This is why we need REAR fog lamps

Alaric Darconville

Alaric Darconville

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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:

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.
 
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M

Magio

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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.

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.
 
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jaycee88

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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.
 
Alaric Darconville

Alaric Darconville

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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.
 
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vadimax

vadimax

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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?!
 
Alaric Darconville

Alaric Darconville

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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.
 
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Jimmy_Chimichanga

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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.
 
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-Virgil-

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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.
 
Daniel_sk

Daniel_sk

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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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JasonOk

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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
 
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Bill Idaho

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

Alaric Darconville

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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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