As I drive through the more affluent parts of our city, I notice that about 30% of all cars and SUVs have their fog lights on, even on a bright, sunny day. Why is this? I have a number of theories:
Newer cars turn the fog lights on to supplement the day time running lights
It is terribly fashionable
It’s a status thing (Look at me, I can afford a car with fog lights)
The drivers don’t know where the switch is/don’t know they have fog lights
Escalades, Cayennes and the like being quite well represented in my sample, I have my suspicions, but is there a definitive answer?
I would ask one of the offenders, but you know they are going to say “It’s safer that way, and you can never be too safe”
I’ve never had a car where they go on automatically. You have to physically turn them on and if you go to the bright lights, they turn off. I sometimes will use them when I want to be sure to be seen, either in lower light levels or heavy traffic. So I would guess either that or they think they are cool, but I can’t imagine someone hitting the switch in broad daylight just to look cool.
Me neither, but I CAN imagine someone turning them on to make themselves a bit more noticeable to other drivers who aren’t paying attention. I always turn my headlights on for that reason, regardless of time of day or weather. Have for as long as I can remember. I sometimes wonder how many accidents I would have had of which I’ll never be aware if I hadn’t been doing that all these many years.
Cars have gotten better over the years, but I still think they’re not as well lit as they should be. One man’s opinion.
When I used to run Buffalo to Watertown and back in the 60s and 70s all our trucks had driving lights mounted under the bumper and aimed so they did not point even slightly above level and showed you the condition of the road surface and did not reflect light off the thick blinding snowflakes. I also carried some tools so I could make sure the headlights were not aimed too high.
I do frequently use my foglights at night. Our streets are poorly lighted, the foglights give me better illumination of road edges. Foglights should not affect oncoming traffic since they are aimed lower that low beam headlights.
What is starting to become a problem are the aftermarket LED light bars. These are blinding being aimed too high and are probably legal only for off road use.
That can’t happen. Fogs can only illuminate with the low beams, not DRLs nor high beams. So scratch that one.
I vote for this one.
I have seen a number of similar issues with lights in general. Rear fog lights - they look like one brake light that always stays lit - on perfectly clear nights. And the really dangerous one - DRLs-only at night with no tail or running lights. People see the headlights (really DRLs) and assume ALL the lights are one. I saw a black SUV last night doing this.
I damn near ran into the back of a black sedan a few years ago only running DRLs on a back road. They also had one of those stupid dark black license plate covers so the light from the license plate was basically invisible…I wonder if that guy ever figured out why I was flashing lights and honking at him
That very problem is the main reason I believe it makes more sense to simply have all the regular lights come on whenever the engine is running. Another is when the weather conditions are foggy, and DRLs are evident from the front but nothing is evident from the rear. An additional reason is that it’d be cheaper to simply rewire the regular lighting system (and perhaps add a relay if necessary) than to design and incorporate an entirely separate DRL system.
You beat me to it!
Unless the drivers of ALL of those cars did some creative re-wiring of their cars, then the cars were running with the low-beam headlights activated, as that is the only way that fog lights can be turned on.
And, I have to say that I have not observed this fog lights in daytime situation in my area.
I just wish that more drivers would turn on their headlights when it is raining/snowing, and if they also want to activate their fog lights during inclement weather… who cares?
I am not a big proponent of DRLs at all. I used to ride a motorcycle and they’ve been required to run with the lights on for decades. I want motorcycles to stand out in a sea of cars and DRLs muddle that identification. I own 2 cars that came with DRLs, and fuses to disable them, which I’ve done.
I have learned that on the 2-lane laser-straight-flat-as-a-pancake roads in central Florida, it helps visibility a ton to light up even in the daytime with the full strength low-beams. It is also required to light up whenever the wipers are on. A good law not always followed, especially by many grey, beige and silver cars for some reason.
So there you go. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Who can remember a silly post from 2011? Wonder if its the same person though still searching for an answer? Maybe instead we should ask when we get to the end of outer space, what’s there? Some things will never be answered.
On a number of two lane roads lined with forest near me, it is so difficult to see oncoming traffic that headlights are required during the day. This wouldn’t be too big of a problem, except that passing is allowed on straight sections. There have been too many head-on crashes because the passing driver couldn’t see oncoming traffic.
Perhaps turning the fog lights on when it is s bright sunny day keeps the fog from rolling in
I remember my 1965 Rambler was the first car I owned with a PCV valve. I asked my mechanic about its purpose and he said it prevents smog. I said, “We don’t have smog here in East central Indiana”. He replied, “Works pretty well, doesn’t it?”. The same reasoning may apply to fog lights. If everyone would drive with their foglights on, we wouldn’t have to put up with fog.
A few weeks ago, one of our fleet vehicles was dropped off, with the complaint that the headlights were too dim for driving at night
Sure enough, the headlights were dimly lit
Next thing I noticed is that the taillights weren’t on
And the headlamp switch was in the off position
And that switch doesn’t have an auto setting. The vehicle doesn’t have a light sensor, since it was too old
So . . . drls really are a poor substitute for headlights, especially at night
I made a notation in the repair order . . . if you want headlights to work properly, turn them on
Kind of shocking, that the guy was driving around, with no taillights and dimly lit sealed beams. So, he couldn’t see much, and the vehicle has lousy brakes too . . . but that is not due to a defect, but because the vehicle is large, and the brakes are rather underrated. Not a good combination
Can’t speak for anyone else but some members of my immediate and extended family seldom read the owner’s manuals for their cars. They couldn’t tell you where the fog lamp switch is if they had to, but they tend to turn on every switch on the light switch stalk when the sun goes down. . If others are like my family, many drive around with fog lights on other times because they’re oblivious to it.