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Fog Lights; When Should You Use Them

Fog lights can be confusing for even the most experienced drivers. They aren’t just your regular low and high beam headlights, which you’re probably accustomed to. Fog lamps are specifically made for certain scenarios, all of which have to do with low visibility. Fog lights are made to use in poor weather conditions where your visibility is significantly lowered. Your visibility can be affected by dust, snow, sand, fog, or mist.

These type of lamps are advantageous in that they don’t reflect in a driver’s eyes the same way that turning on your high beams will. The high glare can be dangerous for some drivers and has been shown to lead to automobile accidents.

What are Fog Lamps?

These lights are manufactured in a way that the light is emitted in a bar-shape. The light is typically aimed at the ground. With high and low beams, the lights are designed to improve visibility over a great distance. High and low beams are installed at a shallower angle than fog lamps. The sharp angle at which fog lamps are installed focuses the light on the immediate area in front of your vehicle. Fog lamps also generally emit yellow light, although, that is not always the case.

Fog Lights Tips

You certainly don’t use fog lamps in decent driving conditions. They made only for conditions where visibility is reduced to the point where it places you in danger. In some conditions where there is heavy rain, fog, or snow, high beams can cause a serious amount of glare. Your low beams may even cause glare as well. This is where fog lamps display their strong utility.
When you’re driving with your fog lamps on, you definitely want to drive slowly. They’re designed to help you drive over short distances until the weather conditions improve.
It is actually considered illegal in some states to drive with just your fog lamps on. They are only to be used in strict situations. Otherwise, it can be very dangerous for you as the driver and others on the road.

Rear Fog Lamps

Rear fog lamps prevent other drivers from possibly hitting your car from behind during poor visibility. Sometimes in very poor conditions, your vehicle isn’t equipped to let other drivers know exactly where you are. Your tail lights might be a bit weak to do the job. You never know if other drivers have also decided to cautiously slow down or continue driving as if they’re in normal weather.

Rear fog lamps are red and emit a similar light to your brake lights. In case your car isn’t equipped with rear fog lamps, lightly tapping the brakes can produce the same effect. Unfortunately, some drivers have complained that rear fog lamps are too similar to brake lights. This can be confusing at times. Now, regulations specifically note that rear fog lamps must be situated a minimal distance from other rear lights.

Who Needs ‘Em

Fog lamps cut down on glare and help you navigate through poor visibility. Even though they’re designed to help you, it’s not a good idea to always use them. Too much fog lamp use can be harmful. It can lead to your eyes dilating, which hampers your ability to see objects or other vehicles that are farther away.
It’s important to note that driving with your fog lamps on at normal speed can be incredibly dangerous. Your best bet to use them when only dealing with poor visibility.
Most people don’t need fog lamps. If you’re living in an area where you experience heavy fog or snow, definitely get them installed on your vehicle. Some drivers in Florida deal with fog on a regular basis.

Otherwise, they’re completely unnecessary. Most American car-manufacturers do not even include them on standard car installations. They’re more of a trademark of European or Asian automobile manufacturers.

The technology used to manufacture car lights has also improved to where the glare caused by high beams has been significantly reduced. Many vehicles now are produced without fog lamps. Fog Lamps are now used more for aesthetic purposes. You can often fog lamps listed as an additional feature for luxury cars or higher-end models. While fog lamps may be running out of style, they still carry a very specific use that may benefit you as a driver. Ultimately, it is better to be safe than sorry.