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Fog Lamps—Do You Really Need Them?

Fog lamps do not come as standard equipment in most cars. In fact, they’re usually optional and often, these are reserved for the top-of-the-line models. Because of that, fog lamps are often associated with luxury. Be that as it may, there’s actually a lot of confusion regarding how and when to use them. Unlike high- and low-beam headlights which enjoy regular use when the sun goes down, fog lamps are only really useful in very specific situations.

The argument in favor of fog lamps

Fog lamps were introduced to make travel safer during driving situations where visibility was hampered by mist, fog, dust, and other similar particles. The basic argument favoring fog lamps is that the light from regular headlights tend to reflect back in a driver’s eyes. This is because headlights cast a wide beam and are aimed straight ahead. On the contrary, the light from a fog lamp has a steeper angle is more focused, allowing the lamps to pierce through the haze and help drivers have a clearer view of what’s in front of the vehicle.

Usage considerations

Due to the purpose they serve, fog lamps tend to be very bright, which can turn out to be a safety hazard, as it can blind other drivers and cause an accident. With that in mind, fog lamps should only be used when fog, dust, or mist is making it hard to see further ahead, and then only sparingly. Never switch your fog lights on if the weather conditions do not call for it.

Because the lights are at a steeper angle, fog lights can only illuminate the road immediately in front of your vehicle. This makes it extremely risky to drive at high speeds when using only your fog lights. As such, when it is utterly necessary to use your fog lamps, make sure to drive slowly and carefully until you reach your destination.

So who needs fog lamps?

While it may be tempting to use your fog lamps all the time to justify having them, they tend to dilate the pupils in your eyes because of the added brightness that they bring. When your pupils are dilated, you may have trouble seeing the darker portions of the road in front of your vehicle. And again, they can make it harder for oncoming drivers to see. So while using your fog lamps to see right in front of your vehicle may sound sensible on paper, it can potentially be a source of road mishaps.

The fact is, while fog lamps do have their uses, these tend to be very few, and most people can do without them. Unless you actually drive through mist and fog a lot, you can do away with having fog lamps on your vehicle.

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