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08 Fysische factoren
 > Driving in misty weather
Discussion> Talk with your colleagues about it!

I do not get behind the wheel in case of dense mist.

Introductie

In this toolbox meeting we will discuss driving in mist. We provide tips on how to prevent pile-ups and skidding. This way, we will be able to get to work safely and home again unscathed (although it will be later than normal). In order to get a better understanding of the tips below, it is good to know what mist actually is and how it is formed. Furthermore, it is important that you do not underestimate the risks of driving in mist.

What is mist and how is it formed?

  • Mist is a weather phenomenon in which tiny droplets of water are hanging in the air, limiting visibility;
  • Mist can be formed when extremely humid air cools down or when cold air and warm humid air mix;
  • The formation of mist depends on many factors, such as air pollution, vegetation, topography and the proximity to water;
  • Smog enhances the dangers of mist; as the mist is very low to the ground, the damaging gases emitted by cars cannot rise and will remain hanging above the road. This further impairs vision.
  • It often starts with a few wisps of mist and you think: ‘It is just a wisp, I am not going to slow down for that’. Meanwhile the driver in front you thinks differently about the situation. He/she is driving further into the dense mist, cannot see properly anymore and thus quickly steps on the brakes;
  • In other words, the driver in front of you hits the brakes while you are not aware yet of the extent of the fog bank and are still driving at full speed.
  • The biggest risk of driving in the mist is that mist can freeze in case of low temperatures.
  • Most of the biggest traffic accidents (make that disasters) occur under these circumstances.


Risks > What can happen?
  • Pile-up
  • Poor visibility
  • Iciness due to freezing mist drops
  • Time pressure while driving in the mist can have disastrous consequences
Control measures > What must you do?
  • Be prepared for mist
  • Halve your speed and double your distance
  • Do not only focus on the tail lights in front of you
  • Know where your fog light switch is located
  • Never overtake other cars when it is misty
  • Use your low beam headlight and not your high beam headlight
  • Only use your rear fog light if the visibility is less than 50 metres
  • In case of mist (during the day), do not turn on the automatic head lights
  • Take more breaks when driving in the mist for a long period of time
  • Be particularly alert in case of freezing mist