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Old 23rd May 2013, 13:44   #46
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Not fog season now, but this post was prompted by the chance discovery of a photograph of my 1972 Amby Mark-II a few days ago. A scanned image of the same for your viewing pleasure...
ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG-old-pics0009.jpg

Well, that's how cars looked just a couple of decades ago - at least the one we owned did! And that was also how the mechanics working on them in Kolkata looked like! Irrespective of what the modern generation might consider to be "unsterile" conditions in which work was carried out on cars then, by people who did not have qualifications, degrees and certificates, this car had done 8 round trips to Delhi from Kolkata, and had also been to Ahmedabad, between 1988 and 1997 - apart from local running of course - without ever breaking down or falling apart. It's still in the family, lives in Kolkata now, and has a 1.5L HM diesel doing duty under the hood.

What is interesting about the photo, with respect to driving in fog, is the set-up of the lights in front. The headlamps were Koito all-glass sealed beams, with an additional Koito beam installed in the centre as a driving lamp. This was also a dual filament unit, like the others, and wired up to dip with the regular beams. The foglamps were Autopal halogens - mounted that way (upside down) to keep them as close as possible to the ground and prevent light scatter in fog.

This car has travelled through more fog in 10 years than most people do in a lifetime.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 23rd May 2013 at 13:45.
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Old 16th December 2013, 09:52   #47
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

It's fog season again!

This winter's first dense fog enveloped the Delhi-NCR region this morning. Drive safe.

ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG-20131216-07.54am.jpg
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Old 16th December 2013, 11:18   #48
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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
In response to

When the windscreen fogs from the inside:

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.
For hatchbacks, try adjusting the central AC vents in the dashboard to point directly to the rear windscreen without any angle and fan speed to maximum. Do this for a minute or two and you should get the rear windscreen cleared. I've seen good results from my experience. However, once the windscreen is cleared, the vents should be adjusted away from the rear windscreen and the temperature adjusted so that it doesn't get too cold inside to start fogging from the outside.

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When the windscreen fogs from the outside:

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.
This is where the new age compact sedans are going to differ from regular sedans. They have a much lesser rake than a regular sedan and I think the rear wiper will be missed in these cars.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:55   #49
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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
It's fog season again!
This winter's first dense fog enveloped the Delhi-NCR region this morning. Drive safe.
Thanks for this excellent thread SST. I am about to start on my first real long distance trip. And that too in a time and place not best known for driveability. Starting out my fears are not ungrounded. Reports of tragic incidents due to fog are not one-off cases these are systemic, and often induced by another man's folly - however ignorant the person may be.

Last edited by joybhowmik : 23rd December 2013 at 12:57. Reason: Corrected the link
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Old 23rd December 2013, 14:05   #50
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

This gone weekend, I had to drive to Pune via the Expressway for some urgent work at a bank. I needed to reach Pune by 10 AM starting from Navi Mumbai that is. Usually, I go on Friday evening and come back by Sunday, but this time, I thought I would finish my work on Saturday and get back on the same day.
So, I started early morning at around 6.30 AM from my place. There was some amount of fog around palm beach road and then on the sion-panvel expressway. The fog became dense at stretches where all the road widening is happening and for abvious reasons. Upon reaching the expressway, the fog became thicker and thicker up until the first toll naka at Khalapur. It was around 8.00 AM (given that I was driving at a sedate speed of 70 - 80 kmph) and still the fog had not let up.
Facts that I observed during my trip entire was that ...

1. Almost all vehicles had their "hazard" lights on all the time. (They do that in the tunnels too ... don't know why?)
2. Due to the hazard lights being on, it was difficult to asertain when a vehicle was changing lanes.
3. Trucks and some mini buses did not have either their hazard lights or their rear lights turned on.
4. Inspite of so many warnings, trucks keep driving in the middle lane, causing inconvenience to other faster vehicles. And they are forced to change lanes every few kilometers.
5. Some vehicles were parked on the road shoulder with "hazard lights" on where the passengers were busy posing outside for pictures. And some were relieving themselves by the road side.
6. There were some vehicles whose hazard lights were on, but not the headlights or rear lights.
7. Many cars were driving above the speed limit inspite of the very low visibility. Probably, Mumbaikars/Punekars have very less idea about accidents in foggy conditions.

Looking at all this, why doesn't vehicles provide some additional flashy lights to be used in foggy conditions esp. in a different color like blue or red. Well, I read about the "moth-ball effect" in this article, but the point I am making is that, it could be safer (and effective) using a blinker other than the turn lights or the hazard lights.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 14:29   #51
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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..."hazard" lights...
...additional flashy lights...
I suppose then we can call them HAPHAZARD lights!
Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
...my fears are not ungrounded.
Another man's (read: truck driver's) folly of parking in fog (or even breaking down in the middle of the road) without lights, need not be your nemesis, as long as you stick to the guidelines described in this article. And keep that speed under control - doing 100 km/h in fog is never a great idea!
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Old 23rd December 2013, 14:53   #52
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Originally Posted by sukhoi30 View Post
Looking at all this, why doesn't vehicles provide some additional flashy lights to be used in foggy conditions esp. in a different color like blue or red. Well, I read about the "moth-ball effect" in this article, but the point I am making is that, it could be safer (and effective) using a blinker other than the turn lights or the hazard lights.
Most cars already have the front and rear fog lamps or at least the provision for the same if it is a lower variant. So its not the manufacturers to be blamed. If the government/regulators really consider this a priority, they can easily make these mandatory on all vehicles sold in India. Central high mount stop lamp was made mandatory in a similar fashion and we see it in all cars now irrespective of the price. Manufacturers won't have a problem with giving any feature that their competitor also needs to give since it doesn't make any difference in relative price due to the addition of this feature.

Even if all vehicles came with fog lamps, poor maintenance might lead to some of these lights not working one year down the line which would be outside the control of the manufacturers.

Since most cars who use blinkers during the fog at least have provision for the front and rear fog lamps , it is something the owners can easily retrofit in their cars but they choose not to. How can we expect them to repair it if the company fitted fog lamps stop working?
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Old 24th December 2013, 14:54   #53
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Thanks for the informative article ss-traveller, and Rehaan too for the illustrations.

I was once heading to Manali from Delhi, and nearly every one of those private qualis taxis that ply on this route were driving at full speed through the fog, with the hazard lights blinking, and sticking to the left lane and using the guard rails on the highway as a direction indicator to warn them of curves along the road.

Sure, they're experienced taxi drivers, but they are endangering everyone around them by driving at that speed.
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Old 24th December 2013, 19:00   #54
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Can you please add a few tips on driving through foggy ghat sections/hilly areas ?
I recently drove through one at day-time and it was unnerving since I couldn't see the curves ahead clearly,there was no sweeper vehicle or a parapet wall,etc and I was driving through such conditions for the first time!
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Old 24th December 2013, 20:11   #55
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Can you please add a few tips on driving through foggy ghat sections/hilly areas ?
I recently drove through one at day-time and it was unnerving since I couldn't see the curves ahead clearly,there was no sweeper vehicle or a parapet wall,etc and I was driving through such conditions for the first time!
  • Considering the maintenance of Indian roads, the best option IMO is to avoid driving through foggy ghat sections unless you know that road very well and has prior experience driving in these conditions.
  • Plan your journey timings in such a way that you'll pass through the ghat sections during mid day when there is the least chance/density of fog.
  • If you know the roads very well, drive very slowly and ensure your vehicle is clearly visible and use the horn very liberally.
  • Keep a mental note of all blind curves in the section and be extra vigilant in those places.
  • Sound the horn for longer durations with pauses.
  • Always stick to your side of the road and avoid overtaking unless the road ahead is clearly visible - no one expects to encounter a vehicle head on. However, be cautious for the same since all drivers need not have common sense.
  • Don't drive in these conditions if your vehicle doesn't have a powerful horn, in addition to all the other guidelines already mentioned. Proper lighting and low volume horns are not going to help much in curvy ghat roads since there are too many blind corners where you might not be properly visible.

And of course the golden rule of safe driving - leave your ego at home. Be willing to stop driving if the conditions are not favourable, whether it is lack of visibility or tiredness of the driver. Never continue thinking you can 'manage' it. There were a lot of 'good' drivers who thought so in the past and paid the ultimate price.

Last edited by zenren : 24th December 2013 at 20:15.
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Old 28th December 2013, 09:41   #56
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Just read about an accident on the outer ring road of Hyderabad where a Tata Aria rammed into a stationary truck.The newspaper mentioned that poor visibility due to fog can be one of the reasons.the accident happened at 530 AM.
Lets be safe than sorry, as some of them have already mentioned lets avoid driving in these conditions and in case unavoidable we should be at moving at very cautious speeds with all precautions spoken in length here.

Drive safe,

pdma.
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Old 28th December 2013, 12:57   #57
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Can you please add a few tips on driving through foggy ghat sections/hilly areas ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
  • Considering the maintenance of Indian roads, the best option IMO is to avoid driving through foggy ghat sections unless you know that road very well and has prior experience driving in these conditions.
  • Plan your journey timings in such a way that you'll pass through the ghat sections during mid day when there is the least chance/density of fog.
  • If you know the roads very well, drive very slowly and ensure your vehicle is clearly visible and use the horn very liberally.
  • Keep a mental note of all blind curves in the section and be extra vigilant in those places.
  • Sound the horn for longer durations with pauses.
  • Always stick to your side of the road and avoid overtaking unless the road ahead is clearly visible - no one expects to encounter a vehicle head on. However, be cautious for the same since all drivers need not have common sense.
  • Don't drive in these conditions if your vehicle doesn't have a powerful horn, in addition to all the other guidelines already mentioned. Proper lighting and low volume horns are not going to help much in curvy ghat roads since there are too many blind corners where you might not be properly visible.
And of course the golden rule of safe driving - leave your ego at home. Be willing to stop driving if the conditions are not favourable, whether it is lack of visibility or tiredness of the driver. Never continue thinking you can 'manage' it. There were a lot of 'good' drivers who thought so in the past and paid the ultimate price.
Thanks zenren - that was well-explained.

Most, but not all, drivers follow the rules of the hills quite well, especially in the himalayan regions. The dangerous people are the ones in fast little cars with no idea of the rules, viz.
  • Keep to the left
  • Don't overtake on blind curves
  • Blow your horn on blind curves
  • Uphill traffic has right of way
Curvy ghat and mountain roads bring out the boy-racer in these folks, fog or not.

So, in addition to the pointers given by zenren, and apart from the points already mentioned for driving in fog on the plains, I would like to add:
  • Keep a sharp lookout for signposts along the way. Sharp and blind curves and hairpin bends are usually well marked, and you might just miss them in the fog;
  • Turn off the ICE and roll down your window. You'll be better able to hear an approaching vehicle around a blind curve;
  • Turn on front and rear windscreen defoggers at full heat, with the AC compressor on. Misting up of windscreen happens quicker in the mountains than on the plains;
  • Turn on the GPS navigation system, even if you know your way. The map will help you predict bends and curves on the road well in advance, allowing you to be cautious;
  • Expect the unexpected - the mad driver overtaking around a blind curve, the broken down lorry parked in the middle of the road, the tree fallen across the road, people and animals walking in the middle of the road;
  • Be prepared to go slow. If you average more than 10-15 km/h on foggy mountain roads, you're either going too fast, or the fog is not dense enough!
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Old 31st December 2013, 17:17   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
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).
I remember such an incident when I was travelling from hosiarpur to delhi in my indica on a foggy morning of Dec 2007.I had to go to the visa office by 10 am and I had left hosiarpur only by 4am.I forgot to factor in the fog for my starting time.Two hours later, I was sure I'd miss the appointment because I couldn't drive more than 50kmph in the wretched fog.Suddenly out of the mist, a white indigo overtook me at a good clip.I started following his red tail lights keeping a safe distance, but praying that no tractor, person, cattle would jump out from the sides between us.He was travelling at 80-100 kmph, so I was able to make it to delhi just in time.I still wish I could thank that white 'angel' indigo driver.
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Old 19th January 2014, 20:59   #59
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Drive safe, unless you can avoid driving in fog!
SST- this should be the first point in your thread.

Despite having read this thread prior to my recent ordeal (A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata), I was still victim to disorientation after having missed the first sweeper car.

I would think that the other thing we should do is to ensure everyone should be cozily jacketed up, as with the windows down it does get quite cold in a short while.

Also, something to munch on during these situations , can break the tension in the air, which can get quite palpable specially if one is traveling with youngsters.

I am also reminded of a particularly heavy fog bound early morning, when driving in my car (Palio 1.9D, now sold). I was en route to Musoorie from Delhi, when all of a sudden my horn stopped working.

I was following a long distance truck at the time (my choice of sweeper), and thought to stay as close as possible to him, until visibility improved. The point is - it's probably safer to seek out a sweeper and follow him even at 20 kmph , than stopping/standing in the middle of nowhere.
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Old 19th January 2014, 21:13   #60
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Guidelines & Tips for Safe Driving in FOG

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller Drive safe, unless you can avoid driving in fog!
SST- this should be the first point in your thread.
If one could avoid driving in fog, one wouldn't really be reading this thread, would he?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nijelj View Post
Suddenly out of the mist, a white indigo overtook me at a good clip.I started following his red tail lights keeping a safe distance, but praying that no tractor, person, cattle would jump out from the sides between us.He was travelling at 80-100 kmph, so I was able to make it to delhi just in time.I still wish I could thank that white 'angel' indigo driver.
You should actually be thanking that Indigo driver's guardian angel - and your own. Your prayers were heard that day, but then don't trust them to be heard every time you belt along at 80-100 kmph behind another mad driver.
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