Last night I drove back from the Abu Dhabi Formula One Gran Prix at Yas Marina (after marshalling for 3 days – it was awesome!) exhausted and sweaty. I just wanted to get home and sleep but as soon as I got on the Abu Dhabi – Dubai HIghway the fog enveloped all of us drivers.
The fog was so bad that it you couldn’t see a car in front of you, even if you were touching bumpers. It was so bad, you couldn’t see the lanes on the highway or any road signs even if you got close to them so there was no way to stop for a chill out moment at the services.
Of course being in the UAE that meant that people freaked out and started doing one of the following:
- Breaking and driving at 20kph
- Putting on their hazard lights
- Driving fast as if there was no fog
- Driving close to the car in front just so they could see something.
All this made a bad situation exceedingly scary. I love driving and i’m usually resilient but this fog and surrounding idiots freaked the bejeesus out of me. I had to go into the far slow lane (as it was the only lane no one else was in, except my marshal buddies).
A scary moment was seeing buses and minibuses driving their normal manner weaving through lanes, with hazard lights on and close to our bumpers. I had a coach behind me (Desert A..) weaving around me and then driving near my bumper. These bus drivers need an advanced driving test for normal and extreme weather days; they are maniacs.
Based on this frightful experience here are my top tips for the idiots who we encountered last night and the other idiots who start driving ridiculously on fog days in the Winter:
- Switch on your fog lights. They are usually a button, located on the left hand side next to your steering wheel.
- Drive slowly like 80kph but not 20kph. You might as well not drive at all if you are going to go at that speed.
- Keep at least 2 cars distance from the cars in front of you.
- DON’T PUT ON YOUR HAZARD LIGHTS AND USE THEM AS FOG LIGHTS.
- Put on your hazard lights for a brief few seconds when there is a hazard in front of you. I did the quick flash twice in succession so that the numpties around me got the idea there was a hazard.
- Don’t freak out and suddenly swerve lanes to get off the road.
- If you change lanes, USE YOUR INDICATORS.
- Use your windscreen wipers to clean the fog/sand concoction every so often.
Luckily there were no crashes on my way home. However, there needs to be a national advertising campaign by the RTA on how to drive in fog, rain and other extreme weather scenarios. Otherwise there will be more chances of there being scary driving situations and horrific car accidents on the AD-DXB highway (such as the one below) or on other roads.
I have heard the Indian speaking radio stations in the UAE tell drivers to put their hazard lights on in previous years. By providing this completely incorrect and unsafe information, they are helping to create more accidents. The authorities need to explain to the media how their listeners should drive safely!
Let’s hope this post can educate a few people.
What other rules do you think we should have for driving in the extreme conditions. Let me know in the comment box.
(All images from Google Images).