Fog lights are crucial for improving visibility in adverse weather conditions. It is beneficial in foggy, misty, or rainy situations. Fog lights emit a low, wide beam pattern to illuminate the road and enhance visibility for the driver. So, many drivers choose fog lights as safety functions while driving in low-light conditions.
But are fog lights legal in the USA? Also, what color fog light can you mount in your vehicle? Lastly, is there any specific rule about fog light color and installation in America or its different states? These questions often haunt drivers so that they don’t break traffic laws.
Fortunately, fog lights are generally allowed in all states of America. Also, you can mount white or yellow fog lights, while blue lights aren’t approved. Plus, most states allow you to mount fog lights in the front and tail sections, but they must align with the same height.
Now, let’s take this discussion on fog light legality deep so you know the ins and outs of it.
Are fog lights legal?
Although different states in the USA have different traffic rules regarding fog lights, they are generally allowed in all states. However, the specific regulations and requirements for fog lights depend on state traffic laws. In most states, American states permit fog lights under certain conditions:
- Use during Adverse Weather Conditions: You can only use the fog lights during fog, mist, rain, and snow. Also, you can turn on the fog lights if the weather becomes adverse with reduced visibility.
- Low Beam Requirement: You can use fog lights only with low-beam headlights. Also, you can’t use them in place of regular headlights.
- No Blinding: You must adjust your fog light to prevent blinding other drivers on the road. The light beam should be directed downwards. It also needs to be angled to illuminate the road immediately ahead only.
- Prohibited Use: It is generally illegal to use fog lights when you have enough visibility. So, be aware of the visibility before using the fog lights in your vehicle.
Fog lights legality in Different States:
Besides the above-generalized fog light rules, different states have brought various regulations for fog lights in their traffic law section. Let’s take a look at a few examples of fog light regulations in other states:
- California: Are fog lights legal in California? It is a common question, and thankfully, Californian traffic rules allow fog lights under their CPC 24400 section. However, fog lights in California can be used when visibility is 500 feet or less. Also, you must turn off the lights when visibility improves.
- New York: Fog lights are allowed during adverse weather conditions. However, like in California, you should turn off the fog lights on your vehicle when there’s enough visibility. Also, you can’t turn on fog lights in specific areas due to security issues.
- Texas: Fog lights can be used in fog, mist, or precipitation conditions. It is legal in such conditions when you require windshield wipers.
As you see, different states have different laws about fog lights. So, you should consult the local authority or mechanic for expert advice on fog light legality.
What Color Fog Light Is Legal?
Although fog lights are legal, you can’t just use any fancy color for the fog lights. For instance, you can’t install red or pink fog lights, even if you are a Barbie fan. Jokes apart, you must adhere to the right color for fog lights.
For instance, are yellow fog lights legal? Also, can you use blue fog lights in Virginia or New York? And what will happen if you mount red fog lights?
In the USA, the only legal color for fog light is white or yellow. Both yellow and white colors are the most effective in cutting through the fog and enhancing visibility. Also, they don’t have glares that can hinder vehicles from the opposite end.
You might be thinking about blue and red fog lights. Well, they are permitted but not for general people and uses. All states strictly preserve blue and red light fog lights for emergency vehicles and are not allowed for use on civilian cars.
As you see, white and yellow fog lights are generally allowed. Yet, some states may have specific regulations regarding their color temperature or brightness. For instance:
- In Virginia, fog lights can only emit white or amber light. Also, it should not be brighter than 35 candlepower, and you can’t use pure yellow colored fog lights in Virginia.
- Massachusetts: Fog lights must emit either white or selective yellow light. So, you must consult with the authority to know what shaded yellow fog light they approve.
Mounting rules for fog lights:
It is crucial to mount fog lights to ensure they are effective properly. Also, you must ensure that fog lights do not interfere with other drivers. Some general rules for mounting fog lights on cars and bikes include the following:
- Fog lights should be mounted low on the front of the vehicle, preferably below the headlights. It will illuminate the road surface without causing glare. If you mount them at the tail section, ensure they align with the front fog lights.
- The aim of fog lights should be adjusted to direct the light downward and outward. It will improve road visibility without blinding other drivers.
- Mostly, fog light height should be between 22 inches to 54 inches of the vehicle from the road ground. So, ensure you maintain the right fog light height and alignment.
- Some states may restrict the number of auxiliary lights you can mount on a vehicle. It will include fog lights. Hence, it is essential to follow your state laws for traffic along with fog lights and car headlights.
Fog lights significantly improve visibility in adverse weather conditions. However, you must carefully mount and use fog lights to avoid violating rules. Since different states in the USA have varying fog light laws, you should consult with your traffic police to know about it.
Generally, the only legal fog light colors are white and yellow. It would help if you also mounted fog lights at the right height and alignment with accurate distance coverage. So, you should consult e mechanic and follow their advice to find the best fog light for your vehicles with proper visibility and traffic laws.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Can you use blue fog lights for your car in any state?
No, blue fog lights are not legal for civilian vehicles in any state in the USA. Blue lights are reserved for emergency vehicles only.
- Are fog lights mandatory equipment on vehicles?
Fog lights are not mandatory equipment on vehicles in most states. However, they can be a valuable safety feature in adverse weather conditions.
- Can you use fog lights as primary headlights?
No, fog lights should only be used with the low-beam headlights. They are not a substitute for regular headlights because of their low visibility in the daytime.