24 Jul, 23

Driving in Fog: when to use fog lights

To overcome poor visibility, fog lights must be utilised when necessary; otherwise, you risk endangering both other motorists and yourself. However, using them at the incorrect moment may result in you breaching the law and endangering other drivers. When used properly, they should help ensure safe driving in fog. We have put up a collection of helpful tips on how to drive in fog. And when to use your fog lights to help drivers stay as safe as possible.

driving in fog

Guidelines for driving in fog

Fog light icon

If you wish to turn on your fog lights, look for one of these icons. Typically, you can find them next to the dial you use to operate your regular lights. On the stalk of the steering wheel, or a button on the dashboard.

Fog light upfront

Your front fog lights are shown on the diagram with the lamp pointed to the left and lines running diagonally through the vertical wavy line.

Back-up fog light

Your rear fog lights are located on the one pointing in the other direction, with lines pointing straight down through the wavy line. If you are having trouble finding them or figuring out how to turn them on, check the logbook in your car.

When driving in fog, what to do

  • You should check your mirrors before entering the fog, then slow down.
  • Keep a bigger gap between you and the car in front of you; you may make it four seconds instead of the advised two.
  • Use your wipers and keep your windscreen clean to improve visibility.
  • If a signal indicates “fog,” but the road is clear, be on the lookout for a sudden bank of fog or drifting, patchy fog. If visibility is less than 100 metres (328 feet), or about the length of a football pitch, turn on your lights. Before you go, make sure you know where the switch for your fog lights is.
  • Avoid using a full beam because the fog will reflect the light, further lowering visibility.
  • Try not to use the tail lights of the car in front to navigate as they may create a false sense of confidence.
  • Wind down your windows at intersections and crossroads if visibility is really poor so that you can keep an eye out for oncoming vehicles.
  • If you truly are unable to see, you might think about pausing until it is secure to move on.

Fine for using fog lights

The Highway Code (Rule 226) states that fog lights should only be used when visibility in the fog is less than 100 metres (328 feet), or about the length of a football pitch. Driving in fog can be dangerous if you don’t use your fog lights when it’s necessary for your safety and the safety of the people around you.  Your automobile insurance may be void if you were not using your fog lights when your car was involved in an accident while driving in fog.

Make good judgements

Turn on your fog lights if the fog is so dense that you are having trouble seeing other vehicles. However, avoid turning them off and on repeatedly to avoid confusing other drivers.

Fog lights are acceptable

When visibility is not impaired or the car is parked, it is against the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations of 1989 to use the front and rear fog lights to blind other motorists. Consequently, it is confusingly forbidden to use fog lights when it is drizzling or raining. If you are caught, the police may even fine you.

Turn off your fog lights once the fog has lifted

Your car’s dashboard or the actual fog light button will have a symbol; often, it’s an amber indicator for the rear fog lights and a green one for the front fog lights.

How to inspect your bulbs and lights

  • It’s important to make sure your automobile is in top shape to handle the conditions ahead of it throughout the autumn and winter months when there is a greater likelihood of fog, so it is strongly advised to verify your lights are functional before leaving:
  • Before turning on your front and rear fog lights, make sure you know how to use them. Also, don’t confuse these with the “full beam” setting on your car.
  • fog and daytime running lights
  • Make sure the lights are on if your car has automatic lights that come on in low-light situations because they might not be in foggy circumstances.
  • Drivers of vehicles with daytime running lights should take a similar precaution because the majority of these vehicles only illuminate the front lights.

Are fog lights required on all automobiles?

The installation of rear fog lights is a legal requirement for all vehicles. Your car must have a rear fog light if it was imported before it can be driven on public roads. Although front fog lights are not legally required, you should only use them if your sight is seriously compromised.

FAQs

Q: What should I do if I encounter fog while driving?

A: If you encounter fog while driving, it’s important to slow down and adjust your driving behaviour accordingly. Use your headlights on dipped beams and fog lights if necessary. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you to allow for longer stopping distances. Be alert for sudden changes in visibility and be prepared to stop if necessary.

Q: When should I use fog lights?

A: Fog lights should only be used when visibility drops below 100 metres (328 feet). It’s important to switch them off when visibility improves to avoid dazzling other drivers.

Q: Can I use my high-beam headlights in fog?

A: No, you should not use your high-beam headlights in fog. High beams can reflect off the fog droplets and create a “white wall” effect, making visibility even worse.

Q: What should I do if the fog is extremely dense?

A: If the fog is extremely dense and visibility is significantly reduced, consider finding a safe place to pull over and waiting for the fog to lift. Use your hazard lights to alert other drivers if you decide to stop on the side of the road.

Q: Are there any special precautions I should take when driving in fog?

Yes, here are a few precautions to keep in mind:

  • Reduce your speed, but avoid sudden braking.
  • Use your windscreen wipers and defrosters to maintain clear visibility.
  • Listen for any unusual sounds that may indicate other vehicles.
  • Be cautious at junctions and intersections, as other drivers may not see you.
  • Stay focused and avoid distractions inside the vehicle.
  • Keep an eye out for pedestrians and cyclists,, who may be harder to see in the fog.

Q: Is it legal to drive with fog lights on at all times?

A: No, it’s not legal to use fog lights in clear weather conditions or when visibility is not reduced. Fog lights are designed for use in foggy conditions, and using them unnecessarily can blind or dazzle other road users.

Read more: Ten Signs Your Car Isn’t Ready For The Winter

Remember, the best course of action when encountering fog is to drive cautiously and adapt your driving style to the conditions. Always prioritise safety and be aware of other drivers around you.

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