The arrival of winter season brings in the dreaded fog in most part of the country. The northern region especially gets the worst of the fog and causes massive delays in trains, flights and also becomes a major reason behind the accidents in the area. In a recent accident, as many as 20 vehicles piled up on NH1 in Kurukshetra district.
As many as 15 people were injured in the pile-up but no fatal injury was reported from the crash. The accident happened due to poor visibility during very early hours of the day. The massive pile-up caused obstruction in smooth passage for several hours. There were many private cars, commercial vehicles and buses involved in the incident. According to the Indian Met Department, the visibility was just 400 metres at 5:30 am, which further dropped to only 100 metres at 8:30 in the morning.
Pile-ups are one of the most dangerous situations on the roads but they can become deadly if they happen on the National Highways where the speed of the traffic is already very high. Even though traveling can’t be avoided in many situations, you can can take few steps to make sure that you are safe in thick fog.
- Avoid going out in the fog if you can. Driving conditions become very challenging with the poor visibility. The restricted visibility can cause huge accidents.
- If you have to drive in the fog, drive during daytime. The effect of fog becomes very bad at night. The light from the headlamps reflect back to the eyes of the driver, making the situation dangerous.
- Use fog lamps, not hazard lamps. Most people turn on their hazard lamps during heavy fog. It is a mistake, the hazard lights are supposed to be used only when the car is standstill. The hazard lamps confuses other drivers on the road who cannot make out if the car is standstill or moving. Also, use the low beam lamps and the fog lamps, if your car has one. Lamps which are positioned closer to the road help to see better during the foggy conditions. Never use high beam as they reflect back and blinds you.
- Drive slow during foggy conditions. Restricted visibility means you cannot look beyond certain point. Cutting down the speed will give you enough time to perform any emergency braking manoeuvres if the need arises.
- Follow lane markings. If you can’t avoid driving in foggy conditions, the best way to know the road bends and follow the road is to follow the lane markings. If there are no lane-marking on the road, follow the divider or the edge of the road to know which side the road is bending.
- If you need to park your car on the side of the road, make sure that you are away from the tarmac and parked away from the moving traffic. Switch on your hazard lamps and if you’re sitting inside the car, you can keep the car in low beam to make sure that the brake lamps are on.