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When to use fog lights

Thick fog can be one of the most dangerous conditions to drive in. Not only is it difficult for you to see hazards and other road users, it is also difficult for everyone else too. The reduced visibility for all parties can lead to nasty road accidents and collisions. This is where your fog lights come in; learning when to use your fog lights is key to ensuring you stay safe while on the road.

When should fog lights be used?

Unlike your main headlights and full beams, which help your own visibility, your fog lights help others see you while driving in foggy weather. In difficult conditions, such as heavy rain or dark roads, It is tempting to use the fog lights to improve your visibility to other drivers. However, you should only use them when absolutely necessary. 

According to the Highway Code, rule 226, you should only use your fog lights when your visibility is reduced to 100 meters (328 feet) or less. To put this into context this is about the same length as a football pitch or 20 Citroën e-C4s

If you choose to use the lights when you know you can see further than this limit, you run the risk of dazzling other drivers and masking your own brake lights. You will also be in breach of rule 236 of the Highway Code, which prohibits the use of front and rear fog lights when they are not needed. 

Not adhering to these rules may result in you being stopped and fined by the police. If you have an accident with your fog lights on when they shouldn't be, your insurance provider may also invalidate your claim. 

How to use fog lights

Your fog lights are operated from a different set of controls to your main set of lights. In some cars you will find separate buttons to operate the front and rear sets of fog lights. In the photo below, you can see these to the left as buttons with half circles (which represent ‘lamps’) with three lines next to them.

In other vehicles, your fog lights may have their own collar on the ‘light’ arm of your car’s wheel. You will be able to turn it back and forth to activate. For example, in the photo below, the fog lights symbol is located as the top-most option as a ‘lamp’ with five lines to the left of it.

car indicator showing fog light options

 

You should have a symbol on your vehicle’s dashboard alongside the symbols that indicate the status of it’s other lights. The front fog lights symbol will point in the same direction as the headlight symbol and the rear fog light symbol will face in the other direction.

How to check if your fog lights are working correctly

During the autumn and winter months, where you are more likely to encounter fog when you drive, it is important to know you have a working set of fog lights you can rely on.

In order to avoid being caught out in difficult conditions, you should regularly check that your fog lights work. This doesn’t mean you have to check them every time you go out. Doing so while performing a regular maintenance check should be enough. 

Checking your fog lights is simple, while performing your next maintenance check: 

  • Turn your ignition key to enable the electrics
  • Make sure the light switch is in the off position
  • Press the front and back fog light buttons (or whatever method your vehicle uses)
  • Visually check the fog lights, front and back
  • Check to see if each one is working
  • Tap each light to hear if there are any loose electrical components
  • Check to see if there is any moisture in the lamps
  • If there are any problems contact your local Peugeot, Citroën or DS Automobiles dealer to get it fixed

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What should you do when driving in fog?

The decrease in visibility caused by fog can make it dangerous to drive in, but if you follow the instructions set out in the Highway Code you can make it safer for yourself and others. 

When driving in foggy conditions, you should

  • Use dipped headlights, wipers and demisters to help improve your visibility
  • Use your fog lights when needed (remember this should be when you cannot see 100m in front of you)
  • Slow down and keep your distance from other traffic. This will give you enough time and space to stop in an emergency.
  • Keep checking for hazards
  • Use your mirrors regularly
  • Open your window to listen for traffic at junctions if you can’t see

When driving in foggy conditions, you should not

  • Rely on your automatic lights. They may not come on.
  • Rely on your DLRs, they only light the front
  • Make any sudden changes in speed

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