Since 7th February 2011, all new EU cars and small vans must have dedicated daytime running lights (DRLs), to improve road safety but a survey by the RAC shows these lights cause unintended confusion for some drivers.
While all new vehicles must have daytime running lights at the front, they aren’t mandatory at the rear and this issue is what appears to be causing confusion and annoyance for road users.
Daytime running lights are lights fitted into a car’s existing headlights and taillights. The lights shine white at the front and red at the rear. These lights began in Nordic countries with low light levels during winter and, in 1977, Sweden was the first country to make them mandatory. Seven years later, the Volvo 240 became the first vehicle on UK roads with DRLs.
Studies show that DRLs can reduce the risk of road accidents; a 2008 American study on the effectiveness of DRLs on road safety reported only a 0.3% reduction in collisions while a 2003 EU investigation suggested a reduction in multi-party collisions of between 5% and 15%.
Research by the RAC now shows that many drivers don’t turn on their dipped lights or sidelights in dull driving conditions, perhaps assuming, because they have DRLs on at the front, the same applies to the rear lights.
In a RAC Opinion Panel survey of 2,061 motorists, 62% said they saw cars and vans driving around in dull overcast conditions with lights on at the front of their vehicles, but with unlit rear lights.
When asked whether the car they drive most often had DRLs, and if so, were they fitted to the front and/or back of the vehicle, survey respondents answered in the following ways:
Vehicle has no DRLs: 47%
Vehicle has front DRLs only: 29%
Vehicle has both front and rear DRLs: 14%
Vehicle has front DRLs, but driver uncertain if the car had rear DRLs: 8%
‘A very worrying finding’
Head of PR and External Affairs at RAC, Pete Williams said of the Opinion Panel survey results:
“This is potentially a very worrying finding as it implies that many drivers are driving without any rear lights believing that because they have running lights that switch on automatically at the front, they are also on at the rear.
“Alternatively, and arguably just as concerning, these drivers could simply have decided the light conditions were not bad enough to merit turning on their dipped lights or sidelights.
“While daytime running lights are clearly bringing a very valuable safety benefit to the UK’s roads, it would be good for every driver to take just a few minutes to make sure they know whether the vehicles they drive have them or not. And if they do, then check to see if they have them at the rear as well as the front. That way those that don’t have them at the back will be far more likely in poor daylight visibility to switch on their dipped lights to make their vehicle more easily seen from behind.
“We strongly urge everyone to carry out this check as those few minutes could make an important road safety difference.”
Dazzled by science
Fitting DRLs isn’t essential—vehicles produced before February 2011 do not need retrofitting—but fitting them may prevent an accident. If you want to fit DRLs in your car, you can choose from various aftermarket kits—look for an embossed approval mark on the lamp containing the letters ‘RL’. If you’re fitting DRLs, install them, so they come on with the engine and go off when you switch on the headlights. The lamps should come with fitting instructions but contact a qualified auto electrician if you’re in any doubt about fitting them. You might, instead, use your car’s existing sidelights during the daytime although they won’t be as bright as DRLs.
It is becoming more common for DRLs to contain light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LED lights consume little energy, which helps keep fuel consumption as low as possible. Using DRLs instead of driving with headlights or sidelights also means that rear lights and instrument lights aren’t on during the day.
LED DRLs are brighter, making them easier to spot in daylight. Manufacturers designed DRLs to make cars more obvious to other road users in daylight conditions, not to illuminate the road ahead.
Daytime running lights switch on when the engine is running. They should usually switch off when you turn off the main headlights but if yours don’t, make sure you turn your DRLs off when it’s dark, or they will dazzle other road users.
Although the UK has never brought in a rule requiring daytime use of headlights, your lights are an important part of your visibility on the road. By checking your car’s bulbs often you protect yourself and other road users.
Does your car have daytime running lights? Are you aware if your vehicle has them fitted at the rear, too? Are DRLs a problem? Share your opinion in the comments.
Its taken several years to discover this, what do the powers that be not with their vast intelligence (or lack of common sense) not think about this before patting themselves on their backs. Give me common sense anyday.
What is common sense? I think it’s been bred out!
I was taught (back in the late 70’s) that, if it was dull enough to need a flash on a camera, it was dull enough to put on side lights. My instructor erred on the side of caution and said that if you put on side lights, it was better to put main lights on (dipped). I have always followed this policy even though my latest car is the first to have DRLs. My biggest bugbear is the (illegal) use of fog lights. Drivers switch them on when not necessary, then forget to switch them off. WHY have the vehicle manufacturers not fitted this lighting circuit with a similar sort of switching system as rear & front screen heater/demisters? Then, when you turn the engine off, the fog lights are switched off, requiring the need to be physically turned on again, when needed. These lights, by their very nature, need to be very intense, causing problems for oncoming drivers when there is no fog. Also, why is this never pointed out by the Police, as it is actually illegal to have fog lights on when they are not needed?
Police? Don’t make me laugh. The number of vehicles racing around on one headlight at night would keep them employed for 24 hours at a time. They’re not bothered and I suspect this is policy not laziness.
and many of them ARE police vehicles!
That is absolute rubbish Pete !!, If that was the case how could they enforce the law if their vehicles were in an unroadworthy condition. At the end of the day bulbs can fail anytime and i suspect the police don’t pull every car because in the main the haven’t the resources to deal with that because of the endless funding cuts. It is time to stop knocking the Police and NHS staffas they are incredible people who do a enormous amount with a very little resources and funding. Maybe the public ought to be less self centred and less demanding on the Police & NHS resources expecting to have everything done right now and reduce the strain. Niether has an endless supply of money so stop knocking them
Michael Craw, perhaps they could ask to show the driver has spare bulbs (like in france or germany), if they dont know how to change it on the spot you have 7d to go to nearest police station and show you have changed your light bulbs
I dunderstand police are understaffed. but it take few examples to maintain some levels of compliance
A lot of modern vehicles have to be partially dismantled to change a bulb and some require a special tool as well. It costs over £100.00 to change a light bulb on some Renault cars so try that at the roadside
Do not buy the Renault – or get roadside assisstance. Also it is an offence to not have them in some European countries, you are not required to have to change them
Our local Renault dealer found the solution to that problem – they recruited a petite mechanic who can get her hands into spaces her butch colleagues can’t. Their secret weapon for dealing with cramped engine bays!
The first thing I do when I get a new vehicle is put together a full set of spare bulbs, normally 2 of each. I also make sure I can access all the bulbs and carry the tools to do it so I can change them mid journey if they fail. I also think the construction and use regulations should have made manufacturers design all lights so bulbs can be easily accessed by the owner at the roadside. My Peugeot requires the whole front end /bumper be removed to access front flasher bulbs, they state requires 1.5 hours labour, car on ramp and 2 fitters to remove inner wings, front end with 16 bolts, disconnect fog lamps then remove headlamp to access flasher bulb then refit everything. Some cars I understand require diagnostics computer to change some bulbs or battery, this is unfit for purpose but as an MP never bothers to do such jobs themselves they don’t understand and regulate against these designs. It should be introduced in UK law making many EU produced cars illegal to import into UK but darn’t upset EU. Any such bulb should have to be changed for free by their main dealers then they would redesign. How do you change the fancy new LED lights or headlights at roadside, should have to have the car recovered by transporter as illegal to continue driving.
Absolutely Contax. My first motorcycle required one screwdriver to remove headlamp lens, 5 mins top to change any bulb on the ‘bike. My first cars you could reach the rear bulb clusters from inside the boot to change them. Not everything improves with technology.
Yep so did mine but I also had to remove them regularly as they got nicked if I did not., still totally agree £5 for Bulbs £120 for labout? its a no brainer.
The rear light on my car is all LED and each side has two sections, the main sections are £150 each and come in a box the size of a tea chest. France was I think the first country to demand carrying a set of bulbs and Renault were the first company to make bulb changing an garage job. All very logical. My b***h is the new blue white lights that leave oncoming drivers blind for the next two miles.
That’ll be the LED headlights, which I agree are stupidly bright and unnecessary.
My Range Rover has xenon lights which aren’t as bad as the new ones.
2clips and a wiggle and headlights and the whole headlight is out in a few minutes, job done.
I found Range Rovers to be one of the worse cars (a few years ago). New ones are worse and largely on a par with Minis. Thank goodness Vauxhall Corsas tend to only have halogen bulbs.
Rubbish. LED Headlights are NOT ridiculously bright!
Try reading the Official MoT Regulations. It is xenon bulbs that are the problem. That’s why there are very tight regulations on retrofitting xenon headlights, but less tight regulations on retrofitting LED Headlights.
Xenon headlights must have a functioning beam height adjustment. That’s because of these lights being very dazzling if incorrectly adjusted.
With both LED and Xenon, it is illegal to upgrade by just fitting an upgrade bulb. You must fit a new reflector, else the beam is incorrectly focused. And for xenon, this also requires the adjustment mechanism is tested.
See MoT testers handbook
Spot on, however it is easy to maintain and remove but the reflector adjustment takes a bit of getting right if housing changed
All of the lamps on my MG 6 can be changed easily either from under the Bonnet or inside the tailgate. Besides Halfords will change most bulbs for a fiver extra, even my HID headlights, which don’t blind oncoming drivers as my fully functioning self levelling system stops that. You will probably find that it’s vehicles with them fitted illegally that are blinding you, and those vehicles wont pass the new MOT as mine has.
If you believe they work you must be on a very flat roads with very small bumps and no big bends in them, sorry but the MOT will not pick this up as they are looking at straight on only.
Yes. Compounded by the square design of modern headlights, which gives more corners to send the beam into other drivers’ eyes.
Yeah but be honest, how many bulbs have you had to change in your life? I’ve 2 cars an 3 motorcycles, always have at least 1 car 1 bike for the last 26 years an I’ve had 1 headlight bulb, a brake light, an a couple of indicator bulbs. Hell my bmw has LED lights an hid headlights. In ten years I’ve had a head light bulb. So really your on a none argument. My bike is 13 years old with 25000miles an all the bulbs it came from the factory with. Battery lasted 9 years! My mother’s 1995 Nissan Micra only had 2 indicator bulbs until it was scrapped last year with all original lights still in!
I have Mercedes C Class and the poor design of access to front lamps makes it virtually impossible to change a sidelight bulb without dismantling the front of the car. This is what comes of modern manufacturers making it virtually impossible to do routine maintenance. If you cant do routine maintenance the car should not be allowed on the road in my view.
As for self driving cars if there is an accident who actually is responsible the driver or the manufacturer
I have a 2017 Seat Leon I was informed that the LED lights fitted will last at least 1000 hours. He also said that I was not required to have spare bulbs for France.
They may last a long time but going by the household LED lights I have bought over the years that have failed it puts me off, I think most of the problems have been due to dry solder joints but the new LED filament bulbs are great improvement. Normal car bulbs seem to last a long time now, had a Micra with no bulbs changed in 13 years and original Panasonic battery, have not had to change a bulb on last 2 cars for over 12 years so hope I stay lucky.
Good idea, but in Essex the nearest station is about 20 miles away due to stations being closed/sold-off, and public counters are being closed too. Actually trying to keep up with the changes makes it difficult to find just where you can report.
Too applied in Spain also, spare bulb no ticket, indeed it was not unusual for
a civil guard to change the bulb for you. They came to a little common sense and changed the law, realising that the average motorist cannot easily change a light bulb on modern car. So it is not an offence to have a blown bulb or a spare.
My Kia Rio needed the back panelling taken out to change a rear light bulb 20 minute job.
Where I lived in the Netherlands, there would be a weekly announcement about police crackdowns for the following week. Next week might be car headlamps. This made everyone check their lights and replace any defective bulbs. As it was only a cheap defective bulb that’d get you stopped, it was affordable for even the poorest motorist. But fail to replace that bulb, and the police would drag you in for a full MoT. That could result in your car being crushed. By focusing on one affordable thing at a time, police resources could cope, and drivers knew it was sensible to repair affordable defects rather than risk the high probability of being stopped. You wouldn’t want to be the only driver in the area who hadn’t bought a new £5 bulb, as you’d most definitely get pulled over.
You are right Police vehicles are well maintained and checked. Unfortunately not so much the driving or parking, and this is not a training issue. So many vehicles of our emergency services block access improperly and cause obstruction when there is not an emergency it is a bigger problem that oiks doing so in some places. And the illegal u turns, parking on pavements going down the wrong side etc all minor aggravating and low level safety issue causing driving is becoming epidemic. Is it any wonder everyone else is doing this when that is the example.
I’ve seen Ambulances with one headlamp too. Thought such professional drivers would check their vehicles before driving and it’s not like you can’t tell is it, pull up behind another vehicle and there’s the answer right in front of them ? Headlamp reflection!
Well Ian, Has a bulb never blown whilst you have been driving that has not been in perfect working order when you checked it before you started driving that is assuming you check your bulbs every time before you drive.? That means every time you get into your car.
Lets just hope Ian that you aren’t in desperate need of an ambulance and the Paramedics pull over the roadside and stop and do nothing further because a headlamp bulb has blown. Which is more important ? Saving a life or worrying about a bulb that may have blown on the way to an emergency ? I know which i would rather have !!
I have seen two cars at least for the last two weeks with one headlight and front knobhead lights on…………..NO excuse…………….
Knobhead lights. What a great name.
One headlight on a car is extremely dangerous. Recently I was driving past parked cars and saw what I thought was s motorcycle only to find I nearly collided with a car with only the nearside headlight on and no offside headlight or side light. Please check all your lights are working.
Most modern cars have a blown build circuit that informs you when a bullish blown.
Yes I had a Galaxy that warned me about blown light bulbs, but unfortunately as I later found out it does not check all the bulbs so you still need to check occasionally
What an idiot response – On that basis what is more important – ensuring you can see at night and not run over pedestrians and thereby overload A+E with not just the patient you are carrying but the ones you have run over also? This could a member of your family or even yourself. Lucky that Ambulance Services personnel have more sense.
Conscientous and trained drivers of Amulances actually do take the Ambulance out of services for safety reasons. likely logical reasonS for a bust headlight is that it is either a decommissioned one or one returning to the depot having been taken out of service.
All ambulance crews are required to do a full vehicle inspection prior to the beginning of their shift. This is not only an inspection of lights,/ blue and siren, oil, indicators, brakes, steering bodywork. In addition all emergency medical equipment and medications..The vehicle defect book is also checked, logged and noted, with any defects entered.
I was once driving along a country road (ie no street lighting) when an ambulance came towards me with all the blue lights on. It was so dazzling that I couldn’t see the perimeter of the road on either side. I had to slow down and ease to my left to feel the grass edging to the road to know I was as far to the left as possible – not to far, or even straddling, the centre of the road!
Dave – happened to me – if you looked at the lights to quick and close in the dark it can be hard for your eyes to adust back as it hampers your night vision. But might also be worthwhile getting your vision at night checked or have anti glare strips put on windshield etc. The light intensity on Police and Amulance Vehicles are standard.
Police vehicles or not, the state of the nation is the problem. The Police should be setting the standard is they are to correct the common driver. On the roads now, we have people that can hardly understand their native language let alone read a car manual.. Car ownership is something that should be taken seriously. Unfortunately in this country anything goes. I spent 25 years on the road, only removing myself a couple of years ago due to a new role. The lack of understanding on the roads is astounding!!!
I told a police driver he had a light out once, he thanked me and immediately called in that he was returning to the garage. Fair enough I say.
Me too. They (Thanes Valley) were grateful and apologetic and very polite. They returned immediately to the station.
Police cars are highly maintained and have their own workshop, so all they do is pop in and a technician will change the bulb, wiper or anything else needed. I know this as I worked for a Police workshop for 10 years.
But as they say when nicking you for a bulb out, you should have checked them before you left sir.
Who’s to say they weren’t working when you set out? 🤨
Sorry but if I am driving with two lights and then only one there is a big difference. If you cannot notice that – should you be driving? Appreciate the evidentiary legal point – but seriously?
In the very earlier 80’s I had the journey from he’ll because of fog even with fog lights it was very difficult to see. I then arrived in Dalkeith where the police stopped me as I had forgotten to turn my fog lights off! They also advised me to turn off front ones when I am behind another car & to do the same with rear ones when a car was behind me. I have followed this advice from that point but very few other drivers do the same & I hate being blinded by either when I am driving it is dangerous!!
It’s not just fog lights or high intensity rear lights, as they like to call them, which are annoying, have people forgotten to use the handbrake when stationary at traffic lights, road works, junctions etc. instead of sitting with their foot on the brake, causing the brake lights to blind the drivers behind. The IAM recommend applying the handbrake when it is obvious that the vehicle will be stationary for more than five seconds.
This is the curse of the start stop engine & electronic parking brake.
Some of these cars urge you into holding the brake on
Ha – some time ago I was at Junction 10 on the M25 stopped on the inside lane in a fog bank with outer lanes slowing when a car from the outside lane came straight across and ploughed into the back of me. (car hadno fog lights on at all) I was able to move a little forward and use breaks to lessen the impact but the back was seriously caned.
The local Police car on the humped area a few yards away came over and asked the driver to move their car over as it was still able to move mine was a bit trashed as was I. Anyway my car was carted one way myself another, the other drives reason for the crash was that they were up all night with the kids and were tired and late for work.
The most interesting thing about this was not even did the person drive unfit and with no fog lights on in a fog bank in October or even that they did not actually have any insurance as they had not completed the application on the insurance after the first month and so had lapsed. It was the letter from the local Police were not taking any action against the driver and that the officers there were not independent witnesses. I have kept that letter and also a framed copy in my car.
It is good to know that not all Police Authorities are the same, there are good and conscientious ones out there, perhaps the others are just let down by senior officers and the Home Office interpretation of Policy and priorities who forget that law and its enforcement is not a pick and mix sweet shop.
Would be good to know whe’re you live Pete. There are none round here due thanks to the current government, and the few that are left are demoralised and vulnerable with lack of back up in violent sitauctions.
Yep – welcome to the Greater London Metropolitan Police Area, or in fact any high populated area oh and Northumberland
Some people just drive with side lights on when pitch black at 5pm and rain….but yes quite a lot of van n cars with one light working….
Read the highway code.
If there are street lights and they are on, then it is only a requirement to have sidelights on.
Please get a upto date highway code very soon.
Yep for reference section 4 – 113 – 116, Interesting how many people still use hazards to park illegally and block access also
ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise
use headlights at night, except on a road which has lit street lighting. These roads are generally restricted to a speed limit of 30 mph (48 km/h) unless otherwise specified.
You should also
use dipped headlights, or dim-dip if fitted, at night in built-up areas and in dull daytime weather, to ensure that you can be seen
Geoff – Not Sunrise & Sunset…it’s 30 minutes BEFORE sunrise & 30 minutes AFTER Sunset. That’s the Law about Lighting-Up-Time.
I thought that was an automatic MOT fail!
Judging by the numbers missing one, or more, lights there must be many testing stations ignoring it!
Nope just cars that fail MOTs and no Police enforcement in those areas – or perhaps Police Commissioners have prioritised other targets like theft – oops no perhaps burglary – nooo not there either, mugging ooohh still no – I know Celebrity Crime.
If you think I am kidding last month a person was being chased for multiple theft from cars, it was reported whilst in progress there was two cctv filmage photo’s and eyewitness. the person reporting was told there was no one avaialble to assist. the case and crime was closed the afternoon of the same day. This is not a one off instance either and it is not the Police’s fault, they are as frustrated as the public are.
The police are not interested in traffic related matters unless it involves an injury accident (or is that “collision” now?).
Not even then – I kid you not – 3 cases of injusry and driving away – no responseavailable and they were told to report it at local station (which is closed) or download a form and fill it out (no internet in that area)
I quite agree, even in daylight you see idiots driving on fog lights, if it was a small mandatory fine, this would pay for the extra police patrols, same with illegal number plates, there are many hundreds in my area alone with illegal plates, the fines one these would pay for many more police patrols. These people are so blatant and I often see police vehicles following these people with no action from them whatsoever.
Yes, they need to get all illegally-spaced and incorrect-font number-plates off the road. If the plates are not of the correct font and spacing, they cannot be read consistently by ANPR cameras, or remembered by a person in the event of a “drive-off” accident.
I seem to remember from a few years ago that the standard fine (with no points) for dodgy number-plates was £30, everytime it was encountered if it had not been replaced. To get these vehicles through MOT they must be swapping them temporarily for the test, otherwise they would be failed by the MOT tester, or don’t they bother looking at the number-plates.?
Every day I see several vehicles with outrageously spaced and “messed about with” number-plates that should not be on the road.
In case anyone says anything about foreign plates being able to avoid ANPR, ANPR cameras can capture them, but would not necessarily be able to automatically look them up.
Been stopped twice by police for having a headlight bulb gone. First time I was breathalysed too (it was near Christmas and I was wearing an elf outfit!). Luckily I hadn’t had a drop. However I’m in Pembrokeshire where I think the police are hot on road policing as they have little else to occupy them.
there just isn’t enough police around to deal with these offences as well as other crimes, since the government cut backs
It might be policy in as much as their having even more serious offences to deal with.
Tory cuts to policing. During last labour government. Plenty traffic police. Stopped three times ( in different cars) for blown headlight. Given warning, and ticket with producer to get bulb changed. Change bulb, got to MOT station to get it certified working then produce at police station. No further police action.
It is only rear fog lights that dazzle. The lights at the front are normally no brighter than dipped headlights and are located near the ground. They are fairly useless in fog and really serve little purpose but they certainly don’t generally dazzle in my experience.
Rear Fog lights in my opinion if you can see the vehicle behind then using rear fogs makes it more likely to get rear ended because the person behind may not see your brakelights in time.
If there’s someone behind turn ’em off.
If someone is following so close behind he cant stop in an emergency when I do then I suggest he needs to “back off”
Surely that would be the offence of ‘tailgating’?
Foglights are brighter than brake lights and the cause you to not be able to see the brake lights but you are completely spot on, Driving too close equals not stopping in time
All the cars I have had use 21w bulb in rear fog light same as brake lights, in fact on my Bipper the tail light has what was tail/brake bulb whis is now tail/rear fog light with single 21w bulb in separate brake lights all at high level to dazzle driver behind, makes it harder to see brake lights, should put fog lights lower down not close to other lights.
They used to be the same wattage 21 where sidelights were 5, not sure about now
Agreed – while foglights can be distracting and annoying for other drivers, thay can be downright dangerous for motorcyclists, especially when it’s wet and raindrops on our visors refract the light from bright lights, so that we can barely see anything. The same applies to badly adjusted headlights – please THINK BIKE!
If you have an accident when your visor is wet, does that constitute ‘Driving without Due Car and Attention’ or ‘Careless Driving’? Not trying to be cheeky, but how do you clear a visor when its rainng and your moving ae speed?
Front fog lights do dazzle.
Both front and rear fog lights are subject to the same conditions for use.
They are fog lights and not I just like to have them on because I don’t care about anybody else lights.
They are not DRLs as the focal distance is for use in fog and falling snow.
Further information can be found in the highway code, and from the chap in the brightly coloured car with the blue lights if they want a reason to stop you.
I’ve been delighted with my front foglights. Driving home at night on unlit, unmarked single track rural roads which often have 30cm drainage ditches in the verges, it’s very useful to see where the tarmac ends and the grass/mud begins.
Then you are using the illegally and could be fined. They must ONLY be used when visibility is less than 110 yards (110 metres) and at no other time.
Thing is Megan if it is NOT foggy and you are using your fog lights you are breaking the law and if the long of the law wants to you could be pulled in and receive a fine and possibly points.
I think you will find that car manufacturers have got wise to that.
They do not list them as ‘fog lights’ but as ‘driving lights’.
It is not illegal to use ‘driving lights’ in the manner described by Megan. I do the same, although I do turn them off if there is an approaching vehicle.
if they are lower than 18 inches they they should be used only in fog and falling snow.
Here’s an interesting point, many new cars have front fog/driving lights (what ever you want to call them) that turn on on one side when the indicators on that side are switched on.
The law was always centre of beam must be at least 19″ from ground to use as normal driving lights, just calling them driving lights, fog lights or spot lights does not alter this regulation so the ones fitted low down can only be legally used in fog or falling snow with visibility below 100 metres. I know this first hand as when driving HGV’s the police years ago used to do us for it.
It’s not illegal to use them (driving lamps), but they must only operate when headlamps are on main beam and be extinguished when lights are dipped. If in a modern car on main beam you still have trouble seeing you either need to get your headlamp aim checked, or your eyes tested. No I’m not being flippant.
Although this is illegal I can understand your point, my small van has fancy headlights high up so don’t light the road directly in front of vehicle very well so fog lamps help see road edge and potholes. I considered a pair of driving lamps with centres above 19″ so can be used legally on rural roads I drive on most of time but with modern vehicles and plastic front end they are hard to mount.
Would that be a Citroën Nemo/Peugeot Bipper/Fiat Fiorino? I’ve got the Fiat version and know what you mean. Osram Nightbreaker bulbs have improved things for me slightly. The front fog lights on this van do help you too see the road edge and pot holes.
Personally I’ve never found “factory fit” front fog lights to be dazzling, but rear fogs definitely are and can obscure brake lights.
Hi Stu, i’m glad it’s not only me that finds them poor but i love the Bipper otherwise as great for gtting in and out with osteoarthritis, 206SW was a lovely car with angel eye headlights but struggled to get in and out with my problem.
Without wishing to be rude, do your headlights need adjusting? I drive on all sorts of roads including single-track lanes , and never use my front fog-lights.
Sounds like another Theresa May.
Well that is better that sounding like Jeremy Corbyn !!
Brake lights can dazzle of course, for driver behind, in traffic queue etc. Especially at night, in the rain, fog etc. Put the handbrake on if pulled up for anything more than a moment.
The automatic parking brake whether activated or not will illluminate the rear brake lights as the vehicle is start/ stop and automatic it can’t be changed
About time it should be then. Stupid setup.
Keith is absolutely right re brake lights!
Rear brake lights dazzle as well. That’s why the Highway COode Rule 114 tells you not to sit stationary with your foot on the brake pedal for more than just a few seconds. The handbrake is NOT just a parking brake but for use whenver the vehicles is stationary for a few seconds. When a pause becoms a wait then use the handbrake. Manufacturers are misleading drivers.
My automatic ‘ECO’ vehicle only shuts off the engine when stationary, in Drive and the foot brake is depressed i.e. at traffic lights or in traffic jams. Anything else starts the engine!
Whoever thought that DL running lights should only be at the front needs their head examined. Agreed; it is rear fog lights that dazzle more but also dazzling is the practise of keeping brake lights on at traffic lights etc. I use my front fog lights a lot because they give me a better chance of avoiding potholes. Another thing: the car is an eleven year old Astra and I do wonder why I have two rear fog lamps fitted but only one is wired up.
Maybe one day its you blinded by an idiot with fog lights on and you wrap your car round a tree you chump. Then it would became different story whose to blame then. Never you would it though you plainly admit on here you actively break the law, but when the worst happens you blindly blame someone else, even if its same drivers using the same roads doing the something because its the pack mentality, he\she doing it so will I. The law is the law take chances when you can you only have to be out of luck once to cause devastation.
My automatic ‘ECO’ vehicle only shuts off the engine when stationary, in Drive and the foot brake is depressed i.e. at traffic lights or in traffic jams. Anything else starts the engine!
So does mine, which is why I put the handbrake on and the gear into neutral, then the engine stays off until I put it into drive again. and as well I am not blinding the vehicle behind me with my brake lights!
Fog lights both front and rear are ONLY the be used in either FOG or SNOW and at not other time and it must be when the visibility has fallen below 100 metres not half a mile or more. There is a current trend for fog lights to be used when it is raining which is downright dangerous as they are that bright they dazzle and mean you can’t distinguish between fog loghts and brake lights. The front fog lights are to cut under the fog and light up the sides of the road so you can see where the extremities of the road are, they are not to illuminate like a headlight does and they DO dazzle because unlike head lamps the point downwards, most fog lamps point slightly upwards to be able to show an amount of illumination in front of you. This lack of understanding is because most drivers haven’t any idea of the rules of the road because who needs to know what the highway code says ? I am alright jack and stuff everyone else is the attitude people have to everything these days.
Rear fog lights should be mounted low down and angled slightly downwards to cut dazzle, Peugeot 206SW had one in centre of bumper like that which was best I have seen. Drivers who sit at lights with foot on brake rather than use handbrake and dazzle driver behind, I recently read this is illegal so the police should start issuing tickets to make them learn.
Wether or not they dazzle it’s illegal to have them on unless visabillity is poor. Generally when you can’t see 100m in front of you.
Oh yes they do.especially the road is wet !!!!!!
If fog lights are set low to pick out kerb and centre white line they should dazzle less than most headlights they make today.
Front headlights have a clearly defined cut off so as not to dazzle oncoming motorists.
Front fog lights do not have this, they are designed for a shorter but wider area coverage. This means they CAN dazzle oncoming motorists as they point up and down as much as they do sideways.
The problem I’ve found in Essex is that people drive with fog lights and side lights as they think it makes them look cool. Not only do they fail in this regard, but they don’t properly illuminate the road ahead. Probably why they drive so poorly too.
It has always been illegal to drive on sidelights only. They are parking lights. If it is dark enough for lights, then dipped headlights are the minimum requirement. Agree with your opinion on foglights.
Driving on side lights is legal only in a 30mph zone, by virtue of street lamps.
Actually its 10mph
Xrat is correct: “”Driving between sunset and sunrise requires the legal use of sidelights if driving on a road with a speed limit of 30mph or less and has street lighting where lamps are placed at 185 feet (56 metres) or less.
but you still should use dipped headlights even in 20 or 30 limit so ORUs can see your car better. Moving cars with just sidelights are mostly invisible.
So in borderline conditions it’s worse to drive with no lights at all rather than with sidelights? ?? Makes you wonder who comes up with these regs and whether they have ever been behind a wheel other than at mid day in mid summer.
In borderline conditions it is often easier to see the car than to see its ‘parking lights’!!
Not right there Dave. Up until the late ’60’s, 99% of people drove around town on side lights. It is only recently that people seem to go from no lights to headlamps and although this can be good sometimes, other times it is not.
Wasn’t that more to do with charging systems being unable to cope with having the headlamps on at idle speeds than anything else.
Not true at all. It has never been illegal to drive on sidelights only when there is sufficient daylight. It is considered bad practice to have headlights on when not needed due to light levels or visibility. Read the Highway Code again, please.
Dave it isn’t an opinion it is fact and Law
It has never been illegal to drive on sidelights only where there is street lighting. Headlights are only legally required during the hours of darkness on unlit roads.
I have a Land Rover Discovery 2 from around year 2000, and that resets the fog lights (front/rear) when the main lights have been switched off, so its obviously not rocket science.
Its also illegal to drive with ‘side lights’ as well. Clear your instructor was not competent. They are intended to be used when going driving at less the 10mph, in places like covered parking etc etc.
Is it illegal to drive at any speed with only side lights during the day (daylight hours before lighting up time?)
For my part I have noticed a number of faulty DRL’s already, that blink away about once a second. I once thought I was being followed by a police car till I saw it was an MG!
It would also help if myMoT tester didn’t leave the fogs on, second time I have been caught by this….
No Paul. If driving in a 30MPH zone with regular street lighting you don’t have to use dipped but must at least have sidelights on…of course that doesn’t mean it’s not a better idea to use dipped.
The exact working of the relevant legislation is thus. ‘Drivers must use dipped (low) beam headlamps during the “hours of darkness” (half an hour after sunset till half an hour before sunrise) except on certain well lit roads ie: roads where the street lights are less than 185 metres (600 ft) apart. Drivers must also used dipped beam headlamps in conditions of seriously reduced visibility. Headlamps must not cause undue dazzle or discomfort to other road users and must not be lit when a vehicle is parked.’
The problem with legislation is that there are aspects of it that are open to interpretation e.g. visibility being less than 100m or street lights being so many metres apart. As drivers, we have no way of measuring this accurately. Are we supposed to stop every so often and get our extra long tape measures out to check? I think that the real problem with all of this are the soft squidgy things sitting behind the wheel. Perhaps the use of lights needs to be taken out of our hands. Certainly my latest car has automatic lights and I hardly have to worry about them any more. Is this the right way to go? Maybe, maybe not…
So Paul was talking b****cks, it’s not illegal at all to drive on sidelights at speeds over 10mph.
Andrew J, you are correct in saying, as the current Highway Code puts it, “Night (the hours of darkness) is defined as the period between half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.” (Rule 113, paragraph 4). However, paragraph 1 states, “You must ensure all sidelights and rear registration plate lights are lit between sunset and sunrise”. So two periods of time apply for the use of vehicle lights. I had thought that the “sunset to sunrise” rule was, a number of years ago, adopted as the new, revised ‘lighting-up’ time, but I am only partially correct!
Hey, I like that reference to needing a flash for a photo. A very bright comment!
I WAS talking about the late ’70s when flashes were used far more frequently on cameras!
That’s very true Keith and certainly better than a negative response.
Please see my posting above yours. Headlights are NOT needed during good daylight and they prevent other drivers seeing your indicators.
My last 4 cars were 2 Alfa’s followed by 2 Audi’s.
ALL of them had sensible fog lights where when the main lights were turned off so were the fog lights. Turn the main lights back on and the fogs did (do) NOT come back on without action by the driver.
Too many drivers still see their for lamps as “spotlights” to light their way ahead.
Why don’t you stick to the Point of the Article – fog lights are a different issue. The problem with these Open Forums is that people will mis-use them to start talking about some relevant points but then go on to mention un-related points which the writer is bothered about, instead of producing an article or a blog about the point which they are (obsessed – is that too strong??_) bothered about.
The correct term for side lights are “parking lights” and should be used when parking on the road when the speed limit is higher than 30m.p.h during the hours of darkness or sunset to sunrise. So if you need lights you need dipped headlamps.
Just so as you know
Paul coombs, as I noted in an earlier response (to Andrew J) the current Highway Code does refer “sidelights” in Rule 113. I have not searched for the term “parking lights” within the Code, so it is possible both may be correct and even interchangeable.
I have been ‘warned’ for using fog lights at night! I was using them to highlight potholes (they show up as black holes) so that I could avoid them as 2 passengers had bad backs and the jolts were very painfull.
Also it would be good if the lights to come on when it is raining or spray affecting visibility.
I wrote to my MP about bringing the subject of cars driving with DRL’s and no tail lights a couple of years ago, and fell on deaf ears.
Have had quite bad fog over last few weeks here and biggest problem I’ve seen lately is no one bothering to turn them on.
When DRLs were first introduced my reaction was, if you can’t see a car in daylight then you shouldn’t be driving, I still hold that view.
On your other point, my 16 year old Rover 75 does switch both front and rear fog lights off when the engine is turned off, requiring them to be relit on restart.
Personally I find the most annoying thing about vehicle lighting these days is the inability of drivers to use their handbrakes, resulting in totally unnecessary glare at traffic lights and junctions with the combination of brake lights at each side and an array of bright LEDs in the centre, completely avoidable with just a little thought for others.
Are you sure these are got lights ,I have two flights low down on the front of my car but they are classed as driving lights not got lights so are legally able to be used with head lights on.
A lot of the front ‘fog’ lights are actually DRIVING lights which are not illegal to use but I do get your point and agree, seems a lot of balding middle aged men in Audis and BMW’s feel the need to look ‘well cool innit’ and use them.
However rear fog lights used in rain or just left on are Damn dangerous, I think in 30 years of driving there’s been a handful of times when they have been needed. How is it that when all in a line of traffic and driving into a decent fog stretch everyone switches them on? Its not like the car infront just became invisible and we are all doing the same speed! Now on a deserted country road with cars could be approaching from the rear that dont know you are there then yes.
We get a lot of drivers here with fog lights on all the time even in daylight , My thoughts are if you can
t see with normal two headlights you shouldnt be driving ,fog lights are a nuisance to other drivers when they`re not needed !!
Fog lights have been fitted with a latching switch for many years. Renault still seem to use non-latching front fog switches which are turned to off position when sidelights are switched off.
All rear fog lamps have used an electrical latching circuit for many years now which means they must be turned on every time.
All this talk about DLR’s is utter tosh. Did you know that warships actually used lights for camouflage? If you add the right amount of light to any object, during the day, at a distance it can actually REDUCE the visibility of the object. So – if you have a black car and add DLR’s, you end up with less contrast that without them. I wonder how many EU agencies evaluated that before making this law?
There is no such thing as side lights. They are called parking lights and should only be used when the car is stationary. If is overcast enough that you think you need some lights on, then either dipped lights or DRLs should be used.
M D: I refer you to my earlier replies to Andrew J and then to Paul coombs that the current Highway Code, Rule 113 refers to “sidelights”.
If it is illegal to have fog lights on when they are not needed, then it must also be illegal to have DRLs of equal brightness. At least you usually need your front and rear side-lights turned on to get your fog lights on.
I find it difficult to believe that car manufacturers have only fitted DRLs to the front of vehicles when they should & could have for little extra cost fitted them to the rear also.
I drive a Volvo which has front & rear DRLs as standard so I know I can be seen from both directions.
Also All new cars should have by now Automatic lights controlled a light sensor, so no excuse not to have your car lit in all inclement weathers.
there would be ZERO extra cost on modern cars. just an extra line of programming or even a few extra words in the code of the lighting module, since nothing on a car now is directly hard wired and everything has to go through some unnecessary module nowadays to make it all ‘talk’ to the car (making DIY repairs on older cars more difficult AND repairs in general more expensive!
Our Suzuki Swifts automatic lights don’t switch on in dull heavy daytime rain, but do switch on in intermittent sunshine, very annoying. We switch them on in rain manually.
Snap. My Volvo (16 plate) has DRLs that are always on (replace the fog lights at the front). In automatic setting the dipped beams switch on automatically in low light or as soon as I turn on the wipers.
My Mazda 6 has DRLs at the front which go out when I set the electric handbrake on at traffic lights. Very confusing!
Volvo used to fit their original 21W running lights at the top of trhe front wings and they went out with the headlights (I used to own one). They were only intended to halp be seen in the ling twilight experienced in Sacndinavia. They are of no help whatever in more southerly climes such as UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc. Modern DRLs are more of a hinderance than a help.
Not always true auto lights come on in dipped mode only and also only when the built in light meter decides they should come on which is not always during heavy rain in daylight hours.
This is a big problem. Many new(ish) cars have auto light system which comes on when it gets dark. However, they don’t come on automatically during daytime rain, and cars with no rear DRLs are invisible in heavy spray conditions and the driver is oblivious, forgetting that the lights actually have a manual “on” switch.
they also dont come on in FOG. the auto lights work via a light sensor ONLY (as a rule) but there are SOME systems (mercedes for one, i believe) that WILL work the auto lights in conjunction with the rain sensor for auto wipers (although even this is useless in FOG, which we have had a lot of in my area recently)
My previous Ford Focus also turned the headlights on during rain, my current Volvo XC40 does this for all dim conditions including fog (albeit not all the time in fog)… My brother’s Civic doesn’t turn on in rain or fog though
Pete, your correct, my bmw 730d does indeed turn the lights on if it puts the wipers on. In Holland is a legal requirement to put your lights on in the rain day or night.
As does my 8 year old Skoda Octavia. Both lights and wipers.
My car has automatic headlights. They DO come on in rain and excessive surface spray.
My Volvo’s dipped lights come on as soon I switch on the wipers. It’s not rocket science. Any drop in light levels e.g. fog, driving under trees, tunnels, covered car parks etc will also see them coming on
“If you’re fitting DRLs, install them, so they come on with the engine and go off when you switch on the headlights.”
Yes, I notice that’s what happens on my C3. But I see some cars going about where these front DRLs are on at night-time in addition to dipped headlights, and I’d have thought this is a dazzle safety hazard to the very people they are designed to help, pedestrians.
some are wired that way from the FACTORY to stay on with headlights. some DRLs dim to a lower brightness, others dont even do THAT (a friend has a Mondeo which doesnt dim/extinguish the DRLs when lights are on FROM THE FACTORY)
With cars showing lights during the day, I find motorbikes are now not so obvious. Has there been any research on this problem?
Isnt it about time headlamps on 24/7 was made law for bikes.loads ride around on dark bikes in dark clothes and wonder why people cant see them.
it is law IIRC, motorbikes definately.
Off on a tangent, but my biggest issue is when did it become seen as “OK” for adults to be riding bicycles on the pavement?
My youth was spent being shouted at by police to get my kids bike and riding OFF the pavement! lol
There was major concern from the motorcycling world when this EU directive first came into effect as it makes them much harder to spot. Think back 10–15 years and generally the only vehicles with headlamps (dipped) on during the day in good visibility were bikes, to make them easier to spot for the many stupid driver who pulled out in front of them etc.
Why do DRL’s automatically come on with the ignition? Much of the day in UK such searingly bright lights are not necessary (OR mandatory) and can cause discomfort and confusion to road users. I think lights on motorbikes are necessary as they make car drivers aware of their approach, but this advantage is being eroded by the plethora of lights on other vehicles.
“searingly bright lights” – if they are that bright they need changing.
Front and rear DRLs are the equivalent of, and usually are, the dipped headlight circuit.
Why do so many drivers not know the minor details of their vehicles?
Can I now use our cars “fog” lights as DRL ? It used to be illegal to have these lights on in daylight conditions when no fog.
No. That is still illegal
No that’s still illegal
Figlights; if set up properly, will not and do not glare or dazzle as the beam; to work properly in foggy conditions; is directed at a lower level that a drivers eyes. If they do dazzle then they are not adjusted correctly…but in truth, there are so many many cars out there with headlights not aligned/adjusted properly or not even working !
no don’t be silly
Rule 133 of the current Highway Code states: – ‘Use fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced’. This generally means when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 ft). You MUST NOT use fog lights at other times’. Remember to switch them off when visibility improves.Join the discussion…
“visibility seriously reduced” ALSO means when there is heavy spray i.e. on Motorways in/after heavy rain as these conditions obscure the rear of vehicles in front even in daylight & YES they MUST be turned off as soon as conditions improve.
What is as much a danger is the increasing number of SUV’s; home shopping delivery vans; light vans whose headlights are at eye level for motorists in ‘standard’ vehicles/cars – Law used to be (& possibly still is) that headlights (dipped beam) must be set so as not to dazzle oncoming traffic i.e. they had to be set so that the beam did not dazzle at (I think at 30 yds) someone at the same level as the dipped beams in question – with the preponderance of SUV’ etc this now needs revising to ensure that the dipped beam does not dazzle when the eye line is lower than the headlights in question.
Green meany, if you read your hand book in your car, bmw- Merc an other European cars, your front for lights have a separate switch to use as driving lamps. Now, under UK law it is illegal as driving lamps have to be above the front bumper and if below they are fog lamps. Are we in Europe or not? Or was? So how come different laws again.
DRL’s are only fitted to the front on most cars – Volvo seems to be the exception. The legislation should be changed to make it apply to both front and rear. I have seen many cars running around in semi-darkness with the driver obviously unaware that he has no rear lights showing and has probably not got his main lights on ‘auto’. Worst of all are DRL’s in mist or fog when ‘auto’ headlights do not activate.
Another EU directive not thought through properly!
Volvo aren’t going to the expense of two wiring systems. One size fits all is cheaper
It appears that most of the later cars have both front and rear DRLs. Also sensible to have instrument lights on as well as there are times when it can be difficult to read the instruments!
Surley difficulty reading the instruments is a sure sign that it might just be time to turn your lights on? This, I believe, is the problem with the stupid DRLs. The dash lights are on so the driver thinks that he has his lights on, merrily driving around in the dark with no rear lights on at all.
My car has DRLs and does not illuminate the instrument cluster when the main lights are not also on
I more or less agree with you…”Worst of all are DRL’s in mist or fog…” whether or not ‘auto’ headlights activate in those conditions as they are far worse then having foglights on. Common sense should rule in ALL conditions where lighting is concerned, but it appears drivers today think more of ‘being connected’ than of not ‘connecting’ with another vehicle or pedestrian due to not turning on their lights…hence the need now for DRL’s.
I know, why don’t we just leave the EU with their stupid laws and take back control?
Ruudfood, don’t forget that not thinking through various policies, regulations, specs, etc does not only occur within the EU – you merely have to think back to how our beloved Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, decided, in his great wisdom, to offer a multi-million pound contract to a certain ‘ferry company’ that not only had no ships, but had never run a ferry service anywhere! That stroke of genius has cost us taxpayers an additional 30-odd million pounds to cover his (department’s) failure to tender such contracts in a proper and legal manner!
I understand that the same said ‘gentleman’, as Justice Secretary, was responsible for even more costly actions. Perhaps he should be made personally responsible for these – how can I put it? – ‘expenses’ and if he failed to pay up then there’s the prison option where, according to him, he should be denied any books or other reading matter. At least that was yet another one of his ingenious ideas – “wither rehabilitation”? Let’s not mention his ultimate responsibility for the new train timetable implementation fiasco last year. And C. Grayling is a giant amongst Brexiteers! Perhaps he should have been our chief negotiator during the period of Article 50!
I think it’s disgraceful the amount of muppets that don’t use their lights in dull conditions – rain, fog, dusk and dawn. Quite frankly they should get fines or have their licences removed – in the instance yesterday when I saw a car in the dark driving towards me with no lights on at all for examples. Daylight running lights are excellent – it’s a shame some people who have them on their cars seem to switch them off – why? I have no idea! Plainly muppets.
Some drls left on all the time have been the cause of damage to the plastic headlamps. At over £100 a pop I know what I prefer … drls off.
So you can see others but they have trouble seeing you? Brilliant! Hope you can see the pun.
If you can’t see a car coming at 200 yards away without those ridiculous DRLs then your eyesight is defective & you shouldn’t be driving.
I see you have no problem with other drivers running into you then.
Use LED lights – they give out much less heat.
The car in he dark Simon had is lights off on purpose, they stupidly think they cannot be seen by anyone cuz they are driving illegally and they don’t care
To be fair when I first started driving, and even occasionally more recently if someone else has switched my lights off automatic, and driving in a well lit area I have forgotten to turn my lights on. For the most part I think it’s just a case of oversight.
Surely you have the second to last paragraph wrong. I have fitted DRL to my classic car and had to wire them such that they turned off when I switched the headlights on, not as you state “switch off when you turn off the main headlights”
I have a classic myself but use dipped lights when needed or sides for normal daytime driving basically what i was advised by the Examiner almost 40years ago.
Don’t see how anyone can be confused.
If the light is poor then turn on your dipped headlamps and if you are unsure then still turn them on.
As for fog lamps let’s use them for Fog !
Using them as daytime running lamps is not acceptable as it’s a higher intensity beam designed to scatter in fog. In normal conditions they are almost as intense as main beam.
Newer vehicles have made drivers lazy as lighting can be set to automatically turn on. As the driver you should always ensure you can see and be seen in all conditions. Don’t abdicate responsibility to the automation of vehicle controls.
many DRLs from factory are built in to the foglights
Yes. Highway Code says that fog lights must ONLY be used when visibility is less than 100 Metres. So all the numpties turning them on in a bit of rain or when they see the signs on the motorway saying “Fog” (even though there’s no actual sign of any fog) are breaking the law.
Well now you’ve gone and done it, rear DRL,s where did you dig that one up from, don’t we have enough trouble from idiots that don’t realise that the rear hazard warning lights have a switch, leaving them on and so obscuring I indicators and brake lights with their high intensity bulbs.
Goodness knows if you drive because you seem unaware that vehicles factory fitted with led DRLs automatically dim them when you turn on your lights, and if as in Volvo the rear side lights come on it is not a DRL it is a side light.
Retro fitting front DRL kits come with an electronics box that switches the intensity down on turning your side lights on.
As for the use of DRLs not meaning not having instrument lights on during the day, I assume you are driving a model T ford, the fact that most manufacturers have the instrument lighting on in their models is leading to people not turning on lights at night because their instruments are lit up inside.
Maybe I see motoring differently to you being 70, but you are busy creating myths that will only confuse people more than they appear to be now.
DRLs on the front factory or retro fitted with the dimmer component are a brilliant idea, anything brighter than side lights at the rear create a hazard if left on, you are supposed to only turn on those great big bright monstrosities on the rear of your vehicle when there is not another vehicle behind you, once their is and its close enough for your lights to be a hazard you turn them off. When you see lots of people in fog not turning them on its because they don’t want people to think they are as daft as the the ones who don’t turn them off.
not all factory DRLs do. a friend has a 2013 Mondeo with factory DRLs and they dont dim OR extinguish when the headlights are ON!
My Volvo DRLs don’t dim when dipped beam comes on. Also just because it’s the rear sidelights that are on doesn’t mean they’re not DRLs because they are still lights that come on during daytime running… This is my 4th Volvo in a row and the first with dedicated DRLs (LED to reduce power consumption). On all the previous ones it just meant that my dipped beam lights were on all the time (unless I manually switched to parking lights)…which meant that from time to time I’d get flashed by people trying to let me know I’d got my lights on during daytime. Again they were just the normal dipped beam lights (didn’t have sidelights) but were still DRLs.
I wonder if there are others who are increasingly annoyed at the dazzling factor of drivers night lights, I have to flash drivers constantly to dim them. Am i the only one suffering here?
no Rayb, your not the only one to be constantly blinded by horrendously bright head lights at night, not only head on but from the rear too. I can rarely see where im going when this happens, it will cause an accident sooner or later, if it hasn’t already, and I bet it has, we just haven’t seen the stats yet
If temporarily blinded by extra bright or undipped headlights, simply look at the nearside kerb until danger is passed.Join the discussion…
You seem to be confusing the daytime running lights with fog-lights (which they are not) and also with the effect of night driving by folks who don’t realize they have a dip-switch
I am constantly dazzled by cars at night running on regular dipped headlights. Modern super-bright LEDs coupled with the current obsession with everyone having to have high pseudo-off road vehicles means that they shine in the rear view mirror of my low Corsa and dazzle me.
even if you flip your mirror into anti-dazzle mode? that’s what the levers for mate 🙂
My Scirocco runs with sidelights 24/7 and headlamp dipped on 15% even if i move lighting dial to 0, sidelights are still on until ignition is off. In effect the sides are running as DRLs, thankfully the rear clusters also are illuminated 24/7
No you are not the only one suffering … have you seen the price of 100w headlamp bulbs on ebay you can get a pair for less than £15 (illegal and dangerous if you use your standard wiring), not only that new cars don’t help with there HID,s and now LED they blind you with the “whiteness” of there light which neutralises your lights so you see nothing ahead, have you also noticed new tarmac, which sucks away all your usable light, that’s because they no longer use glass in it so it doesn’t reflect light anymore which in turns makes us want more light so we can see the road ahead.
What annoys me the most are people who drive on sidelights and put on their fog/driving lights instead of their head lamps….. and the point of that is? please some enlighten me.
Plenty of annoyed drivers on the Facebook page of lightmare.org
Brake lights particularly annoy me, it’s like a competition by some manufacturers to make them brighter and brighter. some are as bright now as fog lights are supposed to be, I think that regulation has out of the window partly because it is probably based on input power for incandescant lamps.
Also, about 90% of drivers really need to learn some consideration and stop sitting with their footbrakes on when stationary. I’m sick of being blinded when waiting behind others in traffic.
I don’t know why these bright lights were ever allowed to be introduced, dipped lights are going to be used when full lights aren’t appropriate, i.e. in 30 mph areas, when following or approaching other vehicles, under those circumstances bright lights aren’t necessary; for other lights, e.g. street lights, as well as vehicle lights will enable drivers to see the way.
In addition, these bright lights are extremely dazzling when the opposing vehicle is coming over the brow of a hill, or at a T junction on a hill. Whoever puts the Vehicle Construction and Use Regulations together should have stopped their use when they were first introduced and only allowed them for full headlights.
Quite an easy solution to forgetting to turn them on, just remove any ignition based dial backlighting that a lot of cars run. If your speedo is in the dark, so are you, simples. Always made me ponder why they illuminated the inside of the car, but then it dimmed down when the lighting was turned on giving folk the impression their lights were on.
OK, it’s not a 100% fix because there will be crazies who still don’t notice that but surely this would help to combat a lot of the problem, either that or make it mandatory that all cars with DRL’s have auto lights that cannot be turned off, or at least auto on the sidelight circuit, or make it so DRL’s run the rear lights too, well at least for new cars
There are solutions out there 🙂
Well some people are also not thinking, a lot of modern cars don’t have a “dash” it’s a LED screen and as such it’s lit all the time or you would be able to read it day or night. I stopped an old chap in a 18 plate range rover only yesterday driving with only DLR lights an he said it’s a pain because you see the lights are that bright an your LED screen is lit you forget you have no rear lights. But I would have thought 100k worth of range rover vouge would have auto lights that took over in the dark? Must be another electical fault!
as i see it, theres 2 issues here. 1 is that people dont turn on their normal headlights (whether that be because they have DRLs or NOT as the number of people i see driving in fog with no lights or just sidelights is obscene) whether this is because those with DRLs think they dont NEED other lights or not i dont know.
the other issue is that many vehicles now, the dash/instrument cluster is permanently lit up which, at a glance makes it easy to THINK you have your lights on when in fact you DONT! why have manufacturers started to do this? at least when the instruments WERENT illuminated, you had a base point if the light failed gradually, (especially out where you might not see another car for a while in the country) for you to judge when you needed lights on
also ive never been able to see the point of sidelights. if parked, why didnt headlights just default to sidelights when the ignition was off (on older cars) and why are they fitted at ALL now when ALL vehicles (im struggling to think of one without them) have some sort of ‘parking light’ set up fitted (eliminating the need for a ‘sidelight’ position on the switch completely)
and another pet peeve of mine, why have manufacturers gone away from the old #stalk away from you for high beam, towards you for low beam, and spring loaded for flash high beam, to a switch which constantly needs to be pulled towards you for high beam, then again for low beam, back again for high beam…… its just counter intuitive!!
Pete l, were you getting bored of caps lock towards the end of your rant
The technology is there to make all lights automatic sensing night day wet weather ect. This should be fitted to all new cars as standard.
I think that the safety aspect of DRL’s is good, but the number of people who do not understand them is huge! I work shifts and there are countless times during my commute when I am trying to let another vehicle know that there are no rear lights on in the dark! This is making the whole idea counter productive as lives which are saved in the day could be lost at night. Surely auto lights car are a better solution?
You have confirmed what I have always thought about DRLs being fitted, I bought new Ford Focus Titanium in 2016 which had no DRLs. On its first service I reported this to the dealer who after trying to switch them on conceded non were fitted, even emailed Ford but had no reply. I have always had to manually turn the light switch from auto dipped head lights to on as this doesn’t always work in poor light conditions.
My new car has DRLs . My problem is that because the dash lights up as soon as I Turn on the ignition simultaneously with the DRLs I am tricked after dark into assuming my headlights are on. Partly because older cars didn’t have a lit dash until the lights were on and partly because the DRLs are so bright that unless you are concentrating you can forget that you haven’t actually turned on the lights. I have made this mistake twice but luckily someone has flashed and I realised but a little late!
My other point is around automatic headlights. People now don’t think about turning lights on or off. The problem with auto lights is that they don’t switch on when you are in heavy rain but conditions are bright.
Too much automation means drivers don’t actually give any thought to what they are doing or any incentive to improve basic skills and awareness
My Fiesta Titanium can be set to automatically turn the lights on but I don’t use that setting. I much prefer to have control over whether my lights are on or off.
A couple of issues here…
1/ As has been stated in previous subjects, somone needs to proof read them before general release ! Quote:- “They should usually switch off when you turn OFF the main headlights” Unquote. Wrong…off when headlights are ON. And 2/ Quote:- “make sure you turn your DRLs off when it’s dark, or they will dazzle other road users.” Unquote. Dazzle more than headlights…that are bigger and brighter eh ? I think not.
Having said all that l agree that rear lights should come/be on when the engine is running, but the confusion here is that they should not be brighter DRL’s than the normal rear parking lights or one vould think that the brakes were being applied ! That is the confusion.
Typical law from the EU. Good in principle but bad in pactiseas it was not thought through properly.
That explains why I have seen people driving around without adequate lights. I drive a Volvo and I never worry about my lights.
This has been a concern for me since they were introduced. I think most post 2012 VEHICLESs only have front DRL’S. Why all manufacturers weren’t told to put them on the rear as well, I am mystified. Many drivers don’t bother putting any lights on in low light or rain anyway.
As an aside, why do drivers feel they need to keep their foot on the brakes at traffic lights. Have they taken handbrakes and neutral gears out of many vehicles. It is distracting to see a massive red glow in your face constantly, especially at night and in rain.h. Don’t they