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Teaching Driving In Nottingham's Foggy Conditions
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Teaching Driving In Nottingham\'s Foggy Conditions

With an abundance of low lying areas and being surrounded by countryside, Nottingham is no stranger to dense fog and mist patches. These conditions can present challenges during driving lessons. Let's take a look at what we can teach learners to prepare them for driving on both busy and urban roads in fog.

The fog in Nottingham is rarely consistent. Clear roads can suddenly become difficult to navigate owing to dense patches of mist and fog. This can be very unnerving to learner drivers, especially university students from other towns who may have never experienced such changeable conditions. The first instinct of many drivers is to stay close to the vehicle in front in order to be guided along a safe course by following the vehicle's tail lights. This is a big mistake which can lead to rear end collisions as the cars are so close that there is simply no time to react and brake in time. You are probably too close to the vehicle in front if the tail lights are visible at all. Stay further back and reduce speed to give you a shorter stopping distance.

Learner drivers tend to guide themselves in fog by following the centre line of the road. This is fair enough but care must be taken to drive on the correct side of the road, not actually driving on the centre line which creates danger by putting the vehicle in close contact with on coming traffic, resulting in front end collisions. Wherever possible be guided by reflective studs on the surface of main roads or reflective marker posts on the verge of rural roads.

Dipped beam headlights are the correct choice for driving in Nottingham during fog. The fog lights are to be used only when visibility is less than one hundred metres. Many drivers tend to use fog lights in light mist but this just causes dazzle to other drivers. Main beam headlights are useless in fog as they practically blind oncoming traffic. As the beam is simply reflected back by the fog they do not offer optimum vision for the driver. Dipped beam headlights will offer the best possible visibility without dazzling oncoming traffic.

In rural areas of Nottingham fog can be really dense presenting danger when turning at junctions that don't have road markings. It is worth opening the windows when driving in foggy conditions so that learners can hear traffic approaching before being able to see it. Maintaining pressure on the foot brake when stopped will keep the brake lights on making the car more visible to vehicles approaching from behind. The horn is rarely used by safe drivers in Nottingham but using it at junctions in fog especially if it is dark can have real safety benefits, giving instant warning of your presence over quite a large distance. Good for warning traffic approaching from around a bend.

There is no need for instructors to cancel driving lessons owing to fog and mist even at night. The conditions offer many opportunities to teach learners safe driving for life in the real world.


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