How to drive safely in UAE fog: Tips for motorists in reduced visibility

More fog is forecast throughout this week

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Heavy fog led to dangerous driving conditions on Tuesday morning — and motorists can expect more this week.

As late summer gives way to autumn, early morning fog is common in the Emirates.

And although it tends to quickly dissipate in the cities, the low-lying E11 road connecting Abu Dhabi to Dubai is often the worst affected.

Here we take a quick look at how to cope with driving in fog.

Keep a safe distance

It might sound obvious but the need to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of you is even more paramount in treacherous weather.

A video shared by Abu Dhabi police on Monday evening urged motorists to “increase your speed gradually and double the distance between you and other vehicles”.

Do not use your hazard lights

“With hazard lights on, anybody behind has no clue what you’re doing — they don’t know if you’re turning left, turning right or slowing down,” Ian Cox, a senior drive trainer for Dubai-based automotive company Drive Dynamics, previously told The National.

Driving with hazard lights on in foggy weather is not only dangerous, it can also cost you, as it is punishable by a fine of Dh500 and four black points.

The National's tips for driving safely in fog

The National's tips for driving safely in fog

Maintain speed and lane discipline

“The main thing is speed and lane discipline. Only drive to the speed that you can see in front. Wherever you lose visibility, imagine that you have to stop in that time, because you could come across a group of cars that are stopped — even if you’re down to 20 kph or 30 kph,” said Mr Cox.

“If you really get to the point where you cannot see, stop. But if you stop, find somewhere where you’re protected — off the carriageway, behind a barrier if you can, so at least you’ve got some protection.

“If it’s really foggy, only make a journey if you really have to.”

Stick to low beam lights

“Fog lights: if you’ve got them, use them, but remember that if you can clearly see the car behind you, they can already see you as well, so then you don’t actually need to turn on your fog lights,” said Mr Cox.

“You only need them if you can’t see anything behind you, to give people an extra warning.

How does fog form in the UAE's desert climate?

How does fog form in the UAE's desert climate?

“A lot of people also don’t realise where the button is. So it’s always worth knowing where [the controls for] your fog lights are and how they operate — and make sure all your lights work.”

Do not use full beam as it will dazzle other drivers.

Think twice about overtaking

While it might be enticing to overtake a slow moving vehicle ahead, the lack of visibility makes that an unwise choice, unless you are absolutely sure the road ahead is clear.

“Avoid overtaking or changing lanes without checking the road [ahead] is free,” stated Abu Dhabi Police in their video.

Park if it becomes too difficult to see ahead

If the fog gets too thick, motorists are advised to park and turn on their hazard lights.

“In extremely dense fog, where visibility is near zero, park your vehicle in a safe place and turn on your hazard lights,” said Abu Dhabi Police.


Read more:

More dense fog causes second day of travel disruptions

Beautiful scenes captured during Monday morning's fog


Updated: September 13, 2022, 12:01 PM