Delhi today woke up to a thick blanket of smog and some dangerous accidents on Tuesday morning as the pollution level further worsened today in the capital. The state government on Tuesday ordered all primary schools to remain closed, halted all outdoor activities and construction activities and also hiked the vehicle parking prices in the city. In conditions of smog, it becomes very difficult to drive as visibility reduces and the risk is even higher on open roads, highways and expressways. In the past, many accidents have been reported due to low visibility and heavy fog/smog. As a direct result of this blanket of smog today, around 10-15 vehicles including a bus met with an accident, leaving many injured. This pile-up, when most vehicles ran into each other took place at Yamuna Expressway between Agra and Mathura in the early hours of the day.
While conditions of fog and smog are dangerous for driving, adhering to some safe driving practices can be the difference between life and death or a serious injury. The weather could further deteriorate in the coming months as the mercury drops and hence we've rounded up some safety tips for driving in such conditions:
1. When one drives with the car's headlamps on high beam it is difficult to see the road and the oncoming traffic as it reflects the light back, hindering the vision in the foggy/smoggy weather. The vehicle's headlamps hence should always be set at low beam during fog. Use fog lamps if your cars has them can prove extra helpful as they illuminate the lower part of the road without reflecting the light back.
2. During an emergency situation on road, the driver is more likely to lose control if driving at high speed, especially in conditions such as fog/ smog. Driving at slow or reasonable pace gives enough time for the driver to react and act accordingly to the traffic situation. Moreover, one should maintain a safe distance between the cars.
3. Constantly changing lanes is also dangerous as visibility during fog/ smog is anyway less, leaving lesser time for reaction. While driving through fog, turn off the music, be alert and honk when the road is splitting or turning. It is better to stick to one lane and change only if necessary. The hazard light should be only be used when stationary and not while driving like many people do.
4. The fog or cold air outside causes condensation that builds up inside the vehicle, leading to the formation of moisture over the windshields. The drivers in such situations slightly should roll down the windows and use car's heater to clear the screen of moisture.
5. Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and ready for the harsh conditions. Check for electricals, windscreen washer and wiper, battery, engine oil, brakes & tyres and make sure that they are working properly and are not worn out.