Q: When Should Hazard Lights Be Used?

asked by on November 18, 2015

When should hazard lights be used?

Hazard lights are used for emergency situations and to alert other drivers to issues such as poor road conditions or vehicle breakdown. They are suggested in situations like heavy rain or blinding snow when you have to reduce speed for safe travel.

Trucks, especially large tractor trailers, will use them when going uphill as they drop below the rated road speed. School buses and certain vehicles which haul hazardous materials will use them when stopping at railroad crossings. They are also used when going through school zones or on the back of vehicles being towed.

The actual use of the hazard lights can vary from state to state so it is best to check with your state and local laws concerning their proper use. The correct way to enable your hazard lights is to activate them via a switch attached to your turn signals or by a separate switch on your steering column or dash.

The lights operate by making and breaking the circuit connection internally through a part called a flasher. This acts as a sort of cycling circuit breaker to supply the power on and off to control all of the turning lights on the exterior of the vehicle, as well as the two indicator lights on the dash assembly. Like all safety equipment, they should be checked regularly for proper operation so when they are needed you can feel assured they are ready to work properly.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

BAS and ESP lights are coming on in dashboard - 2001 Mercedes Benz SLK320

Hello. The most common cause of this is low brake fluid. When the brake fluid level is low, the lights will come on. If the brake pad level is low, then the brake fluid level will also be low. If...

My headlights flicker when I drive.

There are several factors that can cause headlights to flicker while driving. The more common problems could be related to the headlight bulbs themselves, a weak battery, or even the alternator starting to fail. If those items are fine,...

Should the lights on the Rev counter be red when car is running?

The engine is designed to not go over a certain amount of RPM or engine damage can result. If you look in any vehicle that has an RPM gauge, it will have what is called a red line that the...

Related articles

How Is a Dirty Light Bulb Socket Cleaned?
Your Your car’s light bulb sockets are protected by lenses, so they won’t get as dirty as they might, but they will still accumulate dirt and grime over the years. Regular cleaning can help ensure they remain functional for a...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Backup Light Switch
If your reverse lights are always on, never on, or function intermittently, you may have to replace the car's backup light switch.
What Are the Different Codes That Can Light Up on My Dashboard?
We’ve We’ve all been there before. You’re driving along and suddenly, the Check Engine Light flashes on. It might not even be accompanied by any sort of symptom – no spitting, no sputtering, no jerking. What’s going on? Of course,...