4 Essential Things to Know About Hazard Lights

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There are plenty of reasons why people decide to pop on their hazard lights, but only a few of the uses are actually legitimate. How do you know that you’re using your hazards appropriately? Here’s a hint: your inability to find a parking spot when you really, really need a coffee and a scone from your favorite coffee shop is not a legit use.

In all states, when you are parked and need assistance it is perfectly legal to put on your hazards, but using them when you are driving varies from state to state. Some states allow you to drive with your hazards on anytime you would like to, while others only allow it if there’s an emergency you need to alert other drivers to, such as an accident or a natural disaster. Funeral processions are a universally-accepted use of hazard lights, and many states allow them as a way to aid visibility to other drivers in poor weather conditions.

Using Hazard Lights in Bad Weather

While only a few states consider this usage illegal, there are some considerations that you will want to take into account before turning on those blinking lights. While the visibility of your vehicle in snow, heavy rain or fog may be greater with the hazards on, it is also important to keep in mind that it’s tough to tell the difference between hazard lights and a blinker, so signaling to turn may be ignored and put you at a greater accident risk.

Dangers of Using Hazard Lights

Using your hazard lights can cause significant amounts of confusion for other drivers. They may be distracted when they see your hazards and start looking around for dangers – and miss something by taking their eyes off the road preemptively. This can result in traffic slowdowns and even more disruption to the standard traffic flow.

Best Uses of Hazard Lights

When your car is having trouble, when you are driving slowly, when your car is at a full stop due to difficulties or an emergency, and to let other drivers know of an upcoming road hazard—these are all acceptable uses of your vehicle’s hazard lights.

While hazard lights can cause problems in low light or be confusing to other drivers if there aren’t specific road hazards up ahead, they are incredibly useful to indicate to others that there is something to wake up and be aware of in the vicinity.


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Theodore

14 years of experience
1091 reviews
Theodore
14 years of experience
Dodge Grand Caravan - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Bellevue, Washington
Second time using Theodore to service my van. He's always professional and detail oriented. He takes extra effort in tracking down issues and explains things well. Very customer oriented. Highly recommend.

Tung

14 years of experience
284 reviews
Tung
14 years of experience
Ram 1500 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Marietta, Georgia
Tung showed up on time and was very friendly. Changed my brake pads in about 30 minutes and gave me recommendations on when to change the rear pads. Will ask for him by name next time.

Victor

33 years of experience
105 reviews
Victor
33 years of experience
Chrysler Grand Voyager - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Albuquerque, New Mexico
Have used Victor multiple times now for work on my vehicle. He is prompt, courteous, knowledgeable, and dependable. I never have to worry about a thing as Victor makes sure work is performed quickly, efficiently and and correctly.

Chuck

8 years of experience
120 reviews
Chuck
8 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Coppell, Texas
Had an appointment for replacing Front Brake Pads today. Chuck did a great job and completed the task before the schedule. I will surely refer yourmechanic to my friends as well. Happy Thanksgiving Chuck. Thanks again for your great service.

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