How to see and be seen

What to do when visibility's poor

Got automatic headlights?

Almost one in 10 drivers (AA-Populus, October 2015) say their car has automatic lights and that they rely on them all the time. But automatic lights won’t come on if it’s foggy yet bright, as they rely on light-level sensors. Check whether yours need switching on manually, and watch out for almost-invisible cars whose drivers haven’t got theirs on. More about automatic lights.

Fog lights

Use your common sense – you don't have to use fog lights, but your insurer might take issue if you're in an accident in poor visibility and they weren't on. If you do use fog lights, switch them off once visibility consistently improves.

Top tips

  • Use dipped headlights, wipers and demisters.
  • Use fog lights when you need to.
  • Don't rely on automatic lights – they may not come on in fog.
  • Beware of other drivers not using headlights.
  • Don't rely on Daytime Running Lights alone – they only light the front.
  • Only drive as fast as conditions allow.
  • Keep a greater distance – allow three seconds between you and the car in front.
  • Tailing another car’s rear lights can give a false sense of security and it's dangerous.
  • Adjust your speed so you can stop in the distance you can see clearly.
  • Don't speed up to get away from a vehicle that’s too close behind you.
  • Check your mirrors before you slow down.
  • Open your window to listen for traffic at junctions if you can’t see.


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updated 29 September 2017

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