What Does the Fog Light Symbol Mean and When to Use It?

Did you ever drive in the fog without knowing what the fog light symbol is? The mist covers not only your windshield but also the road ahead, making it harder to see both the immediate and farther distance. Undoubtedly, driving in fog is challenging for you and those around you.

To prevent the possibility of accidents, you should use the fog light. It tackles the reduced visibility and provides a better vision of the road ahead. However, using fog lights without reason and at the wrong time can impair the sight of other drivers and get you into legal trouble.

Today, we will explain everything about the fog light symbol and when you should use these lights.

What Are Fog Lights?

Before going into the specifics of the fog light symbol, you must understand what these lights do. Fog lights function differently than your standard headlights and high beams. Most manufacturers fix fog lights just above the ground at the cutoff angle to avoid the fog reflecting off them. By not reflecting the fog off, the light does not perceive fog as an obstacle and better illuminates the road ahead.

While most cars only feature front fog lights, some have rear ones, as well. An essential to road safety is road awareness, both in front and behind you. Although the front fog lights eliminate the visual impairment ahead of you, they do not tackle the seeing difficulty behind. With rear fog lights, you can easily spot vehicles behind you and reduce the chances of accidents.

What Type of Fog Lights Are the Best?

When it comes to safety, you must take the best measures. Therefore, while choosing fog lights, ensure you pick the best ones. Most new vehicles come with pre-installed fog lights. If these lights function correctly, we recommend sticking with them.

However, if your car did not come with pre-installed fog lights, or if they do not function properly, you need to evaluate the different fog light options. The vehicles without pre-installed fog lights would require the bumper removal and installation of the fog light-specific grille to maintain their whole looks.

Although the standard fog lights are ideal for most people, some go for colored ones. However, colored fog lights such as red, purple, and yellow are more visual than operational upgrades. Moreover, it’s worth checking your state laws to ensure colored fog lights are permissible before investing your money into them.

What is the Fog Light Symbol?

fog light symbol
photo by Instrument cluster

Now that we know what fog lights do, we are in a position to scrutinize the fog light symbol. When you turn on the fog lights, a sign on the dashboard would appear, indicating that the lights are active.

The symbol for the front and rear fog lights varies in shape. The front fog light symbol is a lamp facing left with three lines intercepting a wavy line behind it. The rear fog light symbol looks the same, but instead of facing the left, the lamp changes position to the right.

Moreover, the color of the fog light symbol would depend on whether the front or rear light is active. The sign would take a green color for the front fog light and the rear, an amber shade.

How to Turn on Fog Lights?

So, now you know the fog lights symbol when they get active, but how can you turn them on in the first place? Understanding how and when to turn on fog lights is a crucial part of road safety. However, you will not find a standard way of turning them on or off since each car has different functions. Read your car’s manual, and you will know how to switch on fog lights.

Nevertheless, the general way to turn on the fog lights is to first flick on your headlights. Next, you should look for the fog light symbol (discussed above) on the indicator stalk where all other light options exist. You can also turn on the fog lights in most vehicles by pressing a button on the dashboard.

When Should You Check Your Fog Lights?

When the fog is most likely to appear in a season, it’s better to check your fog light and lamps in advance. Fog mainly occurs in the autumn and winter season. Therefore, it’s wise to test the fog lights to see if they work fine before heading out during these seasons.

The Fog Light Symbol is Always On

Unlike the high beam signal that is typically blue, the fog light symbol is green and hard to notice. It means you can sometimes have the fog lights on without knowing it. It cannot only prove detrimental to other drivers, but it can also quickly drain the lamp life and force you to purchase new ones.

To avoid this, always ensure that the fog light switch is in the off position. Furthermore, if your car has an ‘auto’ option, always set your headlights on it.

Yellow vs White Fog Lights

The critical debate when choosing fog lights is whether to buy yellow or white lights. During fog, a significant concern is a light reflecting off the fog and back into the driver’s eyes. Many people believe that yellow lights are better than white lights, penetrating the fog and not reflecting off it.

Moreover, when driving in severe conditions such as snow, white fog lights can tire the eyes. It can lead to fatigue and an overall lousy driving experience. Yellow lights offer a change insight while also providing a visual solution. However, do ensure that yellow lights are permissible in your state before purchasing them.

Is it Unlawful to Use Fog Lights?

While using fog lights is beneficial, turning them on in certain situations can be unlawful. When you use the fog lights in normal conditions, you impair the vision of others driving around you. It can put their lives as well as yours at risk of a potential road accident.

According to the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, using lights in any way that dazzles the drivers coming toward you is illegal. Therefore, it makes the usage of fog lights, in any condition apart from the fog, illegal. We advise you to avoid using fog lights in mild weather conditions such as rain because it could lead to undesirable consequences.

The regulations authorize police to charge hefty fines to those using fog lights without a proper reason. Therefore, switch off the fog lights as soon as the mist is over and take help from the fog light symbol on your dashboard.

How to Remain Safe during the Fog?

Fog lights help you see clearly during the fog, but you should follow specific guidelines to remain safe during the mist.

  • When entering the fog, you should always slow down. Before doing this, check your side mirrors to avoid a crash with a faster approaching vehicle.
  • Keep a lookout for signals or signs indicating ‘fog.’ Even when the road ahead is clear, be ready to tackle a drifting fog patch crossing your way quickly.
  • Constantly use the wipers on the windshield to clear any matter acting as a visual obstacle.
  • Always maintain distance between yourself and the car ahead of you. The recommended length is 2.0 seconds, but you’d be better off keeping a 4.0 seconds gap.
  • Instantly use your fog lights if it’s difficult to see the space equal to the length of a football pitch, or roughly 100 meters, ahead.
  • Always spend time studying the fog light switch’s position is in your car. Your car’s manual is the best source to learn this. Especially when driving in foggy weather, remember the switch’s position and the easiest way to turn it on quickly. Check the fog light symbol to ensure you’ve turned on the lights.
  • Do not depend on the taillights of the cars in front of you to navigate your way. You cannot be sure if the driver ahead of you can adequately see the road, leading to a potential accident.
  • Avoid using high beam lights to tackle fog. These lights reflect off the fog, further impairing the visibility.
  • Be extra watchful when crossing junctions, as it holds the most risk of an accident. A helpful trick when passing intersections in fog is to lower down your window to hear the sound of the traffic. With a blocked vision, sound can help provide a safe passage.
  • Consider stopping for a while if it is difficult to view the road ahead. Proceed when the fog is clear.


Road safety is a crucial part of driving, but severe weather conditions like fog often make it challenging to observe. Therefore, it’s essential to have your vehicle’s fog lights operational at all times. While many cars only have front fog lights, some also feature rear ones. The fog light symbol on the dashboard can help you keep track of the currently active lamps. However, only use fog lamps in foggy weather – running them under normal conditions may bring hefty fines. Moreover, always observe safety measures other than just using fog lights in severe weather conditions to stay protected. Although the recent cars feature innovative vehicle safety technology, it’s wise to take precautions to keep on the safe side!


What is a fog light symbol?

There will be an image on your vehicle’s dashboard or on the fog light button itself: it’s regularly a golden pointer for back mist lights and a green one for front haze lights.

How do I turn my fog lights on?

In many vehicles, they can be turned on involving a similar tail as the headlights, or by a button on the dashboard.

What do fog lights look like?

Front fog lights are addressed with a green light sparkling left, with a wavy line through the pillar. In the interim, the back haze light image portrays a golden light pointing right, with a similar wavy line through the bar. Certain individuals think it seems to be a sideways jellyfish.

Which symbol is for headlights?

The standard headlamp marker image seems to be a sun or topsy turvy light. On numerous fog light control dials, there will likewise be an encased circle close to this marker image.

Where are fog lights on a car?

Fog lights, or mist lights, are little, block-or round-molded lights situated underneath the headlights on the facade of your vehicle. They are calculated with a specific goal in mind so the light straightforwardly enlightens the street in front of you rather than a few feet off the ground as standard headlights do.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.