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Driving in thick fog can be pretty terrifying, especially on open highways with little street lighting or buildings to illuminate the road.

Cape Town's winter early morning fog can present a real challenge to motorists commuting to work.

Unlike some countries where fog is a routine phenomenon to take into account when driving, it doesn't happen often enough here in South Africa that motorists know what additional safety precautions to consider when taking to the road.

Refilwe Moloto speaks to the Automobile Association's Layton Beard.

  • **Use your fog lights**

Beard says use your fog lights when there is fog.

If the visibility is less than 100 metres then you want to engage your fog lights when driving.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

He explains...

What it does is it shines on the road directly in front of your vehicle. So it provides you with that visibility when the visibility further ahead is very bad.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

And drive slowly!

The intention here is that you drive very slowly when you've got those lights on and that you are focused very much on that stretch of road directly in front of you.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

Highways can be challenging in fog he agrees.

Driving on a highway may be a little difficult, but the key term I have used here is driving slowly.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

  • **Do not engage your hazard lights**

Beard says many people tend to engage their hazard lights in fog and this is a no-no as it causes confusion.

When you use your hazards on a highway where there is very low visibility, drivers do not know whether you are stuck in the lane, whether the car is moving or whether it is stationary. It's very tricky when you change lanes for people to understand where you are going.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

He says it can cause motorists to come to a stop behind you and have a dangerous ripple effect.

It is very dangerous to be driving with your hazard lights on.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

He says if a motorist is finding driving in heavy fog too difficult, the AA suggests driving very slowly in the slowest lane.

  • **Using your bright lights is not the solution**

Many people use their bright high beam lights in fog which just exacerbates the lack of visibility.

  • **Find your fog lights**

What is very important is to go and check your vehicle owner's manual and locate the fog lights, he suggests. He says in many vehicles it is a button near to your other light switches.

Please consult your owner's manual. Too few people do that.

Layton Beard, Spokesperson - Automobile Association

Listen to the interview below:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Capetonians, 5 tips on how to drive in foggy weather...and what not to do

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