Why don't people switch their headlights on in the fog?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by ComputerBloke, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    I'm sorry, but this morning on the way into work, about half of the drivers had no lights on, and most of the other half just have their sidelights on, which is almost as much use as none at all </gripe>

    Anybody know why peopl just put side lights on?
    Are they frightened of draining their battery or wot?
  2. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    because the normal lights are too powerful, and reflect off the fog, leading to even worse visibility?
  3. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    Hmmm, it is an idea.

    If they're properly adjusted and dipped though, it shouldn't be a problem.
    It's just a bit disconcerting to see vehicles emerging from the fog on narrow country lanes, as the side lights don't really stand out at all.....
  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Fog lights are what should be used in the fog...!!!!! They spread the beam across the width of the road and ensure they are not directed forwards into the path of oncoming traffic. As Neal said, this would make for an even worse situation. When a cars main beam headlights are on when they shouldn't be is bad enough yeah... when there's fog you wouldn't see a darned thing.
  5. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    Interesting...I think most cars' foglights will only come on with headlights though...
  6. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Thats funny....most of the cars I follow in the morning only seem to have foglights that work when its chucking it down with rain :mad:
  7. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    And most of the cars round here have fog lights that only come on at the same time as that annoying loud, continuous, base line & drumming. ;)
  8. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    The idea of only using fog lights in the fog is based on the old "sealed-beam" type headlights, which threw a narrow, focused beam (these are the old, large, round type of lights, generally installed with the bulb exposed to the elements). Most modern headlights are no longer of this type, they are small halogen (or other gas) bulbs enclosed in a reflector structure which spreads the light much more evenly across the front of the car. These type of headlights are much less dangerous in the fog.

    In many states in the US, it is mandated by law that headlights must be used whenever windshield wipers are on.

    Also, I believe that in some of the Scandinavian countries headlights are always used regardless of conditions (any Scandinavians out there that could confirm this?)
  9. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    In Essex, it seems that the fog lights are the only set of lights that work :ranting2: :ranting2: :ranting2: :ranting2:
  10. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    ...which explains why Volvo's lights come on with the ignition.

    A lot of lights that appear to be fog lights are driving lights, which are *SO* annoying, mostly because they are so bright and often badly adjusted. They typically come on with headlights.

    Front fog lights need to be (by law) set at below a maximum distance from the ground and spread a wide beam of light across the road. The reason why it has to be low is that it doesn't illuminate the fog right in front of you...thus blinding the driver.
  11. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    ^ correct. What many people call "foglights" really aren't proper foglights at all.
  12. Syrup

    Syrup Member

    Its the same up north as well. Do these idiots think we are impressed that they have their fog-lights on in the day when it is not foggy. They are usually driving Citroen Saxos (with mandatory go-faster stripes and silly exhausts that makes loads of noise even though they are not capable of going fast), wearing shell-suits, baseball cap, sun-glasses, all their mates are sat in the back, not one has a driving licence between them, or a job probably etc etc

    Apologies to all those normal Saxo drivers who aren't like this.

    It really gets my goat.
  13. BIG Paul

    BIG Paul Member

    back to the question
    I believe most people do not put on their headlights / foglights because they are frightened of getting a bill from their electricity company.

    As a road safety worker (driving instructor) we teach people that as soon as visibility drops then DIPPED headlights should be switched on. Front or Rear foglights are illegally used if visibility is greater than 100 metres.

    Please remember these lights are not there to see with but so that you can be seen.
  14. MRSH

    MRSH Supporting Member

    ^^^^^^^correct. Driving home tonight in clear and dry conditions I bided my time (erm.....saddo, I know) in counting the number of people driving with front fog lights on. It took me about 40 minutes to drive home and I counted 35 with their foglights on. Complete and utter idiots. I found THIS which is quite interesting.

    Back to the topic of the thread it appears that those who don't switch there foglights ON in fog have an electrical problem with their switch which makes it work in reverse :-?;):tup
  15. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    Sheer ******-minded laziness is all I can think of as an excuse for these people.
    On a slight tangent, first up against the wall come the revolution are those who don't dip their headlights when they see another vehicle.
    I drove in front of someone the other day who dipped his headlights whenever a car came towards us, then blasted my retinas again as soon as it had passed... The only words I can think of to describe such behaviour will melt the profanity filter.
    When cars were first invented, somebody (can't remember who) said, "the car will never become popular, only a million people will ever learn to drive one".
    Looking at the stupidity of many drivers and the accident statistics, I'm inclined to think that the number of people who can drive properly is not much more than that...
  16. Daniel Sheard

    Daniel Sheard Member

    Are you sure about the driving lights thing? An article I read in a magazine (written by a Police road traffic person) said that part of the definition of driving lights is that they can only be switched on when the headlights are on full beam. Thus the idiot lights that you see on all the time are foglights by this definition.

    I get very annoyed by people with foglights on when it is not foggy. If they are dazzling me with those, I turn full beam on.

    The really annoying this is that you can be driving down a road with slightly reduced visibility, and a lot of the drivers immediately switch on their rear foglamps even though you can see for miles. And yet if it is really very foggy so that you can't see normal taillamps of the car in front, you find people without foglamps on and even some without headlamps on. Idiots.

  17. andyp

    andyp Active Member

    The reason they drive on side lights is.....<blatant generalisation+rant> that if you drive a Mercedes, BMW or Toyota Landcruiser you can do what you like. This includes driving at 90+mph in driving rain, cos obviously your wipers are better then everyone elses, not using your indicators (cos everyone should know where you're going anyway) and driving down the outside lane past the queue of traffic until the road narrows at the very last minute, cos someone WILL let you in</end rant>
    On the foglight issue, if you leave them on all the time with your headlights it may kill your battery and/or alternator, you're talking 240+watts, =20+amps, if it's raining and you have wipers, heater, rear heated window, etc on, then you may be taking out more current then the alternator can supply. Especially if you have one of those electric piledrivers (sorry, subwoofers I think they call then) in your boot.
    Correctly aimed foglights shouldn't dazzle anyone as they're supposed to point slightly downwards, so you can see the road/kerbs better. However most of the ones I see seem to be aimed upwards, not a great lot of use, really. I don't think the MOT test includes them, maybe it should?
  18. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    Well, to open up the subject a little here, these are my pet hates about other drivers (bear in mind, that my driving is perfect ;) ):

    <exterme rant>
    Not indicating (ever)
    Putting rear foglights on in "slight mist"
    People blasting down the outside lane and cutting in at the last minute
    Drivers who let these ^ idiots in.
    One speed fits all drivers - 28.5mph regardless of the conditions and limit.
    Mobile phoners ("I'm going to be there in a minute, darling! I'm just coming round the corner..")
    People who dawdle along at 10mph because they are lost. Why don't they stop and look at the map?
    </exterme rant>

    Anybody recognise these people?

    I blame modern society and the ease with which modern cars can be driven. People are just plain *lazy* and don't take any pride in what they do. It's just a symptom of a more general problem I think, which makes me despair sometimes.....
  19. ComputerBloke

    ComputerBloke Member

    Hmmm. Now you mention it I'm not sure.
    From what little I know of the subject, there are:

    Fog lights - separately controlled, maximum height restrictions, should only come on if headlights are also on.
    Driving Lights - extra illumination, come on with headlights, often mounted low where fog lights should be
    Spot Lights - extra illumination to assist main beam headlights, and should only come on with main beam.

    I think the difference is the type of beam they project:

    Fog lights: wide low beam to reach under the fog and illuminate the road from low down
    Driving lights, just extra dipped illumination
    Spot lights - direct a narrow beam straight ahead.

    I used to have some spot lights on a Fiesta SuperSport years ago - they had a narrow tight beam for straight ahead use and they were super on country roads with main beam when it was very dark.
  20. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    My car (Fiat Tipo) doesn't have front fog lights so i can never blind anyone. Apparently they don't have fog in Italy, or a requirements for a reliable electrical system in a car!! My pet driving hates:

    People who drive at 40mph, all the time.
    Non-indicators or even worse...... the people who start to indicate as they begin the maneouver. By which point its fairly obvious what they're doing.
    MIDDLE LANE MOTORWAY DRIVERS!!! DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE SCUM! and they're always middle aged blokes in Renault Meganes/Lagunas with a car full of kids!
    Indesicive drivers who never seem sure what they are doing. Ever.

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