Why do people insist on driving with their foglights on when it is not foggy? Why isnt this illegal in the US?
Even worse, nowdays, many import cars have REAR FOGLIGHTS (a single or dual lamp in the rear of the car that is as bright as the brake lights, and is continuously illuminated in foggy situations,) and these idiots zip around with them on all the time.
(Note: "Spit" in the above phrase is usually replaced by another, more offensive word that, while it rhymes with "spit," and contains the same number of both letters and symbols, refers to feces rather than expectoration.)
I have what may be considered "fog" lights... but more along the lines of auxiliary lights. Yes they are after market and yes, I drive with them on all the time. Washington state code allows one set of headlights and one set of auxiliary lights on at any given time, provided they are within the legal alignment regulations. Mine are aligned legally and they do not blind anyone. I use them because I feel more confortable seeing the road better as long as I know that I am not blinding anyone. My fog lights have diffusers in them so the beam pattern is precise and does not stray like most fog lights. I think that the few bad apples that get their fog lights strictly for looks are spoiling it for those of us who use our fog lights for their functionality... even when it's not foggy.
As far as being illegal in the US... some states and/or cities have regulations regarding auxiliary lights. I think NY has a regulation where you cannot have these lights on less than 300 feet from an oncoming car.
A lot of these "fog" lights actually help the driver to see the road better. Not further down the road (that would be the use of "drving lights"), but they often have a wider pattern so that the driver can see to the sides better. Less likely to hit the stray dog, or uncontrolled child, and bthey help when turning as well. If they are aimed properly, aren't excessively bright, and have the lens that diffuses the light, I don't see a problem. If they are aimed and focused so that they blind oncoming traffic, then that is dangerous and rude.
And if they are imporperly aimed, focused or overbright, then if they do use them in fog, the driver will be blinded by the reflection off the fog.
I have another reason to suggest. This one is actually a good reason, rather than my first one, which was merely an attempt to get a laugh.
Perhaps the drivers in question like to be SEEN, as an increased safety factor. I, for one, greatly appreciate the rear fog lights in particular, especially (not only, but especially) when the visibility is less than ideal.
Having the extra lights on makes the vehicle easier to see under almost any conditions where it's visible at all.
Also, don't forget that most "stock" foglights that come on cars/trucks/SUVs are really not very bright and therefore make little difference in the ability to see at night. Therefore, if you have stock foglights on your vehicle that do not really help you see in the fog, I think you may as well just use them all the time. People use the stock foglights almost exclusively because they look cool and not because they serve any type of real functionality as far as being able to see more or better.
Plus, you must realize that while vehicles equipped with an extra set of stock lights are always foglights, there are really three types of auxiliary lights that people may add to their vehicle as aftermarket additions: fog, driving, and off-road lights.
Some of the people that you see on the road with auxiliary lights actually have driving lights (which provide more straight ahead light and less peripheral light like foglights) on their vehicles. These driving lights are made to be used with normal headlights during normal driving to enhance vision. Therefore, not that I think there would be anything wrong with using even foglights when there is no fog, but some of the time when you see extra lights on a vehicle, they are indeed driving lights.
Anyway, whether people are using their useless stock foglights or are using aftermarket fog or driving lights, I think that auxiliary light are fine as long as they are not the extremely bright off-road lights.
Look at it this way: if the lights are stock fog lights then they will not be that bright and will not blind you as an oncoming driver that much, while if the driver is using aftermarket fog or driving lights which are brighter, than that individual is more likely to actually need them to see the road and is more likely to have them aimed in an oncoming traffic friendly manner.
I have my fog lights and driving lights tied to my main headlights. If it is dark enough outside to need headlights, I want my fog lights or driving lights on as well.
My fog lights are tied to my low beams for one simple reason - SAFETY
I drive a lot at night and having the wide dispersion pattern a fog light puts out keeps the periphery lit up so that I have time to avoid deer, dogs, and suicidal people on the side of the road not to mention unsupervised childeren playing at night. Thankfully, I have avoided several close calls, involving mainly deer and dogs/wolves. Driving at normal speeds (which in town run from 40 to 55mph in my part of the world) with low beams, you run the risk of over running factory low beams and certainly cannot safely clear the median or shoulder of the average road. How many of us have had a deer or dog try to out run the head lights at 90degree angle to our path of travel?
I should also note, that I have a responsibility to ensure my fog lights are not blinding on coming traffic.
The same scenario holds true for driving lights tied to my high beams. Assuming you are driving the legal posted limit of 75mph, how many of us actually over run our factory headlights? Again, this is an issue of safety - either slow down or get better light farther out in front of you. Properly aimed and used, these driving lights do not pose a hazzard to oncoming traffic or the people on my side of the road.
Like you, I am annoyed at people you have improperly aimed HEADLIGHTS, and don't use or adjust the auxillary lighting properly. After nearly escaping a serious automobile accident, I became a firm beliver in high quality and adequate light.
Hitting a semi-truck spare (steel hub facing up) at 75mph can take your life, luckily God was with me that night. Hitting a cow, horse, wolf or, deer crossing ahead of you on a rural highway will at a minimum seriously damage your car but, could take your life and everyone riding with you.
Adequate light, properly aimed and used, can give you the time you need to avoid a potentially life threatening situation.