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Thread: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

  1. #31
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    But the problem isn't the lights, it's the misuse of them that bothers me.
    Misuse of lights is rampant. But it's not a reason to disclaim the safety benefit of those lights.

  2. #32

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    It's not just misuse - it's not knowing how or when to use them.

    That said, is the title implying there are still cars *without* rear fog lamps? I did not know that this was a thing :|

  3. #33
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by bemymonkey View Post
    It's not just misuse - it's not knowing how or when to use them.
    Not using them when needing to is a form of misuse.

    That said, is the title implying there are still cars *without* rear fog lamps? I did not know that this was a thing :|
    It's a thing in North America since they're not required by law. It's NOT a thing in UNECE signatories because they ARE required by law.

  4. #34

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Typically, hazard flashers are for stopped vehicles only
    Where I live, and in many places I've lived before, extra-slow vehicles (such as heavily-loaded trucks) use their flashers when they're unable to keep up with the flow speed of traffic on the highway. They do this either because the law requires it or by long-standing custom. It seems to do the job of informing other traffic, closing in at high speed, that this slow-moving vehicle is a hazard that needs to be avoided. It does not seem to confuse other drivers.

    For the most part, it may be safer to *keep moving* than to pull off unless there's a very safe place to pull off-- and then people behind you may yet still try to follow.
    I think that's probably the second-biggest danger (after just plain being plowed into from behind) in severely reduced visibility conditions: the following driver will latch on and cling to you even as you try to pull off the road.

  5. #35

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    I've seen "recent news articles" where the police say some dumb things, and sometimes outright wrong things
    That's an important point, too. My favorite is "Oh, the airbag saved her life" types of statements by responding police officers. Maybe and maybe not, but the thing is, police officers, even dedicated ones who see hundreds and hundreds of traffic collisions every year, are not traffic collision analysts with the training, expertise and equipment needed to support that kind of a statement. Basing recommendations on what we think we understand of what we think we have seen is just human nature; it feels right, but it's often wrong.

  6. #36

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by CeeBee View Post
    You would be hard pressed today to find a modern vehicle in Europe that has a rear fog lamp mounted at a low height of 250mm.
    Have you checked out recent MINI models? The Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ? The VW Beetle?

  7. #37
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Where I live, and in many places I've lived before, extra-slow vehicles (such as heavily-loaded trucks) use their flashers when they're unable to keep up with the flow speed of traffic on the highway. They do this either because the law requires it or by long-standing custom. It seems to do the job of informing other traffic, closing in at high speed, that this slow-moving vehicle is a hazard that needs to be avoided. It does not seem to confuse other drivers.
    That's another good point-- many heavy vehicle drivers routinely do this, and don't confuse other drivers. Going up steep grades at high altitudes (reduced engine power, even with turbo/supercharging), they can be rapidly approached from the rear by faster cars whose drivers may not realize they're approaching that fast. The truck drivers are correctly using these flashers to communicate to operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.

  8. #38

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    Have you checked out recent MINI models? The Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ? The VW Beetle?
    I see that. I wonder if this will be the standard for all new car manufacturers.

  9. #39
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    That's an important point, too. My favorite is "Oh, the airbag saved her life" types of statements by responding police officers.
    Sadly, sometimes it's actually more a case of "the airbag didn't kill her", at least with U.S. airbag systems.

    But as far as the whoppers you hear, others include: "My fog lamps kept me from hitting that deer", "my flashing CHMSL keeps me from getting rear-ended", and "loud pipes save lives!".

    With respect to fog lamps of all kinds, it's important to note that in UNECE signatories, front fog lamps are merely regulated, but rear fog lamps are both regulated and required. (In North America, neither front nor rear fog lamps are Federally-regulated, one of those things we're a little bit behind on. Not to start an argument over which regulatory system is better, by any means.)
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-15-2018 at 02:46 PM.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    That's another good point-- many heavy vehicle drivers routinely do this, and don't confuse other drivers. Going up steep grades at high altitudes (reduced engine power, even with turbo/supercharging), they can be rapidly approached from the rear by faster cars whose drivers may not realize they're approaching that fast. The truck drivers are correctly using these flashers to communicate to operators of other vehicles of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.
    Interesting because when I took CDL training (back in the "crash box transmission" era) we were taught that if you were "15 under" you ran with your flashers on. I thought it was still a standard everywhere but apparently not.
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  11. #41

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by zespectre View Post
    Interesting because when I took CDL training (back in the "crash box transmission" era) we were taught that if you were "15 under" you ran with your flashers on. I thought it was still a standard everywhere but apparently not.
    Out of curiosity, I flipped through my state's driver's manual and it makes no mention of the use of hazard lights anywhere. So someone just learning how to drive would need a more experienced driver to advise them on how and when to use them, or they would need to rely on their own common sense.

  12. #42
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycee88 View Post
    Out of curiosity, I flipped through my state's driver's manual and it makes no mention of the use of hazard lights anywhere.
    What state are you in? A paper manual? They might say "emergency flashers", that's what the Oklahoma Driver Manual says. Other states might say "emergency lights". Find the .PDF of your state's driver's manual and search for such words/phrases as "hazard", "emergency", "flasher", "4-way flashers" or something.

    Stopping
    • If you have a breakdown, an emergency, or have to stop for some reason, signal,
    then pull off to the extreme right shoulder away from moving traffic where
    it’s safe. Turn on your emergency flashers.
    PARKING ON A HIGHWAY
    Where parking is permitted, signal, slow down, and drive completely off the
    pavement or the main traveled part of the roadway.
    If your vehicle breaks down, move it completely off the highway. Turn on the
    emergency flashers.
    New York State says
    STEERING FAILURE - If your vehicle suddenly will not respond when you steer,
    slowly take your foot off the gas pedal, turn on your emergency lights and keep your
    foot off the brake pedal while it is safe to do so. The balance of the vehicle will allow it
    to continue going straight, but a sudden change in speed could send it out of control.
    As the vehicle decreases speed, you can brake very carefully to bring it to a stop.
    (Emphasis mine)

    Also:

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycee88 View Post
    So someone just learning how to drive would need a more experienced driver to advise them
    Come on, be realistic. Isn't that's how they learn to drive in the first place? They might even have "Driver's Ed" in high school. Or go to a driving school.

    We're not talking about how to operate and maintain your radiacmeter: It's just "Hazard Lights". If somene gets curious about the funky button on the dashboard they can look it up in the owner's manual. It doesn't need 1.5hrs of instructor-led training to figure this out.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-15-2018 at 04:52 PM.

  13. #43

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    What state are you in?
    I don't know what state he is in but the GA drivers manual only makes 3 references to hazard lights. Of particular interest is this section.
    If possible, avoid driving in heavy fog. If you
    must drive, follow these guidelines:
    Reduce driving speed;
    Reduce speed further when you see headlights
    or red tail lights. These indicate the
    presence of another vehicle and, due to fog,
    it may be more difficult to accurately judge
    the distance between your vehicle and others;
    Dim your headlights. Bright lights produce a
    glare in heavy fog, actually making it more
    difficult to see than when using regular
    headlights;
    Do not drive with parking or hazard lights on.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Come on, be realistic. Isn't that's how they learn to drive in the first place? They might even have "Driver's Ed" in high school. Or go to a driving school.

    We're not talking about how to operate and maintain your radiacmeter: It's just "Hazard Lights". If somene gets curious about the funky button on the dashboard they can look it up in the owner's manual. It doesn't need 1.5hrs of instructor-led training to figure this out.
    There was a documentary I watched a while ago. In one episode a police officer spotted a vehicle driving with no headlights on late at night. He stopped the vehicle and it was 2 young women in the vehicle who didn't know how to turn on the vehicles headlights. The police officer had to show them how to use their headlights while they were beside the highway. Knowing when and how to use your headlights is a lot simpler than knowing when to use your hazards. That is something that they should have been taught before they even got their drivers license and the DMV officer who issued their license to them should have made sure they understood all vehicle functions before issuing the license. There are a lot of things that may seem simple to us but other people may not know and it should be the governments job to do its best to insure that drivers are informed about their vehicles before issuing a drivers license, and not just assume people know stuff or that they will look in their owners manual to figure it out.

  14. #44

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    What state are you in? A paper manual? They might say "emergency flashers", that's what the Oklahoma Driver Manual says. Other states might say "emergency lights". Find the .PDF of your state's driver's manual and search for such words/phrases as "hazard", "emergency", "flasher", "4-way flashers" or something.
    New York. I was searching the driver's manual PDF using the term 'hazard light' and only found one occurrence, in the 'Move Over Act' section, which states: 'This law requires every driver to exercise care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency or hazard vehicle that is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder or any portion of the highway with its emergency lights or one or more amber hazard lights activated.'

    After searching for 'emergency lights' at your suggestion and finding a few other occurrences of it in the text, I realized by 'emergency lights' they meant what we're referring to as 'hazards', and by 'hazard lights' they mean some other set of (amber) lights that presumably only emergency/hazard vehicles have.

    At any rate, the manual advises the use of emergency lights (hazards) to warn other drivers of deer near the road, in the event of steering failure, headlight failure (so as to provide some amount of illumination to see by), or blocked vision (the example they give is the hood suddenly opening).

    In the 'driving in fog' section, they mention using fog lamps if available (and even mention what rear fog lamps are for), but don't mention any alternative for making one's vehicle more visible to the following motorist in the absence of rear fog lamps, such as using the hazards. There's also no mention of using the hazards when you're operating your vehicle substantially slower than other traffic for whatever reason, even though doing so might be 'common sense' to some.


    Come on, be realistic. Isn't that's how they learn to drive in the first place? They might even have "Driver's Ed" in high school. Or go to a driving school.
    Yes, that's true. But it's nice to have useful advice/tips down in writing somewhere to reference. I had a driver's ed class in high school, and went to driving school, but I can remember them only ever mentioning using hazards when stopped by the side of the road, and not for other potentially hazardous situations like severe fog.

  15. #45
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycee88 View Post
    After searching for 'emergency lights' at your suggestion and finding a few other occurrences of it in the text, I realized by 'emergency lights' they meant what we're referring to as 'hazards'...

    At any rate, the manual advises the use of emergency lights (hazards) to warn other drivers of deer near the road, in the event of steering failure, headlight failure (so as to provide some amount of illumination to see by), or blocked vision (the example they give is the hood suddenly opening).
    "Blocked vision" -- well, fog can do that. It impairs your ability to see around you, and others' ability to see you.

    In the 'driving in fog' section, they mention using fog lamps if available (and even mention what rear fog lamps are for), but don't mention any alternative for making one's vehicle more visible to the following motorist in the absence of rear fog lamps, such as using the hazards. There's also no mention of using the hazards when you're operating your vehicle substantially slower than other traffic for whatever reason, even though doing so might be 'common sense' to some.
    Well, I'd call those deficiencies in the manual then. Ultimately, the hazard flashers are an important means of communicating with other drivers, and omissions in a state's driver manual are not proof that using hazard flashers in the fog is a bad idea.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-16-2018 at 10:01 AM.

  16. #46
    Flashaholic* vadimax's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    I guess fog lamps do not heal human stupidity: you drive and, “suddenly” (you cannot do not notice thick fog, right?), you see nothing. And, of course, you think: this road is usually full of traffic and I will continue to drive blindly because what can possibly go wrong?!

  17. #47
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by vadimax View Post
    I guess fog lamps do not heal human stupidity: you drive and, “suddenly” (you cannot do not notice thick fog, right?), you see nothing. And, of course, you think: this road is usually full of traffic and I will continue to drive blindly because what can possibly go wrong?!
    They still at least help the people behind them-- the rear fog lamp helps indicate the presence of the car to other drivers at a greater distance than without them.

  18. #48

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    I have seen audis & jaguars with rear fogs enabled in absolutely clear conditions, probably oblivious of the extra switch position.

    My friend installed a rear fog in his vw golf tail lights & an officer pulled him over thinking his brake light wouldn't turn off.

  19. #49

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmy_Chimichanga View Post
    My friend installed a rear fog in his vw golf tail lights & an officer pulled him over thinking his brake light wouldn't turn off.
    What kind of an install did your friend do? "Installed a rear fog in his VW Golf tail lights" could mean he activated the function using parts designed for the job, could mean he drilled holes and hacked in some kind of a random bulb, could mean something else...what did he do?

    Leaving that aside for the moment and assuming he actually added a real rear fog lamp (not just a random red light), he ran into another problem that is an unfortunate fact of life in America: people in positions of authority don't necessarily know all the information they are supposed to know. I was sitting in a service station's waiting area a couple of years ago waiting for an oil change to be done and paging through one of those car repair shop trade magazines -- it might have been SSGM. There was an article about how to de-escalate confrontations with upset customers, and one of the cases involved a customer who was upset because one of the items on the work order, a burned out rear fog light bulb, had not been fixed. The author of the article said something like "This could have been avoided before it began by gently educating the customer when the car was first brought in. That item should never have been on the work order to begin with, because there is no such thing as a 'rear fog light'".

    Unfortunately, a police officer who's not a lighting expert can write a ticket based on what they think they understand, even if it's wrong.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    I think the rear fog lamps are mandatory in Europe (or at least most countries in Europe). In Slovakia they are mandatory since 1985. I find them very helpful in thick fog - it really helps to notice a car in front of you much much sooner. Most of the drivers know how to use them. I think the benefits outweigh any negatives here (e.g. some people forget to turn them off, but it's not like it's going to blind you :-)).
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  21. #51
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel_sk View Post
    I think the rear fog lamps are mandatory in Europe (or at least most countries in Europe).
    Mandatory in every UNECE signatory.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-20-2018 at 08:24 AM.

  22. #52

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    We need more awareness and more concern for others here in the states.(seems like everybody has got theirselves in such a hurry its all about them and what they have to do today vs. everybody having a successful day). Yes rear fogs will help so should turning on hazards to indicate a danger, however i think culture has alot to do with it

  23. #53

    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Are there any states in the US where rear fog lights are specifically prohibited?

  24. #54
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: This is why we need REAR fog lamps

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill, Idaho View Post
    Are there any states in the US where rear fog lights are specifically prohibited?
    While some states regulate them (Oklahoma is one that comes to mind), I'm not sure any proscribe their use (and none can proscribe their presence). Most don't mention them (Washington State doesn't). The states can regulate their use, but not their presence on a vehicle. This is because new vehicles with rear fog lamps are made that the manufacturers certify as compliant with FMVSS 108, therefore it is the entire vehicle that is compliant, despite having lamps not required by Federal law.

    Correctly wired up and correctly *used*, it should never become a problem.

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