Autumn. Darkness. Cold. Fog. The cold season brings them all out, that strange breed of drivers – the dazzlers and the ones who leave their lights on all the time.

They’re hard to miss really. On the one hand the ones who can’t cope with the changed weather conditions at all, and on the other hand the ones who won’t stop coping with them. The first category includes the overly careful and anxious. If it starts raining a bit harder, these worried drivers will reduce their speed to play-street level, even on three-lane highways. And if there’s fog, they don’t just go slowly. No, they stop abruptly! Even on three-lane highways, and often in the middle or fast lane. This much “caution” is dangerous, let me tell you, and it may be a good idea for concerned citizens to switch to buses or trains instead.

And then there are others who don’t slam on the brakes and therefore don’t cause an accident, but still cause offense, even though it’s (slightly) less dangerous. Since we’re not all enjoying self dipping matrix headlights yet, autumn is the time when oncoming dreamers almost flash us off the road with their high beam. And since not all of us have rear fog lights yet that turn off automatically, autumn is the time when seemingly half of the road users ahead of us are braking permanently, even if the fog has long disappeared. That’s why the Osram team wants to appeal to you out there, you who are trying to get through the dark winter months safely with us.

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Yes, they exist, these additional lamps at the rear of our cars that we use rather rarely. They’ve been mandatory since 1991 for new car registrations, either one on the left and the right of the license plate or only on the driver’s side, or in the middle. We use them as rarely as the ashtrays in the back doors. Maybe that explains a little why many drivers switch them on – and then forget about them. From a global perspective, there are surely bigger problems, but if you’ve gone behind a car for a while with its rear fog lights switched on, you know that it can be pretty annoying.

There’s a small switch on the dashboard which you can use to switch on the rear fog lights. But only if the fog is really really thick; your normal rear lights can be seen amazingly well in normal fog. Often this switch is lit up while the little rear fog lamp is also quite happily shining its light. And once the fog is gone? Switch off your rear fog lights. Otherwise the “lecturers”, a species that isn’t dying out either, may appear on the scene, in other words people who first flash their lights at you from behind, wildly wave their arms when they’re alongside, and then turn their lights off and on again a few times in front of you. Don’t you want them to have a quiet journey home every once in a while? So, stay attentive, look at your dashboard every now and then and look out for the flashing lights. Then we’ll all get through autumn safely.

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