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Fog Lights Off

Automatically turn off rear fog lights above a certain speed
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A speed sensing device to turn-off the high intensity rear fog lights when the vehicle reaches, say, 70mph. There can be no possible excuse for using fog lights if the driver thinks it's possible to drive safely at 70+, yet for some reason still imagines no following drivers will be able to see his/her vehicle....
drew, Feb 11 2002


       Drive through Tulare, Kings or Fresno County in San Joaquin Valley, CA and see what Real Fog is. Having been surrounded by Tule Fog for 2 months of every year for 25 years, I can assure you drivers can and do drive faster than 70 once in the clear. But wait, there's more! There's more? More Fog! For a driver to take his or her hands off steering wheel and eyes off road in order to turn ANYTHING on or off when back into the Soup is not a good idea. Most recent Tule Fog pileup/wreck was 'only' 87 vehicles, if memory serves correctly. Deadly stuff, and I've lost quite a few friends to it over the years. No fault of their own really, eg driving 10 mph into the back of a flatbed trailer can and will decapitate a driver. Three of them died that way. One was a Mother of a friend - 5 years later - almost to the day - friend died the exact same way.
thumbwax, Feb 11 2002

       Not quite what I had in mind - I regularly see people driving on the motorways at vast speeds, having left the fog behind over 50 miles before. It was those people/conditions I was aiming at. There should be no problem in such a device re-enabling the lights when the speeds drop below, say, 20 mph. I take your point, but having lights switched on all day and night doesn't prevent deaths caused by driving at warp-speed into a fog bank. What about the accidents caused by dazzle from the intensely bright lights at night in the rain?
drew, Feb 11 2002

       I hate those things as much as you do. I didn't suggest same - though I also thought of it, as speed can drop for a whole slew of reasons.-, i.e. rubberneckers ahead, city stop and go traffic, et al. in which case - if lights come on - then chance of intensely bright lights in the rain blinding some other poor sap, if not you or I - thereby causing an accident. I do, however think there ought to be a flasher built into drivers switch - flashes if speed is constantly high. Considerate driver can then be best judge. Seems to be a viable alternative.
thumbwax, Feb 11 2002

       This I like! However, it's not the considerate drivers who need this aid, more the numpties who are only vaguely aware of their surroundings. Note the similar tendency for the very same cars to drive for miles, indicating a turn.... I've noticed these 'Lights on at wrong time' cars tend to be driven without courtesy for other road users anyway. Car manufacturers are also responsible for some of this problem, fitting the switches out of normal view of the driver. One of the cars I drive has the fog-light switch down by the driver's left knee.
drew, Feb 11 2002

       How about it working the other way - Fog lights on restricts speed to 20mph. I'm pretty certain that would do the trick.
danilo, Feb 11 2002

       Can we include front foglights in this? The ones in the front bumper. That way, muppets in their Scooby-Doos or Evos who think they're Colin McRae won't dazzle everyone on the other side of the road or those people in front of them.
CoolerKing, Feb 11 2002

       Front fogs are quite useful though, when, er, pressing on a bit at night on country roads. I had originally thought that the switch-off could operate as soon as the car was in top gear, on the basis that real fog means using top gear is way out of the question. This would allow the front fogs to be included too, as twisty roads and top gear don't generally mix, but motorways/fast straight roads don't need the McRae touch.
drew, Feb 11 2002

       Mine are on every time my headlights are on--I guess I'm an offender.  Mine are the built-in kind that reside adjacent to the headlights and they don't seem to offend but, then, I've never driven towards myself at night.  They do light the side of the road nicely.  I read recently that some state is issuing citations for using them inappropriately.
bristolz, Feb 11 2002

       Too right, as I regular pedestrian and cyclist I can testify to a hatred of all who drive with unnecessary fog lights. It's painfully dazzling when you are on the path and robs you of your night sight, which can be particularly dangerous when you are cycling with tiny battery powered lights. I have a 100w output halogen flashlight at home that I'd take out for revenge, but I'd probably get run over! I like danilos idea though, that'd remind all the boy racers in our area to turn them off.
dare99, Feb 11 2002

       bris, you're a 4 headlight offender? But I had you down as a nice, considerate person though!
CoolerKing, Feb 11 2002

       I must agree with dare99; as a driver, I've always thought car lights are far brighter than they need to be as it is, even without fog lights. The glow of oncoming lights destroys a driver's night vision, and makes it very hard to see cyclists or pedestrians, and unless you're on an unlit road on a dark night with no other cars, you don't need anything like the brightness car lights offer.
pottedstu, Feb 11 2002

       I'd say the problem isn't so much the brightness or number of lights, but rather the direction in which they're aimed.   

       (rant deleted) Headlight lenses should be modified to aim the light only where it's needed, as well.
phoenix, Feb 11 2002

       My foglamps *seem* to be well aimed; at least below the line of sight for other drivers. No oncoming driver has ever flashed their headlights at me in annoyance . . . I don't know, maybe I'm just borderline offensive.   

       Sorry to disappoint you, [CK].  I'm not so bad, really.  Well, mostly not.
bristolz, Feb 11 2002

       I thought front fog lights were supposed to be mounted low, and aimed flat along the road, thus reducing the returned glare from the fog to the driver. They don't really have that much of a forward throw - you need driving lights with a different lens to blind all and sundry.
drew, Feb 12 2002

       That's correct - worst thing in the world in fog is light at eye-level.
thumbwax, Feb 12 2002

       How about fog lights that just DON'T WORK unless the relative air humidity / wetness of the air (like when there's fog ! ) is above x percent ? To avoid erroneous readings, there could be two sensors. I am morally sick of foglightson-brainnot drivers.   

       Oh - and a rain sensor, so they won't work in rain. There wouldm obviously be fine tuning. We're talking big picture here, aren't we !?
gadgetear, Feb 12 2002

       Surely the worst thing in the world in fog would be a solid object at eye level?
drew, Feb 12 2002

       You're right - 3rd worst thing in the world in fog is light at eye-level.
thumbwax, Feb 13 2002

       Sorry you are so sick of my ilk, gadgetear, but when it rains is when I most want them on.  I think that they increase the visibility of my car.  TW, you seem to have skipped a worst thing in the world ranking (where's the "2nd?")
bristolz, Feb 13 2002

       Why, Ex-wives, of course.
thumbwax, Feb 13 2002

       Heh. But not Ex-husbands?
bristolz, Feb 13 2002

       Trouble is, bristolz, in the rain they cause nasty glare for the following drivers, and they reduce the visible effect of brake lights, so possibly reducing your safety margin against collision from behind.
drew, Feb 13 2002

       And the moral is . . . beware of exs in the rain.
neelandan, Feb 13 2002

       Ah <slapping forehead> you are talking about REAR mounted fog lights, something I am not even sure I've ever seen. I don't have those.
bristolz, Feb 13 2002

       Oh right - if you've never seen them, that would explain it.... They are high-intensity red lights, and some are perhaps a little too-high-intensity... Certainly make the car visible though - it's just that everything else disappears in the glare.
drew, Feb 13 2002

       I have rigged up my car with HID lamps in the fog lights, and wired them up with the high/low beam switich. That way, on windy rural roads, you turn on the high-beams with the HID lights, and it really helps to illuminate the side of the road, good for deer, etc. Still have the fog lamps in and on the regular swich, so in light rain I can use them, or use them as DRL if I get that odd feeling, since I have turned them off and they are not required in NC.   

       I just figured it out. rear mounted fog lights! that would be distracting.   

       a rear back-up light would be nice, like headlights on the back operated by a swich for backing up in a rural area.
dtstyle, Jul 31 2002

       HEy Bristolz! I'm really pleased you like to have your fog lights on in the rain and all your compadres too. At least I know that next time I get Blinded by decent couteous citizens with their fog lights on in the rain, like yourself, and i cant see whats in my side of the road, like bikes and people walking at the side of the road quite innocently trying not to get run down It is great comfort to me that I wont have to feel guilty either when my poor little car RAMS YOU OFF THE ROAD! rather than endager innocent parties you understand. Oh and all this talk of gizmo's to control the cars is great there are already some great gizmo's on cars its a shame that humans dont seem to evolve as quickly as their cars! but dont we make them? how does it happen?
old-giffer01, Dec 11 2002

       I have a simple solution for those drivers who consider it prudent to leave their rear fog lights on, even on clear evenings. I merely leave my headlights on full beam, the dazzler then becomes the dazzlee....
Micky Dread, Dec 11 2002

       I had the idea whilst driving home in intermittent fog (some of which WAS thick enough for rear fogs to be used), that when you activate them they should stay on for only ten minutes or so and then automatically turn off, thus limiting the number of drivers dazzled once you get through the fog and back into clear air.   

       This idea is better though; in the case of [thumbwax]'s Tule Fog you'd need to keep turning your fogs back on every 10 minutes with my idea, which certainly doesn't sound safe. Have a bun!
kmlabs, Nov 22 2005

       I am sure that some people switch on the rear fog light for foggy conditions, and then it stays switched on for the next 6 MONTHS because they are unaware that it is on. In many cars nothing on the dashboard indicates that the light is on.   

       If the rear foglamp was switched off automatically when the key was removed from the ignition then this would prevent much fog lamp-based annoyance...
Minimal, Nov 22 2005

       Forward facing fog lights are not as directional as dipped headlights, hence the complaints from most drivers.
Rear facing fog lights are normally very bright, hence more complaints.

       I wonder if the reflective nature of fog could be used to automatically turn the fog lights on and, more importantly, off when not required?
Ling, Nov 22 2005


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