Driving advice under the haze condition

The haze is upon us. Malaysia is experiencing some of the worst haze conditions in recent years and this has caused a lot of hardship for people from all walks of life.

The thick haze is enveloping all the towns and its areas starting from Johor and slowly heading north. The common advice you will get is to stay indoors where possible. If the haze is really bad, it will affect your health and would not be too suitable to drive.

If you really have to drive, try to go for short distance journeys. This is because driving too long under the haze will make your eyes tired easily. You can dehydrate very easily which could be very dangerous.

However, if you really have to go for a longer distance, then take the following precautions.

Use the lights – Use the dim lights even during the day if the haze is really thick. Make the judgment and if the visibility is very bad, then switch on the lights. If you are not sure, just switch them on anyway to be safe. If the visibility is really bad, then switch on the dipped lights. As with any other driving situations, avoid using the high beams.

NEVER ever use the hazards when the car is in motion. This will endanger everyone around you thinking that your car is not moving.

Drive slow – don’t speed so that you need not have to make any emergency breaking. Sudden stops will only endanger others.

Distance – keep the consistent distance between you and the car in front.

Overtaking – when overtaking, only do so when you are absolutely confident and that it is safe to do so. In places where you are ascending or descending, DO NOT overtake at all

Parking – Never park on the emergency lanes even if the haze is really thick. You might not be able to continue, but the others cannot see your idle car. If your car breaks down, use the Hazard lights and try to park as far away from the road is possible. Call the police or the authorities.

Poor eyesight – if you have poor eyesight, try not to drive during the haze season at all.

Clothing – always wear bright clothing or keep a reflective vest in your vehicle. This is because if you really need to leave the vehicle, at least your presence can be easily spotted.