When the rear fog lights are switched on, an amber symbol of a right-facing light with wavy lines will illuminate on your dashboard instrument display. The amber rear fog light symbol is used as standard around the world.
How to Turn On the Rear Fog Lights
The rear fog lights switch will vary depending on the model of car, but what will remain consistent is the rear fog lights symbol. You’ll likely find the rear fog lights switch in one of the following places in your car:
Some cars have the rear fog lights switch located on either the left or right steering column stalks. Look for the rear fog lights symbol. In this instance, the rear fog lights switch is on the left indicator lever.
You may find that the rear fog lights have a dedicated button. The rear fog lights button is usually placed around other vehicle lighting functions, but it is occasionally placed somewhere else. If you’re not sure where, just look for the rear fog lights symbol.
Quite often you’ll find the rear fog light switch is part of the rotary function that activates and deactivates other external vehicle lights.
Rear Fog Lights Law
You are not legally required to use your fog lights as there are no laws that state that you must switch on your rear fog lights if visibility is low. However, if your vehicle has rear fog lights fitted, it’s recommended that you switch them on when visibility is around 100 meters or less. How far is 100 meters when driving? 100 meters is approximately the length of a football field.
Using fog lights when visibility improves may obscure your brake lights and will dazzle other drivers, particularly at night and as such, you must switch them off. In the UK, you can receive a fine of £50 if caught using fog lights in clear conditions.
Why are Vehicles Fitted with Rear Fog Lights?
Rear fog lights provide added visibility in bad weather conditions to to following drivers. These bright red lights are designed to sit low down, close to the road where the light cuts through the fog.
Laws regarding the mandatory fitting of rear fog lights vary around the world. For example, cars manufactured in the European Union must have rear fog lights fitted by law. You’ll often see just one rear fog light cluster on a car, but some newer models have two rear fog light clusters simply for aesthetics, yet only the driver’s side fog light is wired up.
The reason why there’s only one rear fog light is so that they can be distinguished from the brake lights. Rear fog lights are red and have a similar intensity to brake lights, so by having two rear fog lights on, it might look like the driver is braking.
For other countries such as the United States, though most European cars sold in the United States have rear fog light installed, rear fog lights are not required by law.