Earlier we considered the concept of “limited visibility”, but among the rules of the road there is another term – “insufficient visibility”, which refers to fog. Many people have a question: how to properly ride in fog on a motorcycle?
Danger of driving in fog
Most associate the danger of driving in fog with poor road visibility, but there is another serious cause for concern. Fog contributes to increased humidity. The grip of the wheel with the road surface suffers from this. Slippery asphalt, even more slippery markings and especially the rails add to the thrill of the ride.
The moisture of the fog resembles a ride in the rain, which makes the equipment get wet quickly, and drops of condensation instantly settle on the helmet and motorcycle.
Basic rules for driving in fog
Increased contact patch
Fog is usually a phenomenon in the early morning or late evening. By this time, it is getting colder outside, we add high humidity here and here it is an obvious problem – slippery plus the tire warms up slowly.
If the fog does not come as a surprise and you understand that you will have to drive in poor visibility conditions, then you can reduce the tire pressure to increase the contact patch. Actually, as when driving in the rain, mud or sand.
Less speed, more distance
When driving in fog, it is recommended to reduce the speed to the one at which you keep the situation under control and have time to react to the road situation. There is a dilemma among drivers that in dense fog, if you don’t slow down, you run the risk of crashing into someone who dropped it. At the same time, if you yourself slow down, where is the guarantee that the one walking behind will do the same and will not bump into you? One way or another, it is still better to keep the speed relatively low.
Drivers are breaking the distance to leave room for maneuver. Yes, there are those who like to get in the tail of the car in front, but will you have time to brake in an emergency? In addition to the distance, the lateral spacing is also increased. In fog, it is better to keep to the right edge of the road, so that if you lose the sense of space, you do not jump out into the oncoming lane, or vice versa, you do not end up in the path of the confused driver. In addition, the road edge can visually facilitate spatial orientation by giving a sense of the horizon.
Driving along the edge of the road has one serious drawback – if someone parks on the edge or branches / tree / debris falls on the road, you may not notice them in time due to fog.
We all remember from our tickets that in fog it is most reasonable to switch to low beam or combine it with fog lights, if any. In fact, you don’t even need to remind about this especially, because when you turn on the high beam in the fog, a huge white wall is obtained due to the reflection and refraction of a light wave through a water suspension, behind which even hope for a brighter future cannot be seen, not that road. It turns out empirically that it is really better visible on the neighbor.
In cases where the road raises concerns or thick fog caught you at night, some drivers advise to quickly switch the low beam to high and back from time to time. The switch should be literally for a few seconds, so that others can see them and not blind you.
For greater visibility in the fog, it is allowed to turn on the emergency light. In Russia, this is not so common, but a flashing light attracts more attention than a constant one.
The light of the oncoming fog lights is dazzling, sometimes you have to avert your eyes to the side so as not to run into trouble. The same is true for those who are moving towards you. For this reason, it is advised to adjust the fog lights with a slope to the right side, so as not to blind oncoming drivers.
“Night bike riding, what do you need to know about it?”
Fog visually distorts the perception of both space and speed of movement. Let me remind you once again that the speed in the fog is felt much less than it really is. Wherein distance suddenly seems great… Already from these two points a ban on maneuvering is formed, because there is no complete picture of the road situation. You think that the oncoming car is somewhere far away, but the wrong feeling of both speed and distance results in fatal mistakes.
Being in fog, it is not recommended to overtake or make a U-turn.
For the same reasons, red lights that line up repair or emergency areas and potentially hazardous areas are confusing. Some drivers mistake them for side lights of cars and believe that there is a road in that place, but it is not there. With red light sources, it is generally easy to be fooled because fog refracts and scatters light due to moisture droplets. It turns out that warm light sources are seen much better than cold radiation. Therefore, a traffic light with a red light can visually be very close, but in fact it will be quite far away. Or another cruel joke from a physics textbook: when one car has headlights with a warm light, and another with a cold one, the first will seem closer than the second, even if this is not at all the case.
When riding, try not to look back, because in such a situation it is easy to lose concentration and attention.
Because of the humidity, it is better to get a raincoat. If it is not there, then you will have to endure all the hardships of the weather. It’s good when there is a pinlock that will save the visor from fogging. But, alas, it will not save you from moisture drops that will settle from the outside.
Someone prefers to drive at an extremely low speed with the visor open. Someone carries a handkerchief or microfiber in their pocket to sneak a sweep of the helmet as needed. There is no one hundred percent panacea for fog, so here it is more convenient for someone. At high speed, the headwind blows over the eyes too much, which only interferes. Then the built-in goggles save if they are provided in the helmet, but they are also subject to the moisture of the fog.
In addition to humidity, fog is a signal to take warm clothes, because it is clearly not Tuapse outside. During the day, of course, it may clear up, but you are driving now, so thermal underwear or at least a warm lining to the jacket will not interfere.
Reflective vests are definitely on the top of the list. In conditions of insufficient visibility, you need to make yourself as visible as possible.
How to ease the way in the fog?
Use a navigator – this is the perfect guide when visibility is difficult. If you are following a car, it is easy to turn off your own road if the car leaves the highway and you are guided only by it. Therefore, you should not particularly trust the passing transport, but watch out, when it slows down or wags along the road, it may be bypassing an obstacle.
When driving in fog, the eyes get very tired from the strain, so after leaving the zone of insufficient visibility it is a good idea to stop with a short rest. Stopping in the fog itself is fraught with the fact that you yourself may not be noticed.
It makes no sense to peer far ahead of you, in the fog it is better to look closer, and when the bright light of the headlights approaches, take your gaze a little to the side.