Is it illegal to use my full beam lights in fog?

DRIVING in the fog can be quite challenging, especially if this is your first time.

Visibility is limited, so it’s important to take measures to protect you and others on the road, including getting familiar with your fog lights.

Driving in fog can be difficult so it's important to take precautions


Driving in fog can be difficult so it’s important to take precautionsCredit: Getty

Is it illegal to use my full beam lights in fog?

In the UK you must have at least one rear fog light, although many cars – especially more expensive models – also have front fog lights.

Use fog lights when driving in fog.

Although it is not a legal requirement, it will make driving on the road easier and safer.

However, remember to turn off the fog lights when the fog clears, as other drivers can be easily dazzled, especially at night.

It’s against the law to drive with fog lights on when it’s not foggy, so don’t go undetected or you could get an unconfirmed Fixed Penalty Notice – no points minus the £ fine 30.

Does my car have fog lights?

Rear fog lights are a legal requirement on all cars.

Front fog lights are only fitted to certain models, often as an aesthetic addition to higher-spec cars.

All new cars have daytime running lights (DRLs) that are also intended to help the vehicle be seen on the road.

The rear fog lights are red lights, similar in brightness to the brake lights, while the front fog lights are usually white or yellow lights.

The difference between fog lights and regular headlights is how they cut through the fog to reduce glare.

Front fog lights designed to illuminate the road should be mounted lower on the vehicle so that they can illuminate below the fog.

Whereas normal headlights don’t slant down in the same way and are mounted higher in the front of the vehicle.

How should I drive in the fog?

Highway code with instructions for driving in the fog. They explain what you should and shouldn’t do when it’s foggy.

Top tips for driving in fog:

  • Use dipped headlights, wipers and visors.
  • Use fog lights when you need to.
  • Beware of other drivers not using headlights.
  • Only drive as fast as conditions allow.
  • Slow down so you can stop at a distance where you can clearly see.
  • Allow 3 seconds instead of 2 seconds between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Check your mirrors before you slow down.
  • Open your windows to listen for traffic at junctions if you can’t see. Is it illegal to use my full beam lights in fog?

Caroline Bleakley

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