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Driver dilemma

How bad does the weather have to be before you use fog lights?

Know the law to avoid a fine.

IT IS IMPORTANT to know how to use fog lights correctly as fog lights improve visibility and make driving safer. However, improper use can endanger other drivers and may land you with a fine for breaking the law.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) carried out a survey and found that 13 per cent of drivers used fog lights inappropriately. The motorists admitted to using their car’s fog lights when there was no fog or falling snow.

The RSA says that “you can only use fog lights in dense fog or falling snow (if you cannot see more than 100 metres – about 25 car lengths)” or roughly the length of a football pitch.

Not using your fog lights when appropriate could impact upon the safety of yourself and those around you when driving.

Front fog lights are designed to help you see better in fog and falling snow and rear fog lights are designed to help others see your car better.

However, you must switch off fog lights when visibility improves as using fog lights in clear weather causes glare and a risk of dazzling other road users. This is why it is a motoring offence to use fog lights inappropriately.

Penalties for misuse of fog lights are €1,000 in the case of a first offence and €2,000 in the case of a second, third or subsequent offence.

Furthermore, if while driving in fog or falling snow your car is involved in an accident and you weren’t using your fog lights, it could invalidate your insurance.

Of course, this only applies if your car is fitted with fog lights as presently fog lights are an optional extra and not a legal requirement on cars.

READ: Review – the Volvo XC40 is stylish, safe and good to drive >

READ: How to drive on a motorway: a numbskull’s guide >

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