Road users have been pulled over for not using their fog lights properly
Sign up to FREE email alerts from the Money Saving Club
We have more newsletters
Thick fog is a feature of every cold season in the UK, wreaking havoc for drivers on roads during already icy conditions. Most motorists will opt to use their fog lights to help with the lack of visibility, but it could land you with a £50 fine if done at the wrong time.
The Met Office says fog is essentially a cloud at ground level that causes a reduction in visibility to less than 1000 metres, often prompting weather warnings over travel disruption. Fog lights need to be used at the right times, otherwise you could be a danger to yourself and other drivers.
According to driving laws and the RAC, using them at the wrong time could mean you are breaking the law and endangering other drivers. Road users are also told not to use full beam lights, because the fog reflects the light back, reducing visibility even further.
Read more: Lorry driver cheekily asks for discount on fine after being caught using phone while driving on M1
Before setting off in fog, remember to maintain a greater distance between you and the car in front, four seconds is recommended, demist your windscreen, locate where your fog lights are and learn how to use them.
Stated by the Highway Code, rule 226, the lights should only be used in fog when visibility drops below 100 metres (328 feet), roughly the length of a football pitch. The RAC say that if while driving in fog your car is involved in an accident and you weren't using your fog lights, it could invalidate your car insurance.
The specially designed lights are made to cut through fog and make it as safe as possible to continue to travel, however if you continue to use them while conditions are better you risk dazzling other drivers. The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 prohibits the use of front and rear fog lights when visibility is not reduced or when the vehicle is parked.
Rule 236 of the Highway Code states: "You MUST NOT use front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights."
Reports suggest that while no points are handed out, motorists could be fined between £30 and £50 for not using fog lights or switching them on at the wrong time. Those on the road routinely pulled over for breaching the Highway Code.