Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fog and lights?

A timely letter from the Shuttle regarding the use of headlights when driving in fog. Now my position has always been sidelights to be seen, headlights to see; but this has to be tempered by conditions. If it's a bit dark and drizzly what purpose do headlights serve other than to dazzle those coming the other way; particularly on those vehicles with multiple lights fitted to their front?

In this instance I admit driving yesterday morning with only side-lights on; my reasoning - the speed limit is 30mph and the visible distance was enough to be able to discern such lights at a point that allowed enough time for manoeuvres. Add to that being stuck in a queue and I had to ask "What purpose would it serve?" Those directly in front and behind are well within visible range as is anyone heading my way who needs to cross my lane.

It also needs to be said that in true foggy conditions full headlights aren't always the best thing, the lights reflect off the fog and can reduce visibility if not adjusted correctly. Just last night I switched on my headlights and found a bank of white in front of me, I switched to full beam and saw less. This is the purpose of fog lights that are angled downwards to allow you to see the road more clearly, but they also have the effect that they reflect away and upwards towards other drivers which is why they shouldn't always be used.

Did I use my fog lights - no because there was no-one else on the road until I reached the end of the queue, by which point there use would be moot.


Unknown said...

Simple rule: If you can see the car behind you, you don't need your rear fog lights on. okay, two. and if raining, never. It's dangerous. It renders indicators and stop lights ineffective in the glare.

Steve Severn said...

Saw the letter, but I did like Jane Gordons comment that struck a cord with me. Indicators! Those orange things stuck on the sides of cars. Do people honestly not know they are there? Are maybe 10-20% of them defective, so they think they are indicating, but they are not working? Do some of these people not know which stick on the column to push down or up? Or do they live in an alternate reality where everyone is psychic! Worst place for me is sitting at the end of Hartlebury Road, trying to get onto the Worcester Road island when its busy. You look across to the vehicles coming over the Stour Bridge and its guess time. Many do indicate to go up Hartlebury Road. I suppose they should, as technicaly its indicating left or indicating just before the exit you intend to take. So thats fine, but then the non indicators are a lottery. You guess they are going up Hartlebury Road, but you sense they may not, so you wait, then they do and you've missed your chance, as the next 6 cars indicate right and go round and off towards Worcester, then the next car doesn't indicate at all, so you go and find this one is the numpty who believes you are psychic and gives you the stare. God I hate them! Then just to rub it in, as they go past they indicate left to go off up Worcester Road! Oh, so your indicators do work? But only the left one! Most of it is pure lazyness, but you have to ask yourself how the hell they passed their tests.

FlipC said...

Oh don't get me started on indicating. I have the same problem from the other exit trying to get out of Worcester Road to the Stour bridge. Other than not being able to see the traffic coming around the island I get those who fail to stop indicating right (thanks to Baldwin Road they may well be doing a 360) and those coming from Hartlebury who fail to indicate left.

Then there's Bridge Street/York Street - had it just this morning. Stopped to let a car go straight across and watched them turn left. This was then followed by another car not indicating who was actually going straight.

Not just islands too, the number of people who don't realise you should also indicate when changing lanes and just pull across into either lane of Lion Hill or Gilgal... yeesh.

Do I recall correctly that in the USA this is a traffic offence that could see you being pulled over by a cop?