Doha, 30 January 2023: The Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP) at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Trauma Center is warning drivers to take proven safety precautions during foggy weather conditions and times of low visibility. Dr. Rafael Consunji, Director of the HIPP, the community outreach arm of HMC’s Hamad Trauma Center, says road safety during this foggy season is a major area of concern. Even if you’re a seasoned pro behind the wheel, fog can make driving difficult — and even dangerous.
Fog is a cloud that touches the ground. Fog can be thin or thick, meaning people have difficulty seeing through it. In some conditions, fog can be so thick that it makes passing cars, other vehicles and pedestrians invisible.
Driving in foggy conditions requires special safe driving techniques to help you Arrive Alive! It is believed that this environmental road hazard is one of the most dangerous as one’s ability to see other vehicles can plummet to zero in a matter of seconds. This makes it very challenging to drive in high-speed traffic, and you should be even more vigilant when sharing the road in congested areas as there could be many road users, even cyclists and pedestrians, who could be at high-risk of not being seen.
“Fog can be one of the most dangerous weather conditions for both new and experienced drivers. It has the potential to reduce visibility suddenly, so it is critical that drivers stay focused on the road in order to stay safe. Severe weather demands your undivided attention, so be sure to reduce any possible distractions by turning the radio down, removing your earphones or turning off that phone to keep your attention fully on the road.’ says Dr. Consunji.
Avoid using hazard warning lights unless you have completely stopped or are driving extremely slowly (<20 kilometers per hour), your vehicle has broken down on the side of the road, a tire is being changed, or your vehicle is being towed. If one continues to use their hazard lights as they drive in the fog, then they lose the ability to use their signal lights to warn other road users of their intentions to turn or change lanes. This practice can significantly increase your chance of a crash and injury, low beam headlight or fog lights are sufficient to be seen.
“We will continue to support our partners from Hamad Trauma Center to raise the awareness among the general public to make all road users in Qatar safer. And for this we have planned to organize future cooperative awareness activities and campaigns to support the safe use of roads and reduce the rate of accidents and injuries “said Brig. Mohamad Radi Al Hajri, Director of the Traffic Awareness Department of the Ministry of Interior.
“In order to promote safe driving and reduce road injuries we recommend that all road to keep a safe distance from other road users and to turn on their headlights, on low beam, or use fog lights, this way we avoid blinding other road users and we make ourselves readily visible. During low visibility or foggy conditions, we advise road users to take proven safety measures. Delay your departure [until fog clears], be more visible [use fog or low-beam headlights, not hazard flashers], slow down and open your windows [to better hear oncoming vehicles and defrost windows] and ensure all passengers are using a seatbelt or child car seat. Keep in mind that sometimes the best driving decision you can make is to stay off the road completely until the weather clears” said Dr. Consunji.