly visible, and MUST be switched on even if fog lamps are on.
I didn't mean to say to drive with those functioning only. I meant to say to check how it spreads when the Car is stationery.

Whatever anyone says and does, there is no alternate to head-lamp in low beam in foggy conditions. How I wish the idiots who use the hazard in fogs should actually get down and check the intensity. The hazards are visible at a much later stage, similarly the rear tail lamps are much more visible.


Quote:
Look at what I did - an LED high-mount stop lamp was wired up as my rear fog lamp. I wanted two, but couldn't get both. Now, I'll either have to remove this and install 2 more lights of a different design, or live with this. I'm lazy, and this is not a car that minds being butted in the rear mildly (remember the tow ball on the rear of 4wd Scorps? )
I didn't really want to play much & hence have installed another pair (same config) in the empty slot. That is another pair of parking lamps and stop lamps.

I asked the electrician to wire it up with rear fog lamp switch, but he wasn't very sure, hence I didn't take a chance.

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
I'd like to add one more point to the discussion - on the colour choice for the cars. Personally, I've felt that cars with bright shades like red and blue were much more visible than the most commonly sold shades like black, white and silver during foggy conditions. For vehicles that frequently travel in foggy conditions, would it be safer to opt for brighter shades if it could potentially prevent you from getting rear ended by giving more braking distance to the car behind? Just a thought.

I don't drive extensively in foggy conditions and hence these are based on what I felt during my limited experience. Someone who has driven more can probably comment on the visibility of different shades.
I think white is what I would pick amongst neutral colors. Maybe the parrot green color will be better, but amongst the common colors, it has to be white.
Quote:
For the use of front fog lamps during clear weather, its again a debatable topic I guess, thanks to road conditions in India. In roads with no street lighting and filled pot holes that are not illuminated by high beams and potential for someone to cross the road at any point which wouldn't be illuminted by low beam till it is too late, I've felt it high beam + fog lamps combination to be giving max visibility with switching to low beams whenever a vehicle comes from opposite direction. Front fog lamps have enough points to side track this topic. I guess it would be best to reserve the discussion to another thread.
The high beam illuminates the pot hole you are about to hit earlier than a fog-lamp would, hence I think one can drive with a pair of lamps only.

For better results, please use the head-lamp level switch & adjust it as per load.

Though with most roads being dual carriage ways, one may use it.
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Old 27th January 2013, 22:22   #34
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
I'd like to add one more point to the discussion - on the colour choice for the cars. Personally, I've felt that cars with bright shades like red and blue were much more visible...
I agree. Should have pointed it out in the main write-up. In daytime foggy conditions, a white/red/yellow car is much more easily visible to others than one in black, navy blue or dark grey. My choice of colour has always been white since I can remember, but that's a personal preference. However, a brighter colour of car is no excuse for not driving safe with proper lights on and other precautions listed before.
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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
I've felt fitting door visors can help here as it would allow the windows to be rolled down enough to hear the horns and sounds outside without the chilled air entering the car.
Oh yes, door visors make a huge difference, both in rain and chilly weather.
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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I didn't mean to say to drive with those functioning only. I meant to say to check how it spreads when the Car is stationery.
Oops, I misunderstood.
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Old 28th January 2013, 23:14   #35
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
2. Equipping yourself to drive safely in fog
Eyewear: Your spectacles (especially if you use prescription lenses) should not have tinted/polarized/photochromatic lenses. With visibility already severely compromised in fog, you don't want to make it worse by allowing your eyewear to reduce whatever little light reaches your eye. Make sure that the lenses are also sparkling clean.
One question here - why not polarized lenses?

IMO Polarized glasses reduce the glare and not the light and glare is what we dont want while driving in fog (daytime, of course!).

I am asking this because of one of my personal experience during last to last winters. I was driving from Moradabad to Delhi after attending a marriage. The drive is more than 150 kms and it was dense fog that day with visibility as low as 10-20m at places. I tried polarized glasses and I think they enhanced the vision. I found it mor comfortable to drive with the glassas on than without them.
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Old 29th January 2013, 09:50   #36
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by sourabhzen View Post
One question here - why not polarized lenses?
IMO Polarized glasses reduce the glare and not the light and glare is what we dont want while driving in fog (daytime, of course!).
Hi Sourabh, that's an interesting question.

There's usually no issue with glare when driving in fog in the daytime - it's only at night that glare and backscatter from your own headlights (as well as those of others) makes for miserable eye-strain. And it has been recommended by many that polarized lenses are best avoided for night driving.

I've personally not had occasion to use polarized lenses (I use prescription eyewear), mainly because they are not so easily available in this country. However, I would have liked to get them, as long as I didn't need to switch between them and clear lenses all the time - in a tunnel, in fog, when night falls, etc. I use lenses with a graduated tint on my sunglasses (darker above, lighter below), and that too when there is very bright sun.

But then I recently did some Googling and found out that while polarized lenses are fine as daywear, they are absolutely not recommended for activities like driving where the ambient light is less than optimal (case in point here being a very foggy day with reduced visibility). Talked to an ophthalmologist friend too, and found that 'true' polarized prescription lenses are not available here, and it is not recommended that they be used in low light conditions. In fact, I was told that the best eyewear to use, if one needs optimal peripheral vision such as while driving, is contact lenses.

Here are the links to what I found on Google, and posted earlier...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
More about polarized lenses... suddenly needed to know more about these!

http://www.laramyk.com/resources/edu...iving-glasses/

http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...-night-driving

http://www.optiboard.com/forums/show...larized-Lenses

So the consensus among the people who work with/manufacture such lenses is that the use of any polarized lens is to be strictly avoided for night driving.

I guess I don't need to hunt for manufacturers of polarised prescription lenses in India!
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Old 29th January 2013, 20:38   #37
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Excellent thread.
However I always had a thought in my mind, doesn't yellowish tinted light offer better visibility in fog than standard head lamps ? Why do OEM's give fog lamps with same color as head lamps ?
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Old 29th January 2013, 20:52   #38
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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...doesn't yellowish tinted light offer better visibility in fog than standard head lamps ? Why do OEM's give fog lamps with same color as head lamps ?
Discussed already. Please read the following...
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yellow plastic stuck on your fog lamps or headlamps is useless. So are yellow bulbs. Been there, done that, and enough research has been done to prove that doing this has no proven advantages. Read this article as further proof.
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Old 30th January 2013, 11:15   #39
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

The place where i come from is known for dense fog all through the night. Sometimes the fog is so dense that its difficult to see anything. Have been in such situations multiple times, sometimes as driver and many times as passenger.

The bus drivers, driving through these routes almost daily have a big advantage in terms of knowing the highway (But remember things can change) and they do not use this knowledge taken for granted. So even if you know the road back of your head, things can change in less than 12 hours.

What they do best, is follow, at very slow speeds. The Trucks and Buses just follow each other and never overtake, keeping safe distance. One might wonder, how would the guy in front drive. Well the answer to that is the front keeps changing. Drivers occasionally stop and take rest when they feel they cannot lead anymore and let someone else take the lead.

A lot of times these guys drive as a pack, always together, and many times they stop/start together.

Excellent writeup, quiet extensive. Will surely help many first timers.

Yellow plastic does not work, over extended usage we have seen the thing melts and spoils the complete glass area of the headlamp or fog lamp. Apart from this the visibility does not improve in any way.

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Old 30th January 2013, 13:24   #40
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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The place where i come from is known for dense fog all through the night.
Where is the place?
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Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
What they do best, is follow, at very slow speeds. The Trucks and Buses just follow each other and never overtake, keeping safe distance.
Convoy driving - not something that comes easily to Indian drivers, except Army drivers! I despair each time some fool tries to force his way ahead in the fog, only to realise that he cannot see better than the lead driver, and then actually driving 5 km below the speed the lead car was driving at.

So here's another story of my fog driving:

The year, IIRC, was 1990, probably our 3rd cross-country roadtrip. The road, the old single-lane NH2, between Allahabad and Benaras. Sometime in the depth of winter, probably the end of December that year. The time, around 2 AM. We were on our way, Delhi to Kolkata, with my elder brother and I rotating spells at the wheel. Our mother was the other passenger. The car was our trusty old 1972 Amby Mark-2, running quite stock except for a carb mod that allowed it to achieve 100 km/h faster than other Ambys could! Petrol was cheap, around Rs.8.50/per litre.

There were patchy sections of fog on the highway, perhaps 500m - 1km at a time, followed by clear zones. Hardly any traffic on the highway (in those days, you could count on the fingers of one hand, the number of private LMVs you came across in a day on the highway), and the few trucks we crossed were happily crawling along at 30-40 km/h. Then, along came this maverick truck, running at 60+ km/h, and overtook us in one of the foggy stretches.

We followed the truck, and overtook it back again in one of the clear stretches, only to have it cross us when we slowed down to 40 km/h through the next foggy section. This kept happening for the next 20-30 km, until we figured out that the average pace the truck was maintaining, through fog and clear zones, was about the same as what we were doing by driving hard in the clear and slowing down in fog. We decided to let him be the "sweeper", and followed behind it, in the clear as well as through fog. We could make out that the truck was perceptibly driving faster than it was earlier, maintaining 70+ km/h now, even through fog.

After some time (it would perhaps have been over half an hour), the truck pulled into a roadside dhaba. We thought this guy was doing a good job of leading us through the foggy patches, so it might be worth our while to share a glass of tea with him as well as refresh ourselves, and pulled in behind him.

Then began a course of highway education. We chatted up the driver, a young guy from Kumaon, and the first thing he said was:
Aap kahan jaa rahe ho? Hum toh aap se darr gaye thae! Agar aapka Bangaal wala number nahin hota, toh hum aapko sadak se nichey utaar detey... (Where are you going to? I got scared of you! If you weren't displaying WB-plates, I'd have forced you off the road...)

Now that was news to us. How could we have managed to scare the driver of a 10-tonner? Why would he want to force us off the road? It transpired that eastern UP, and especially that sector, was dacoity-prone, and the modus operandi of people intending to loot trucks was to follow and overtake them, and then force them to stop, by pulling up ahead. However, such people usually had a UP-registered vehicle, not one from WB. The driver was very relieved to see we had a lady in the car too, and on hearing that we were headed from Delhi to Kolkata, not trying to rob him of his belongings and truck!

He himself was headed to Benaras, where the transport company that owned the truck was located. We told him about how easy it appeared for him to go through fog, and he laughed: Chhoti gaadi ko fog mein aksar mushkil hoti hai. (Small cars always have difficulty in fog). It took me another couple of years to figure out that the high seating position with low-level headlights of a truck give the driver a big visibility advantage and minimal glare when traversing through fog, and the physics behind it.

After a couple of rounds of tea (the driver refused to let us pay for it, and since it was a dhabawala he knew, the fellow wouldn't accept money from us), we set off again, him leading and us following. Agar aapko kahin rokna ho toh do-chaar baar dipper maar dena. Aur maen rokunga toh aapko meri "backbatti" se pata chal jayega. (If you need to stop, flash your headlights a few times. And if I stop, you'll know from my rear lights.)

Another hour into the drive, the truck pulled over to the side of the road. There was no dhaba there, no village, no lights, no human being visible at all. And it was foggy. A little nervous, we decided to pull in ahead of the truck, rather than behind, and switched on our reversing lamps (yes, we had fairly powerful reversing lamps installed in the Amby, operated through a manual switch with telltale light on the dashboard).

The driver switched off his lights but kept the engine running, and so did we; the cabin light came on, the helper jumped out, and from the rear section of the cabin emerged two young women, who also jumped out of the truck. Something (probably money) changed hands, the helper climbed back on, and the truck was on its way again. The education continued - this was our first introduction to prostitution on the highways.

We made it to Benaras at around 6 AM, the truck pulled into a layby, we waved, and carried on to enter one of the most treacherous stretches of highway that ever existed - the NH2 section through Bihar. Truckers used to say: Dilli say Kalkatta jaise sadak na ho, agar beech maen Bihar na ho. (There's no other highway as good as the Delhi-Kolkata stretch, if only Bihar did not exist in between).
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Old 31st January 2013, 15:54   #41
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Where is the place?
So this is area around Jabalpur in Central India. I used to do monthly 2-3 (Sometimes more, trips when my partner refused to travel) to nearby places like Mandala, Balaghat, Nagpur, Allahabad, and others. Most of these trips (to save working day) were done in the night. This was over a period of approx 2-3 years, and almost always in State Transport Buses, and later Private Buses.

These experiences were when traveling ST Bus, with many times a seasoned driver on the wheels.

One of the things that i learn from them is understand your, your car's, and roads, limitations then drive accordingly and you will never regret.

One can be a good driver if one learns to follow a better driver. They would always let someone pass and when asked they would respond "Wo mere se jyada achha chala raha hai dhundh mein, isliye main usko follow karoonga" (He is driving better than me in fog, hence i would like to follow him).

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Old 31st January 2013, 16:51   #42
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Dear All,

After understanding, what to do in foggy conditions by reading the post of SS Traveller and all yours, I went to Mahabaleshwar last Saturday to face the villain, but alas, he was not there, .

He was so frightened to face the well equipped drivers now .

I could only face the whole of Mumbai and Pune crowd over there, being the week end with 3 continuous off days.


regards

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Old 2nd March 2013, 15:42   #43
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Thankfully, MSIL cars come with rear fog lamps. In the front, I find DRLs to be extremely useful in aiding visibility and I plan to install them on the Ertiga.
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Old 2nd March 2013, 18:08   #44
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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...I find DRLs to be extremely useful in aiding visibility...
DRLs do improve daytime visibility of your car to oncoming traffic to a great extent, especially in foggy conditions. They are supposed to switch off automatically when sidelamps / headlamps are switched on.
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Old 11th March 2013, 09:51   #45
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

In response to
Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere
SS-da, ...can you also add, how to effectively de-fog the windshield. It may be a simple procedure, but I think in the heat of driving in different conditions, people forget.

The cause may not be because of foggy conditions itself, but I thought it would be good to add it up ...
Windscreens do fog up even when there's no fog, but the ambient humidity is very high (such as during rains or on a very hot muggy day). Condensation can build up either inside the cabin, or on the outside surface of the windscreen. Although I had mentioned what to do in such eventualities, I am putting the advice together in a single post again.

When the windscreen fogs from the inside:
Quote:
Make sure your front and rear windshields as well as all window glasses and ORVMs are cleaned and polished to a perfect streak-free state. ... I use a solution called Lenshine, which is a proprietary lens cleaner for spectacles, to clean the inside surfaces of my windshields. Products like Rain-X can also be used.
Do not wipe the inside surface of your front windscreen with your bare palm. The sweat and oils on your skin will streak the glass, and it will fog up more rapidly as well as scatter the light of oncoming cars. Use the defogger with AC to prevent moisture buildup. If you already have moisture deposit on the inside, use a microfibre cloth, old newspaper, paper tissue or a clean & dry handkerchief to clean the moisture in unidirectional strokes. Avoid circular rubbing on the glass surface - this makes oncoming headlights dazzle you more.
Always run the AC and front (and rear, if so equipped) defoggers at all times in fog. Forget about FE!
For vehicles not equipped with rear electric defoggers, there is almost nothing you can do to clear the fogging from the inside, except ask your rear seat passenger (if you have any, that is!) to wipe the screen from the inside with a paper tissue or clean cloth. Your rear vision will now depend completely on the ORVMs.

When the windscreen fogs from the outside:
Quote:
Run the wash-wipe at regular intervals of a minute or two. Now you know why the wipers should be good and the washer bottle full before you venture out into fog!
After wash-wipe sequence, run the wipers without washer fluid for a few times. This will ensure the glass is clean and dry, and will not "flare" the light from car headlights approaching you.
The same applies to cars equipped with a rear windscreen wash-wipe arrangement. Sedans / 3-box design cars do not generally have a rear wash-wipe system, often due to limitations of design and space. However, moisture buildup on the outer surface of the rear windscreen of a sedan is much less than in a hatchback or SUV due to the higher rake of the windscreen, due to which the increased airflow helps to keep the moisture buildup minimal. Even if moisture does build up on the outside, running the electric windscreen heater helps to clear the fogging on rear windscreens.
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