The Hamad Injury Prevention Programme at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Hamad Trauma Centre 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 centre says road safety during this foggy season is a major area of concern.
"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. 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 people should be 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.
"Avoid using hazard warning lights unless you have completely stopped or are driving extremely slowly (less than 20km per hour), your vehicle has broken down on the side of the road, a tyre 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," Dr Consunji said.
“We will continue to support our partners from Hamad Trauma Centre to raise the awareness among the general public to make all road users in Qatar safer. And for this we have planned to organise 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.
Dr Consunji added: “In order to promote safe driving and reduce road injuries we recommend that all motorists 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 by using fog or low-beam headlights, not hazard flashers, slow down and open the 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.”

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