Feb 22, 2021
When taking driving lessons, you learn that hazard warning lights are basically the orange indicator lights both flashing at the same to indicate a warning or hazard to other drivers and road users. The button to turn on your hazard lights is a red triangle found on your dashboard which flashes when they’re on.
Imagine you pull up to your destination to find there are no open parking spots, but are in a hurry so you decide to double park and turn your hazards on. Is this a good use of the hazard lights or bad? To help you stay safe and legal on the road, this article will highlight both the right and wrong time to use your hazard lights.
Many motorists may feel it is acceptable to use the hazard lights in heavy rain or snow which already reduce visibility on the roads, by driving with the hazards on other drivers may struggle to tell which lane you’re in or if you’re indicating to change lanes. When driving in bad weather, use your headlights and tail lights instead. If you’re really struggling to drive in the bad weather, then pull over and stop until conditions are safe to do so and use your hazard lights then.
Similar to the bad weather conditions, driving in heavy traffic is never an acceptable time to drive with the hazard lights on as while they can make you more visible, it can be challenging for other drivers to anticipate what you’re doing and where you’re heading. Your indicators will be disabled when the hazards are activated.
Parking illegally is a common reason for motorists using hazards, but it’s never a good idea and if you do park illegally, using the hazard lights doesn’t make it legal.
If you’re getting pulled over, turning on your hazard lights can show that you acknowledge the signal and are following the request to find a safe location to stop.
Use your hazard lights when your vehicle becomes a potential hazard to other road users, for example if you pull over on the motorway to change your flat tyre.
Has your car broken down and you’re waiting for assistance? Then your car is a temporary hazard and using the lights will warn other drivers of your presence and that you’re unable to move the car out of the way until you get assistance.
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