The newer cars are, the more additional options they offer. The interior looks almost like an airplane cockpit: buttons, switches and touchscreens everywhere. So it’s hardly surprising that we lose track of things from time to time. It’s not uncommon for us to wonder which function is active, especially when the icons look similar. Have we switched on the heating or the rear fog light? And how can I tell if the rear fog light is on or if I still have to do that? When may or must I use it at all? We’ll tell you!
What is the rear fog light and when is it needed?
The rear fog light is used on cars to make them more visible in particularly poor visibility conditions. It is a red light located at the rear of the car.
The rear fog light may only be switched on when visibility is less than 50 meters due to fog. In this case, it serves its purpose well: the driver’s own car is more likely to be seen, which keeps the probability of an accident low despite the poor visibility conditions. However, you are not obliged to use the rear fog light. You can therefore do without it with impunity, but you accept a higher risk of rear-end collision.
It should also be noted that switching on the rear fog light in situations other than those described is a traffic offense. This regulation is due to the fact that the light can dazzle following drivers in good visibility conditions – and thus become an accident risk. If you switch it on despite good visibility conditions, you must expect a warning fine of 20 euros. If it can be determined that your rear fog light has endangered other road users, the warning fine increases to 25, and to 35 euros in the event of a resulting accident.
How can I tell if the rear fog light is switched on?
This means that there are two good reasons to check every now and then whether the rear fog light is switched on: in fog, it provides safety, while in clear visibility it provides danger. But how exactly can you check whether it is lit while driving?
Fortunately, no one has to interrupt their journey, get out of the car and walk to the rear of the vehicle. As was indicated in the introduction, there is a switch or button in the car’s control center that is assigned to the rear fog light.
The fact that it is active is usually indicated by a glow, but on older vehicles it is sometimes indicated by the mere position of the switch. In all newer vehicles, the corresponding symbol also appears in a digital display near the speedometer.
The appearance of the rear fog light symbol is standardized. It is yellow in color and shows a stylized headlight on the left side, from which three horizontal lines lead off to the right, intersected in the center by a wavy line running from top to bottom.
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