Do they have the foggiest?

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:

  1. Newer cars turn the fog lights on to supplement the day time running lights
  2. It is terribly fashionable
  3. It's a status thing (Look at me, I can afford a car with fog lights)
  4. 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”

My vote is for #2

And here’s my reasoning . . . there exist kits to enable you to turn on the fog lights on, independent of light sensors or the headlight switch position. Some guys even like to have them turn on with their marker lights, but the headlights aren’t even on

To me, number 4.

I worked as a valet supervisor when I got out of the college. Surprisingly, most of associates had no idea about that… We had more than 100 associates so I guess it’s reasonable number.

Most of people don’t read their manual so it might be it.

  1. They have the idea that the fog lights make them more visible and so helps to avoid accidents.

6, I’ve never noticed that, but I’ll look for it to see if it is happening here too.

Look to the rear of European cars. They have a fog light there as well. Looks like one brake light is on. It can be turned on and off independently of the front lights. Most don’t know what the switch is for.

“Offenders”? Here these people are doing something that enhances safety and you’re calling them “offenders”? Where’s that coming from? What offense are they guilty of?

For the record, a number of countries now require Daytime Running Lights at all times, including Canada, and manufacturers are designing the vehicles to comply. DRLs are standard on every vehicle I’m aware of now. Manufacturers design for the world market, not just for the U.S. of A.

Times are changing.

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Fog lights are not daytime running lights, fog lights cause unnecessary glare for other drivers.

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Ask 100 people what the difference is and I’ll bet 99 of them won’t know.
I’d bet that the OP is referring to DRLs.

No. I know very well the difference between fog lights and DRLs.

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I just read your original post more clearly and you clearly referred to their use as a supplement to DRLs. Apologies for the misunderstanding.

I usually keep them on when driving at relatively low speeds, particularly in heavily populated areas at night because they throw light low and to the sides of the car, which can be very helpful should a small animal or child run out into the street. my fog lights have saved a cat or two from being roadkill because I was able to see the animal just a little bit sooner than I would’ve been able to had the fog lights been turned off.

I don’t turn them on the middle of the day, that wouldn’t make any sense.


I have driving lights that I use when it’s dark out. It’s easier to see potholes. It’s easier to see puddles, too, and that’s where lots of potholes hide.

Properly aimed fog lights won’t glare in your eyes. They are supposed to shine down.

I use my fogs sometimes on dark roads to get a wide spread light to light the lane lines better.


I’m with #5. I don’t think they help visibility much except maybe in snow storms or fog, but I believe it makes me more visible to other drivers. Maybe they do create more glare for other drivers but they are so low and so limited in power that I can’t see it as a big deal. They after all are designed to light the road in bad conditions that headlights will normally just give you a white out. Ever try to figure that little icon on the dash though if its for the headlights or fog lights on? I can’t tell either unless they are both on, then I can see one is bigger than the other. International symbols.

My dad had a single fog light installed on his 1939 Chevrolet. For some reason, the headlights would go out, and then for no apparent reason, would come back on. Several mechanics tried to find the problem, but the headlights always were working when they checked for the cause of the problem. In desperation, he had the fog light installed on its own switch and circuit so he could turn it on if the headlights went out. A year later, a mechanic found that a loose connection at the dimmer switch was the cause of problem. There were pesky problems in the cars of earlier years just like today’s cars.

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Yeah my dad used to tell about driving the Wiliys during the war with no lights from Wisconsin to Minnesota once. I guess before circuit breakers, and maybe fuses weren’t available or gum wrappers were in short supply. Hitting the bridges in Door Co. and Green Bay at night with no lights would not have thrilled me though.