The essential guide to safe smog driving
Six Handy Smog Driving Tips
Driving in heavy smog can be extremely dangerous. Obstacles become visible much later, while moisture can condense on the windscreen. India’s roads are known to be unpredictable, with varying topography, intermittent gradients and wildlife. Keep yourself safe with these handy smog-driving tips.
Plan your journey
Smog is often thickest in the nights, early mornings and evenings, so try to avoid driving in those periods. Follow local weather advisories that will give you a better idea of which areas have the thickest smog, and plan your route accordingly.
Don’t multi-task. Turn down the music system, keep conversation to a minimum and focus on the road. If it’s just fog without heavy pollution, roll down your window so the clearer sound of traffic can give you early warning of the cars around you.
Keep the speed down
In low visibility, you see obstacles and pedestrians in your path much later. This reduces the amount of time you get to avoid that obstacle, and the amount of time it has to get out of your way. Driving slower will give you more time to swerve or brake.
Use road-markings to help position yourself
Focus on the lane markings to stop yourself drifting (avoid the right lane as the faster vehicles drive here). On roads without dividers, stay as far to the left as possible to remain out of the path of cars going in the opposite direction.
Switch on your fog-lights, stay low-beam
Use your defroster and windshield wiper to clear the windscreen. Avoid using your headlights on high-beam – water droplets in the smog will reflect high-beam light back at you, reducing your visibility. Fog-lights can better penetrate the smog, helping you see better into the distance and warning other cars about you.
Pull over and use your emergency indicators correctly
If it becomes too difficult to see ahead, just pull over, find a good spot, a little higher than the road, and wait for conditions to improve. It’s best to stay away from the car when stationary, even off the road, just in case another car swerves dangerously or cannot see you. If you’re sitting in the car (which might be advisable in smog), keep your seatbelts on. Switch on your emergency indicators to warn other cars you’ve stopped (use the indicators only when stationary, not when you’re driving).